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Leonard Nimoy's Death Reminds Us Of His Kind Heart -- And His Feminism

02/27/2015 04:06 EST | Updated 02/27/2015 04:59 EST
CBS Photo Archive via Getty Images
LOS ANGELES - SEPTEMBER 20: Leonard Nimoy as Mr. Spock in the STAR TREK episode, 'Spock's Brain.' Original airdate, September 20, 1968. Season 3, episode 1. Image is a screen grab. (Photo by CBS via Getty Images)

Actor Leonard Nimoy, who was known to his fans simply as Spock, passed away at the age of 83 on Friday.

His wife Susan Bay Nimoy told the New York Times the cause of death was her husband's end-stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease after years of smoking.

While he may not have been seen as a vocal feminist of his time, the memories being shared today demonstrate the actor's many kindnesses, including putting women in the forefront.

In 2014, the Las Vegas Sun posted an interview with his "Star Trek" co-star Walter Koenig during a Star Trek Convention in July. While speaking about his relationship with former co-workers, Koenig described Nimoy as an "unapproachable," but "a very good man." He told the Sun that during an issue of pay disparity between him, George Takei and female co-star Nichelle Nichols, it was Nimoy who took matters to head office to get it fixed.

When TrekMovie.com asked Nimoy to confirm the story, he agreed, saying this wasn't the only instance where he saw inequality at work. "There was also the case where George and Nichelle were not hired to do their voices in the animated series. I refused to do Spock until they were hired. [Star Trek creator] Mr. Roddenberry started calling me the conscience of 'Star Trek,'" the actor told the site.

Meanwhile, he didn't shy away from offering advice to young people either. Buzzfeed sourced a magazine clipping from 1968, where Nimoy responded to a young mixed-race teen who was having trouble finding friends. As he wrote, "Not everyone will like me. But there will be those who will accept me just for what I am. I will develop myself to such a point of excellence, intelligence and brilliance that I can see through any problem and deal with any crisis."

And of course, though he will be predominantly remembered for acting, the Guardian opines that his directing days in the '80s were his way of entering the feminist dialogue. As writer Hadley Freeman notes, even though his directorial work with "Three Men and a Baby" received backlash from feminists at the time, in retrospect, this film could have been showing Nimoy's thoughts on bringing men into the bigger picture of parenting.

Nimoy and his wife also did charity work, including the Nimoy Foundation, which recognizes and supports the art community in the U.S. through grants.

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