Monday, March 02, 2015
Listen to me on TV CONFIDENTIAL:
As always, the further we go back in Hollywood history, the more that fact and legend become intertwined. It's hard to say where the truth really lies.
March 3, 1985
The television show Moonlighting premiered.
Moonlighting is an American television series that aired on ABC from March 3, 1985, to May 14, 1989. The network aired a total of 66 episodes (67 in syndication as the pilot is split into two episodes). Starring Bruce Willisand Cybill Shepherd as private detectives, the show was a mixture of drama, comedy, and romance, and was considered to be one of the first successful and influential examples of comedy-drama, or "dramedy", emerging as a distinct television genre.
The show's theme song was performed by jazz singer Al Jarreau and became a hit. The show is also credited with making Willis a star, while providing Shepherd with a critical success after a string of lackluster projects. In 1997, the episode "The Dream Sequence Always Rings Twice" was ranked #34 on TV Guide's 100 Greatest Episodes of All Time. In 2007, the series was listed as one of Time magazine's "100 Best TV Shows of All-Time." The relationship between David and Maddie was included in TV Guide 's list of the best TV couples of all time.
March 7, 1955
The first Broadway play to be televised in color, featuring the original cast, airs.
The play was Peter Pan, starring Mary Martin.
March 7, 1960
Jack Paar returns to the Tonight Show.
A month after walking off The Tonight Show to protest censorship, host Jack Paar returns to the show. Paar, who had been hosting the show since July 1957, shortly after host Steve Allen left, was protesting NBC's censorship of a joke about a "water closet," which the network deemed inappropriate.
March 7, 1975
March 8, 1945
George Michael "Micky" Dolenz, Jr. is born.
The actor, musician, television director, radio personality and theater director, best known as a member of the 1960s made-for-television band The Monkees.
Dolenz was born at the Cedars of Lebanon Hospital, Los Angeles California, the son of George Dolenz and Janelle Johnson, both of whom were Hollywood actors.
Sunday, March 01, 2015
Friday, February 27, 2015
My folks came to U.S. as immigrants, aliens, and became citizens. I was born in Boston, a citizen, went to Hollywood and became an alien
- Leonard Nimoy
Leonard Simon Nimoy
(March 26, 1931 – February 27, 2015)
Once again we lost a piece of our childhood but this time it is different because Leonard Nimoy's most memorable character (Spock) was part of my childhood and continued to be part of my adulthood.
Leonard Nimoy died today in his Bel Air home from final complications of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). He was 83 years old, and is survived by Susan and his two children and six grandchildren from his first marriage.
Nimoy revealed that he had been diagnosed with (COPD). On Twitter, he said: "I quit smoking 30 yrs ago. Not soon enough. I have COPD. Grandpa says, quit now!! LLAP (Live Long and Prosper)." On February 19, 2015, Nimoy was rushed to UCLA Medical Center for severe chest pains after a call to 911. According to accounts, he had been in and out of hospitals for the "past several months."
Leonard Simon Nimoy was born on March 26, 1931 in Boston, Massachusetts in the West End, to Yiddish-speaking Orthodox Jewish immigrants from Iziaslav, Soviet Union (nowUkraine).
Nimoy began acting at the age of eight in children's and neighborhood theater. His parents wanted him to attend college and pursue a stable career, or even learn to play the accordion—with which, his father advised, Nimoy could always make a living—but his grandfather encouraged him to become an actor. His first major role was at 17, as Ralphie in an amateur production of Clifford Odets' Awake and Sing! Nimoy took drama classes at Boston College in 1953 but failed to complete his studies, and in the 1970s studied photography at the University of California, Los Angeles. He had an MA in Education from Antioch College, an honorary doctorate from Antioch University in Ohio and an honorary doctorate of humane letters from Boston University.
Nimoy served as a sergeant in the United States Army from 1953 through 1955, alongside fellow actor Ken Berry and architect Frank Gehry.
Before and during Star Trek
Nimoy's film and television acting career began in 1951. After receiving the title role in the 1952 film Kid Monk Baroni, a story about a street punk turned professional boxer, he played more than 50 small parts in B movies, television series such as Perry Mason and Dragnet, and serials such as Republic Pictures' Zombies of the Stratosphere (1952). To support his family, he often did other work, such as delivering newspapers.
