Leonard Nimoy, the American actor who played Mr. Spock in the eternally popular sci-fi series ‘Star Trek’, has died at the age of 83 in Los Angeles.

His son, Adam, told CNN that he died on Friday afternoon in the later stages of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. COPD is a disease of the lungs, from which Nimoy revealed a year ago that he was suffering, despite quitting smoking thirty years previously.

Leonard Nimoy
Leonard Nimoy passed away at the age of 83

It was reported earlier this week that the legendary actor had been taken to hospital suffering from chest pains. His granddaughter Madeleine used his Twitter account to confirm his passing on Friday afternoon.

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The last tweet Nimoy himself sent was a poetic observation on life worthy of his ‘Star Trek’ character: “A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory,” he said, signing off with Spock’s signature phrase “LLAP” [“Live Long And Prosper”].

While his depiction of the half-human, half-Vulcan Spock is by far and away his most recognisable role, Nimoy had a career in television and film that spanned six decades. He was also an accomplished photographer and writer, an occasional recording artist, and even film director, helming the 1987 box office smash Three Men and a Baby.

He was first cast as Spock in 1966, a role which he made his own for three years, earning three Emmy nominations for his work. He occasionally reprised his character in later editions and re-boots of the series, including the two blockbuster films directed by J.J. Abrams (Star Trek and Star Trek Into Darkness).

Thousands of fans and ‘Star Trek’ co-stars past and present took to Twitter to express their sadness and to pay tribute to Nimoy. George Takei, who played Hikaru Sulu, wrote: “We return you now to the stars, Leonard. You taught us to 'Live Long And Prosper,' and you indeed did, friend.”

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