Leonard Nimoy, best known for playing the role of Spock in the “Star Trek” movies and television series has died at age 83, his rep confirmed to FOX411.
Nimoy was taken to the hospital earlier this week and treated for lung disease. His son told the Associated Press he died in Los Angeles.
The actor wrote on Twitter last month that he suffered from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, despite quitting smoking 30 years ago.
Although Leonard Nimoy followed his 1966-69 “Star Trek” run with a notable career as both an actor and director, in the public’s mind he would always be Spock. His half-human, half-Vulcan character was the calm counterpoint to William Shatner’s often-emotional Captain Kirk on one of television and film’s most revered cult series.
Shatner released a statement to FOX411 via email after the news of his costar’s death broke.
“I loved him like a brother,” Shatner wrote. “We will all miss his humor, his talent, and his capacity to love.”
Nimoy’s ambivalence to the role was reflected in the titles of his two autobiographies, “I Am Not Spock” (1975) and “I Am Spock” (1995).
After “Star Trek” ended, the actor immediately joined the hit adventure series “Mission Impossible” as Paris, the mission team’s master of disguises. From 1976 to 1982 he hosted the syndicated TV series “In Search of … ” which attempted to probe such mysteries as the legend of the Loch Ness Monster and the disappearance of aviator Amelia Earhart.
He played Israeli leader Golda Meir’s husband opposite Ingrid Bergman in the TV drama “A Woman Called Golda” and Vincent van Gogh in “Vincent,” a one-man stage show on the life of the troubled painter. He continued to work well into his 70s, playing gazillionaire genius William Bell in the Fox series “Fringe.”
He also directed several films, including the hit comedy “Three Men and a Baby” and appeared in such plays as “A Streetcar Named Desire,” ”Cat on a Hot Tim Roof,” ”Fiddler on the Roof,” ”The King and I,” ”My Fair Lady” and “Equus.” He also published books of poems, children’s stories and his own photographs.