Yesterday my lovely wife expressed considerable sadness at the news of Leonard Nimoy's death. My own reaction was quite different: 83 years was a pretty good run for a chain smoker and former alcoholic.
Star Trek originally aired before I was born, but few people actually watched it when it was current. Like so many young people, I came to know the show in syndication - Saturday night at 6 p.m. on Channel 50 in Detroit.
I never became a Trekkie - Star Wars easily displaced it as my primary obsession - but I enjoyed the old shows and later the movies. I still think Star Trek II Electric Boogaloo The Wrath of Khan is perhaps the most brilliant, insightful super hero movie ever made.
Yes, you read that correctly, because Star Trek changed over time from a set piece "Wagon Train in the stars" (which was creator Gene Roddenberry's original vision) into a cast of super-heroes who time and again use their unique powers to save the universe.
Like the rest of the cast, Nimoy looked at the show as a chance for his big break into show business - either as a bridge to a film career or at least steady paying work for a few years. Star Trek initially provided neither.
Nimoy was understandably puzzled and upset by the turn his career took. How could he become typecast by a show no one had actually watched? Yet typecast he was, and in his reaction one can see the usual progression of grief - including a great deal of anger and substance abuse - until he came to accept and embrace his peculiar form of celebrity.
This acceptance gave him an opportunity to move forward and become a respected director, finally breaking out of the role, though the in the popular imagination he remained linked to the persona of pure logic that he created.
As I said, he had a good run and he unquestionably left his mark on the world. Rest in peace.
(And yes, I did want to make a point of never naming his signature character. Call it a last gesture of respect for the man over his role.)