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Leonard Nimoy, Best Known As 'Mr. Spock' On 'Star Trek,' Dead At 83

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) -- Rest in peace, Mr. Spock.

Actor Leonard Nimoy, best known for his role as Mr. Spock in the original "Star Trek" series from 1966-1969 has died.

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Nimoy's son Adam says his father died Friday morning in Los Angeles of end-stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. He was 83.

Although Nimoy followed his "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 James T. Kirk on one of television and film's most revered cult series.

Leonard Nimoy, Best Known As 'Mr. Spock' On 'Star Trek,' Dead At 83

He also portrayed Spock in numerous Star Trek movies and voiced the character in cartoons and video games.

"He was a remarkable man, well known not only for his acting and directing, but also for his photography, contemporary art collection, and for his extremely generous philanthropic contributions and support of the arts," said Bob Gersh of the Gersh Agency. "Nimoy is survived by his wife Susan, his children and grandchildren. A private memorial service is being planned by the family. He will be missed by all."

Photos: Leonard Nimoy Through The Years

"Long before being nerdy was cool, there was Leonard Nimoy.  Leonard was a lifelong lover of the arts and humanities, a supporter of the sciences, generous with his talent and his time.  And of course, Leonard was Spock.  Cool, logical, big-eared and level-headed, the center of Star Trek's optimistic, inclusive vision of humanity's future. I loved Spock," President Barack Obama said in a statement Friday. "In 2007, I had the chance to meet Leonard in person.  It was only logical to greet him with the Vulcan salute, the universal sign for "Live long and prosper."  And after 83 years on this planet – and on his visits to many others – it's clear Leonard Nimoy did just that."

For one group of Star Trek fans their monthly get together couldn't have fallen on a more poignant day. A night now to reflect on the passing of Leonard Nimoy.

"When you went to get an autograph he didn't rush. He would ask you 'Hi, where are you from? How long have you been a fan?' and he was just very pleasant," Darlena Marie Blander told CBS2's Tracee Carrasco.

His death prompted enormous reaction on social media, including from his colleagues on "Star Trek."

"I loved him like a brother. We will all miss his humor, his talent, and his capacity to love," Shatner wrote.

"Rest in peace with the stars, my dear friend," wrote ellow "Star Trek" star cast member George Takei, who portrayed Lt. Hikaru Sulu. He included a quote from the movie "Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan" that reads "Of all the souls I have known in my travels, his was the most... human."

Actor Zachary Quinto, who portrays Spock in the rebooted movie series, posted his condolences on Instagram.

"My heart is broken. I love you profoundly my dear friend. And I will miss you everyday," Quinto wrote. "May flights of angels sing thee to thy rest."

"It is with sadness that I heard of Leonard Nimoy's death," wrote Patrick Stewart, who starred as Capt. Jean-Luc Picard in "Star Trek: The Next Generation." "I was lucky to spend many happy, inspiring hours with him. He won't be forgotten."

"Farewell Leonard. Glad I knew you," wrote Brent Spiner, who appeared in "Star Trek: The Next Generation" as "Data." "Thinking of Susan, Adam, and his entire family. And his vast extended family of Star Trek."

Nimoy's granddaughter Dani Nimoy also commented on his passing.

"He was an extraordinary man, husband, grandfather, brother, actor, author-the list goes on- and friend. Thank you for the warm condolences. May you all LLAP," Dani Nimoy wrote. "LLAP" stands for "live long and prosper," Spock's frequent farewell on the show.

TV Guide named Spock one of the 50 greatest TV characters, Jim Chenevey of CBS News Radio reported.

Nimoy enjoyed a pretty long career despite the fact that NBC initially asked that "Spock" be dropped from the series worrying that the guy with the pointy ears would scare American kids, Chenevey reported.

Leonary Nimoy Dead At 83

Nimoy's first autobiography was titled, "I Am Not Spock," while he called his second memoir, "I Am Spock," CBS News' Sam Litzinger reported. The actor clearly recognized his fame was tied to that singular Sci-Fi character.

Nimoy admitted to having a crisis about being identified with one role, but later said putting on those pointy ears made his day special, Litzinger reported.

Nimoy's final Tweet was poetic.

As well as a veteran actor, Nimoy was an active supporter of the arts, according to the New York Times. The Thalia, a venerable movie theater on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, now a multi-use hall that is part of Symphony Space, was renamed the Leonard Nimoy Thalia in 2002, the Times wrote.

(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS Radio and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report).

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