Zachary Quinto, John de Lancie, and others give touching tribute to Leonard Nimoy

Before he passed away  on Feb. 27 of chronic obstructive pulminary disease, we knew Leonard Nimoy as Spock, the half-human half-Vulcan science officer on the television series Star Trek from 1966-1969. But at a memorial for him at Symphony Space (which he helped fund) in New York City on June 29, we got to know Leonard Nimoy, the fully human actor, through anecdotes told by guests, including Zachary Quinto, John de Lancie, Ted Danson and his director son, Adam. 

And one particular anecdote involved Star Trek: Next Generation star John de Lancie, a recording engineer and a bowl of Hershey’s kisses.

De Lancie, who worked with Nimoy on Alien Voices, audio dramas of classic science fiction novels, said that Nimoy was a chocoholic.  Specifically, “Where Leonard was concerned, there was no such thing as a bad piece of chocolate ... whenever we started recording, he would dive into a bowl of Hershey’s kisses.”

However, chocolate “gums up the works,” as de Lancie put it, “and the recording engineer told me, ‘You’ve got to tell [Nimoy] to stop eating the chocolate.’ I told the engineer, ‘YOU tell him.’”

But soon de Lancie confronted Nimoy about the chocolate. “I said, ‘How about a nice apple?’ He burst out laughing. And he had another piece of chocolate.”

The next day, the engineer told de Lancie that Nimoy could eat all the chocolate he wanted: He had spent the night creating an algorithm that “filters out the chocolate. For the next three years, we made sure to pop on ‘the Leonard filter,’ and Leonard ate all the chocolate he wanted.”

Zachary Quinto, who currently plays Spock in the Star Trek movies, said, “I could never imagine he’d become more of a father figure to me than anyone in my life since I lost my own father 30 years ago. He was a seeker of the highest order ... and inspired millions of people to strive for dignity and truth.

“We are the luckiest who knew him ... we have been, and always shall be, your friend.”

At the end of the memorial, K.D. Lang sang "Hallelujah" by Leonard Cohen, a song she had famously sung at the 2010 Winter Olympics that, according to his wife Susan, Nimoy had enjoyed. We included it here. Play only if you want a lump in your throat.

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