and while I might not love everything about growing older, I do enjoy birthdays.
One particularly thing I've always liked about my birthday is that I share it with one of the people I most admire, Leonard Nimoy.
I loved Leonard not just for his Mr. Spock role
but for his public profile that was always so kind and generous. He was patient and appreciative of fans, and I really think used his celebrity status for good. I really enjoyed reading his autobiography I Am Spock and learning about his career and life. It remains one of my favorite books, and certainly my favorite autobiography.
Despite his ubiquitous link to his Vulcan alter ego, Leonard had an interesting and varied career that spanned that later half of the 20th century. One aspect of that career did surprise me somewhat, his 1960s and 70s status as a heart throb.
While it makes perfect sense that Nimoy's nerdy outside character Spock would appeal to angst ridden 1960's teens (see below this touching letter Nimoy wrote to a young fan struggling with her bi-racial heritage, Spock of course was also bi-racial being half Vulcan and half human)
his popularity with female fans comes as something as a surprise, because well, lets be honest Leonard Nimoy was not exactly handsome.
Still, from the minute Star Trek appeared on the airwaves in 1966 it was Leonard Nimoy as Spock, rather then the more traditionally handsome William Shatner playing the womanizing Captain Kirk
who got the majority of female fans attention. Something that Shatner has admitted irked him a bit at the time.
So surprising was Nimoy's popularity with female fans that none other then famed science fiction author and Star Trek screen writer Issac Assimov wrote an article about the phenomenon. You can read it here. It is a great vintage article and dream reading for any vintage loving pop culture geek like myself. In the article, Assimov explains that his teen daughter finds Mr. Spock "dreamy" and speculates that this is because smart is sexy. Personally, I think Shatner might have been more on the nose when he said that Spock's appeal lay in his inaccesability and the general human desire to want what we can't have. Both are probably correct.
Personally, I love both Kirk and Spock, and possibly Kirk a teensy bit more. I think the character get's less attention then Spock in general and I've always had a thing for the underdog. Regardless, smart and nerdy is always best in my book.