He played an Army sergeant in the 1954 science fiction thriller Them! and a professor in the 1958 science fiction movie The Brain Eaters, and had a role in The Balcony (1963), a film adaptation of the Jean Genet play. With Vic Morrow, he produced a 1966 version of Deathwatch, an English-language film version of Genet's play Haute Surveillance, adapted and directed by Morrow and starring Nimoy.
On television, Nimoy appeared as "Sonarman" in two episodes of the 1957–1958 syndicated military drama The Silent Service, based on actual events of the submarine section of the United States Navy. He had guest roles in the Sea Hunt series from 1958 to 1960 and a minor role in the 1961 The Twilight Zone episode "A Quality of Mercy". He also appeared in the syndicated Highway Patrol starring Broderick Crawford.
In 1959, Nimoy was cast as Luke Reid in the "Night of Decision" episode of the ABC/Warner Bros. western series Colt .45, starring Wayde Preston and directed by Leslie H. Martinson.
Nimoy appeared four times in ethnic roles on NBC's Wagon Train, the No. 1 program of 1962. He portrayed Bernabe Zamora in "The Estaban Zamora Story" (1959), "Cherokee Ned" in "The Maggie Hamilton Story" (1960), Joaquin Delgado in "The Tiburcio Mendez Story" (1961), and Emeterio Vasquez in "The Baylor Crowfoot Story" (1962).
Nimoy appeared in Bonanza (1960), The Rebel (1960), Two Faces West (1961), Rawhide (1961), The Untouchables (1962), The Eleventh Hour (1962), Perry Mason (1963; playing murderer Pete Chennery in "The Case of the Shoplifter's Shoe", episode 13 of season 6), Combat! (1963, 1965), Daniel Boone, The Outer Limits (1964), The Virginian (1963–1965; first working with Star Trek co-star DeForest Kelley in "Man of Violence", episode 14 of season 2, in 1963), Get Smart (1966) and Mission: Impossible (1969–1971). He appeared again in the 1995 Outer Limits series. He appeared in Gunsmoke in 1962 as Arnie and in 1966 as John Walking Fox.
|Nimoy as Spock withWilliam Shatner as Kirk, 1968|
On the stage, Nimoy played the lead role in a short run of Gore Vidal's Visit to a Small Planet in 1968 (shortly before the end of the Star Trekseries) at the Pheasant Run Playhouse in St. Charles, Illinois (now closed).
Nimoy's greatest prominence came from his role in the original Star Trek series. As the half-Vulcan, half-human Spock—a role he chose instead of one on the soap opera Peyton Place—Nimoy became a star, and the press predicted that he would "have his choice of movies or television series". He formed a long-standing friendship with Shatner, who portrayed his commanding officer, saying of their relationship, "We were like brothers." Star Trek was broadcast from 1966 to 1969. Nimoy earned three Emmy Award nominations for his work on the program.
He went on to reprise the Spock character in Star Trek: The Animated Series and two episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation.
When a newStar Trek series was planned in the late 1970s, Nimoy was to be in only two out of eleven episodes, but when the show was elevated to a feature film, he agreed to reprise his role.
Spock's Vulcan salute became a recognized symbol of the show and was identified with him. Nimoy created the sign himself from his childhood memories of the waykohanim (Jewish priests) hold their hand when giving blessings. During an interview, he translated the priestly blessing from Numbers 6:24–26 which accompanies the sign and described it during a public lecture:
- May the Lord bless and keep you and may the Lord cause his countenance to shine upon you. May the Lord be gracious unto you and grant you peace. The accompanying spoken blessing, "Live long and prosper."
After Star Trek
Following Star Trek in 1969, Nimoy immediately joined the cast of the spy series Mission: Impossible, which was seeking a replacement for Martin Landau. Nimoy was cast in the role of Paris, an IMF agent who was an ex-magician and make-up expert "The Great Paris". He played the role during seasons four and five (1969–71). Nimoy had strongly been considered as part of the initial cast for the show but remained in the Spock role of Star Trek
He co-starred with Yul Brynner and Richard Crenna in the Western movie Catlow (1971). He also had roles in two episodes of Rod Serling's Night Gallery (1972 and 1973) and Columbo (1973) where he played a murderous doctor who was one of the few criminals with whom Columbo became angry. Nimoy appeared in various made for television films such as Assault on the Wayne (1970), Baffled!(1972), The Alpha Caper (1973), The Missing Are Deadly (1974), Seizure: The Story Of Kathy Morris (1980), and Marco Polo (1982).
