'Star Trek' star Leonard Nimoy passes away at 83

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The Star Trek and sci-fi world at large suffered a great loss today, as Leonard Nimoy has passed away at the age of 83. Best known for his role as human/alien Spock in the TV and movie series, he had been hospitalized two days ago for chest pains. His wife Susan Bay Nimoy told the New York Times her husband died of end-stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, which he attributed to an old smoking habit. In recent years, he'd returned to our TV sets on Fringe playing the scientist William Bell, and made a cameo appearance as Spock Prime in Star Trek Into Darkness in 2013.

Nimoy had notable accomplishments behind the camera too, serving as director on Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home and 3 Men and a Baby (the top grossing movie that year), among others. He brought an exceptional depth to the stoic character of Spock, and everyone from NASA to former co-stars have chimed in to say how much they'll miss him, and consider him an inspiration. Live Long and Prosper, indeed.

[Image credit: Associated Press]