Leonard Nimoy, the beloved actor who played Spock in the 1960s era Star Trek television series, passed away Friday at the age of 83.
Nimoy announced earlier this month that he was diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a common form of lung cancer among smokers. Chronic lower respiratory diseases are the third leading cause of death in the US, according to the CDC. COPD is treatable but not curable.
In a message on Twitter, Nimoy urged his fans to quit smoking with his signature “LLAP” — meaning “Live Long and Prosper”, a phrase that he used on Star Trek:
Don't smoke. I did. Wish I never had. LLAP
— Leonard Nimoy (@TheRealNimoy) January 11, 2015
“Gene Roddenberry, the creator of the franchise, called him ‘the conscience of Star Trek’ — an often earnest, sometimes campy show that employed the distant future (as well as some primitive special effects by today’s standards) to take on social issues of the 1960s,” New York Times reporter Virginia Heffernan writes.
The actor was adored long after leaving the television series for other acting opportunities. He reprised his role in several films and as a voice actor in video games. His Vulcan salute became a globally recognized symbol of the series.
Nimoy’s final message to fans came in the form of a tweet:
A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP
— Leonard Nimoy (@TheRealNimoy) February 23, 2015
Image Credit: Gage Skidmore, flickr