In 1975, Leonard Nimoy filmed an opening introduction to Ripley's World of the Unexplained museum located at Gatlinburg, Tennesseeand Fisherman's Wharf at San Francisco, California. In the late 1970s, he hosted and narrated the television series In Search of..., which investigated paranormal or unexplained events or subjects. He also had a memorable character part as a psychiatrist in Philip Kaufman's remake of Invasion of the Body Snatchers.
During this time, Nimoy also won acclaim for a series of stage roles. He appeared in such plays as Vincent (1981), Fiddler on the Roof,The Man in the Glass Booth, Oliver!, 6 Rms Riv Vu, Full Circle, Camelot, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, The King and I, Caligula, The Four Poster, Twelfth Night, Sherlock Holmes, Equus, and My Fair Lady.
After directing a few television show episodes, Nimoy started film directing in 1984 with the third installment of the film series. Nimoy would go on to direct the second most successful film (critically and financially) in the franchise after the 2009 Star Trek film, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986), and Three Men and a Baby, the highest grossing film of 1987, made him a star director. At a press conference promoting the 2009 Star Trek movie, Nimoy made it clear that he had no further plans or ambition to direct:
Other work after Star Trek
In 1978, Nimoy played Dr. David Kibner in Invasion of the Body Snatchers. He also did occasional work as a voice actor in animated feature films, including the character of Galvatron in The Transformers: The Movie in 1986.
Nimoy was featured as the voice-over narrator for the CBS paranormal series Haunted Lives: True Ghost Stories in 1991.
In 1991, Nimoy teamed up with Robert B. Radnitz to produce a movie for TNT about a pro bono publico lawsuit brought by public interest attorney William John Cox on behalf of Mel Mermelstein, an Auschwitz survivor, against a group of organizations engaged in Holocaust denial. Nimoy also played the Mermelstein role and believes: "If every project brought me the same sense of fulfillment that Never Forget did, I would truly be in paradise."
Nimoy lent his voice as narrator to the 1994 IMAX documentary film, Destiny in Space, showcasing film-footage of space from nine Space Shuttle missions over four years time.
In 1994, Nimoy performed as Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in The Pagemaster. In 1998, he had a leading role as Mustapha Mond in the made-for-television production of Aldous Huxley's Brave New World.
Together with John de Lancie, another ex-actor from the Star Trek series, Nimoy created Alien Voices, an audio-production venture that specializes in audio dramatizations. Among the works jointly narrated by the pair are The Time Machine, A Journey to the Center of the Earth, The Lost World, The Invisible Man and The First Men in the Moon, as well as several television specials for the Sci-Fi Channel. In an interview published on the official Star Trek website, Nimoy said that Alien Voices was discontinued because the series did not sell well enough to recoup costs.
From 1994 until 1997, Nimoy narrated the Ancient Mysteries series on A&E including "The Sacred Water of Lourdes" and "Secrets of the Romanovs". He also appeared in advertising in the United Kingdom for the computer company Time Computers in the late 1990s. In 1997, Nimoy played the prophet Samuel, alongside Nathaniel Parker, in The Bible Collection movie David. He had a central role in Brave New World, a 1998 TV-movie version of Aldous Huxley's novel where he played a character reminiscent of Spock in his philosophical balancing of unpredictable human qualities with the need for control. Nimoy has also appeared in several popular television series—including Futurama andThe Simpsons—as both himself and Spock.
Nimoy appeared in Hearts of Space program number 142 – "Whales Alive"
In 1999, he voiced the narration of the English version of the Sega Dreamcast game Seaman and promoted Y2K educational films.
In 2000, he provided on-camera hosting and introductions for 45 half-hour episodes of an anthology series entitled Our 20th Century on the AEN TV Network. The series covers world news, sports, entertainment, technology, and fashion using original archive news clips from 1930 to 1975 from the National Archives in Washington, D.C. and other private archival sources.
In 2001, Nimoy voiced the role of the Atlantean King Kashekim Nedakh in the Disney animated feature Atlantis: The Lost Empire which featured Michael J. Fox voicing the lead role.
In 2003, he announced his retirement from acting to concentrate on photography, but subsequently appeared in several television commercials with William Shatner for Priceline.com. He appeared in a commercial for Aleve, an arthritis pain medication, which aired during the 2006 Super Bowl.
Nimoy provided a comprehensive series of voice-overs for the 2005 computer game Civilization IV. He did the television series Next Wave where he interviewed people about technology. He was the host in the documentary film The Once and Future Griffith Observatory, currently running in the Leonard Nimoy Event Horizon Theater at the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles. Nimoy and his wife, Susan Bay-Nimoy, were major supporters of the Observatory's historic 2002–2004 expansion.
In 2007, he produced the play, Shakespeare's Will by Canadian Playwright Vern Thiessen. The one-woman show starred Jeanmarie Simpson as Shakespeare's wife, Anne Hathaway. The production was directed by Nimoy's wife, Susan Bay.
Nimoy was given casting approval over who would play the young Spock in the 2009 Star Trek film.
On January 6, 2009, he was interviewed by William Shatner on The Biography Channel's Shatner's Raw Nerve.
In May 2009, he made an appearance as the mysterious Dr. William Bell in the season finale of Fringe, which explores the existence of a parallel universe. Nimoy returned as Dr. Bell in the autumn for an extended arc, and according to Roberto Orci, co-creator of Fringe, Bell will be "the beginning of the answers to even bigger questions." This choice led one reviewer to question if Fringe's plot might be a homage to the Star Trek episode "Mirror, Mirror", which featured an alternate reality "Mirror Universe" concept and an evil version of Spock distinguished by a goatee.
Starring with Will Ferrell in the television-based movie Land of the Lost in June 2009, he voiced the part of "The Zarn", an Altrusian.
Nimoy was also a frequent and popular reader for "Selected Shorts", an ongoing series of programs at Symphony Space in New York City (that also tours around the country) which features actors, and sometimes authors, reading works of short fiction. The programs are broadcast on radio and available on websites through Public Radio International, National Public Radio and WNYC radio. Nimoy was honored by Symphony Space with the renaming of the Thalia Theater as the Leonard Nimoy Thalia Theater.
Nimoy also provided voiceovers for the Star Trek Online massively multiplayer online game, released in February 2010, as well as Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep as Master Xehanort, the series' leading villain. Tetsuya Nomura, the director of Birth by Sleep, stated that he chose Nimoy for the role specifically because of his role as Spock.
In April 2010, Leonard Nimoy announced that he was retiring from playing Spock, citing both his advanced age and the desire to give Zachary Quinto the opportunity to enjoy full media attention with the Spock character. Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep was to be his final performance. However, in February 2011, he announced his definite plan to return to Fringe and reprise his role as William Bell. His retirement from acting did not include voice acting, as his appearance in the third season of Fringe includes his voice (his character appears only in animated scenes), and he provided the voice of Sentinel Prime in Transformers: Dark of the Moon. In May 2011, Nimoy made a cameo appearance in the alternate version music video of Bruno Mars' "The Lazy Song". Aaron Bay-Schuck, the Atlantic Records executive who signed Bruno Mars to the label, is Nimoy's stepson. Nimoy provided the voice of Spock as a guest star in a Season 5 episode of the CBS sitcom, The Big Bang Theory.
The episode is titled "The Transporter Malfunction" and aired on March 29, 2012, and was frequently mentioned by several of the main characters (especially Sheldon Cooper, who idolized Nimoy). In Spring 2012, Nimoy reprised his role of William Bell in Fringe, in the fourth season episodes "Letters of Transit" and "Brave New World" parts 1 & 2. Nimoy reprised his role as Master Xehanort in the recent title Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance. On August 30, 2012, Nimoy narrated a satirical segment about Mitt Romney's life on Comedy Central'sThe Daily Show with Jon Stewart. In 2013, Nimoy reprised his role as Spock Prime in a cameo appearance in the film Star Trek Into Darkness.
Nimoy's interest in photography began in childhood; until his death in 2015, he owned a camera that he rebuilt at the age of 13. His photography studies at UCLA occurred afterStar Trek and Mission: Impossible, when Nimoy seriously considered changing careers. His work has been exhibited at the R. Michelson Galleries in Northampton, Massachusetts and the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art.
Nimoy made his directorial debut in 1973, directing the "Death On A Barge" segment for an episode of Night Gallery during its final season. It wouldn't be until the early 1980s that Nimoy resumed directing at a consistent basis, ranging from television shows to motion pictures. Nimoy directed Star Trek III (Search for Spock) in 1984 and Star Trek IV (The Voyage Home) in 1986. He also directed the 1987 film Three Men and a Baby. His final directorial credit was in 1995 for the episode "Killshot", the pilot from the TV seriesDeadly Games.
Nimoy authored two volumes of autobiography. The first was called I Am Not Spock (1975) and was controversial, as many fans incorrectly assumed that Nimoy was distancing himself from the Spock character. In the book, Nimoy conducts dialogues between himself and Spock. The contents of this first autobiography also touched on a self-proclaimed "identity crisis" that seemed to haunt Nimoy throughout his career. It also related to an apparent love/hate relationship with the character of Spock and the Trek franchise.
I went through a definite identity crisis. The question was whether to embrace Mr. Spock or to fight the onslaught of public interest. I realize now that I really had no choice in the matter. Spock and Star Trek were very much alive and there wasn’t anything that I could do to change that.
The second volume, I Am Spock (1995), saw Nimoy communicating that he finally realized his years of portraying the Spock character had led to a much greater identification between the fictional character and himself. Nimoy had much input into how Spock would act in certain situations, and conversely, Nimoy's contemplation of how Spock acted gave him cause to think about things in a way that he never would have thought if he had not portrayed the character. As such, in this autobiography Nimoy maintains that in some meaningful sense he has merged with Spock while at the same time maintaining the distance between fact and fiction.
Nimoy also composed several volumes of poetry, some published along with a number of his photographs. His latest effort is titled A Lifetime of Love: Poems on the Passages of Life (2002). His poetry can be found in the Contemporary Poets index of The HyperTexts. Nimoy adapted and starred in the one-man play Vincent (1981), based on the playVan Gogh (1979) by Phillip Stephens.
In 1995, Nimoy was involved in the production of Primortals, a comic book series published by Tekno Comix about first contact with aliens, which had arisen from a discussion he had with Isaac Asimov. There was a novelization by Steve Perry.
During and following Star Trek, Nimoy also released five albums of musical vocal recordings on Dot Records. On his first album Mr. Spock's Music from Outer Space, and half of his second album Two Sides of Leonard Nimoy, science fiction-themed songs are featured where Nimoy sings as Spock. On his final three albums, he sings popular folk songs of the era and cover versions of popular songs, such as "Proud Mary" and Johnny Cash's "I Walk the Line". There are also several songs on the later albums that were written or co-written by Nimoy. He described how his recording career got started:
- "Charles Grean of Dot Records had arranged with the studio to do an album of space music based on music from Star Trek, and he has a teenage daughter who's a fan of the show and a fan of Mr. Spock. She said, 'Well, if you're going to do an album of music from Star Trek, then Mr. Spock should be on the album.' So Dot contacted me and asked me if I would be interested in either speaking or singing on the record. I said I was very interested in doing both. ...That was the first album we did, which was calledMr. Spock's Music from Outer Space. It was very well received and successful enough that Dot then approached me and asked me to sign a long-term contract."
The albums were popular and resulted in numerous live appearances and promotional record signings that attracted crowds of fans in the thousands. The early recordings were produced by Charles Grean, who may be best known for his version of "Quentin's Theme" from the mid-sixties Gothic soap opera Dark Shadows. Some listeners regard these recordings as unintentionally camp, but some have praised them as quality 1960s folk music. His tongue-in-cheek performance of "The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins" received a fair amount of airplay when Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings films were released.
In addition to his own music career he directed a 1985 music video for The Bangles' "Going Down to Liverpool". He makes a brief cameo appearance in the video as their driver. This came about because his son Adam Nimoy (now a frequent television director) was a friend of Bangles member Susanna Hoffs from college.
Nimoy's voice appeared in sampled form on a song by the pop band Information Society in the late Eighties. The song, "What's on Your Mind (Pure Energy)" (released in 1988), reached No. 3 on the US Pop charts, and No. 1 on Dance charts. The group's self-titled LP contains several other samples from the original Star Trek television series.
Nimoy also appeared in the alternate music video for the song "Lazy Song" by pop artist Bruno Mars.
Nimoy had long been active in the Jewish community, and he could speak and read Yiddish. In 1997, he narrated the documentary A Life Apart: Hasidism in America, about the various sects of Hasidic Orthodox Jews. In October 2002, Nimoy published The ShekhinaProject, a photographic study exploring the feminine aspect of God's presence, inspired by Kabbalah. Reactions have varied from enthusiastic support to open condemnation. Nimoy claimed that objections to Shekhina do not bother or surprise him, but he smarted at the stridency of the Orthodox protests, and was "saddened at the attempt to control thought".
Nimoy was married twice. In 1954, he married actress Sandra Zober (1927–2011), whom he divorced in 1987. On New Year's Day of 1989, he married actress Susan Bay, who is a cousin of director Michael Bay. Leonard Nimoy had a second cousin in voice actor Jeff Nimoy (once removed) and other cousins working in art, education, design, and health industries.
In a 2001 DVD, Nimoy revealed that he became an alcoholic while working on Star Trek and ended up in rehab. William Shatner, in his 2008 book Up Till Now: The Autobiography, spoke about how later in their lives, Nimoy tried to help Shatner's alcoholic wife, Nerine Kidd.
At the time of his death, Nimoy still had the last pair of Spock's ears he wore on the series. He has said that the character of Spock, which he played twelve to fourteen hours a day, five days a week, influenced his personality in private life. Each weekend during the original run of the series, he would be in character throughout Saturday and into Sunday, behaving more like Spock than himself: more logical, more rational, more thoughtful, less emotional and finding a calm in every situation. It was only on Sunday in the early afternoon that Spock's influence on his behavior would fade off and he would feel more himself again – only to start the cycle over again, on Monday morning.
|The local press is is out at Leonard Nimoy's Star.|
The Vulcan mind meld was a large part of Star Trek as well, and was first seen in the episode "Dagger of the Mind". In the original script, Spock was to interrogate a madman in sickbay. To make the scene more interesting, Gene Roddenberry rewrote the script to include the Vulcan mind meld - a simple but dangerous action Spock would take to "read" the man's mind. Spock would simply grab the head of the man, placing his fingers near the man's temples, closing his eyes, and connecting their minds together. After finding out the information he needed, Spock would break contact, returning both minds back to their original, normal states. Nimoy was thrilled with the new action, saying it was more dramatic than the original idea for the scene, and he applauded its use of the idea that Vulcans are very emotional and use their hands for many important duties. Nimoy later made known that the longer and more frequently Spock performed the action, the less dangerous it became, which is why this action could be seen more frequently in the show after "Dagger of the Mind".
He remained good friends with co-star William Shatner (also of Ukrainian Jewish descent) and was best man at Shatner's third marriage in 1997. He also remained good friends with DeForest Kelley until Kelley's death in 1999.
Nimoy was a private pilot and has owned his airplane. The Space Foundation named Nimoy as the recipient of the 2010 Douglas S. Morrow Public Outreach Award for creating a positive role model that inspired untold numbers of viewers to learn more about the universe.
In 2009, Nimoy was honored by his childhood hometown when the Office of Mayor Thomas Menino proclaimed the date of November 14, 2009, as Leonard Nimoy Day in the City of Boston.
Like his friend William Shatner, Nimoy suffered from tinnitus (ringing in the ears), which is a symptom of hearing loss. Nimoy and Shatner likely got it filming a Star Trek episode called "Arena" (1967), where he and Shatner stood too close to a special effects explosion resulting in Nimoy having tinnitus in his right ear and Shatner having it in his left ear.
|Leonard Nimoy's final tweet|
Good Night Mr. Nimoy and Thank you for the gift of Spock.