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Leonard Nimoy: Beyond Spock

By Erin Maxwell

This morning, actor, director and writer Leonard Nimoy passed away after battling chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

His long and esteemed career in the entertainment industry is best marked by his turn as Spock on Star Trek. Adorned with spiked ears, high-arched eyebrows and his stoic demeanor, Nimoy’s Spock became an iconic character on both the small and large screen, a character wisdom forever influenced generations of fans, as well as pop culture itself.

But Nimoy was more than the Vulcan he portrayed. There was a time where his acting chops depended on more than just ears and logic.

Here is a look back on a few of his early TV roles.

Dragnet (1954)


A 23-year-old Nimoy made a brief appearance as a moustached street thug who is given a shake down by none other than Detective Sergeant Joe Friday.

The M Squad (1959)


In this early cop drama, Nimoy took a turn on the dark side as Ben Blacker, a man who aims to use a murder case for his own gain as he plots to set up a “friend.”

Mackenzie’s Raiders (1959)


In this 1950s TV oater, Nimoy plays Kansas a man whose can sniff out a scout from a mile away.

Steve Canyon (1959)


Set on an Air Force Base, Nimoy has a bit role in this drama as a Control Tower Sgt.

Outlaws (1960)


As hired gun Logan, Nimoy is offered a gig to set a potential jail bird free. Unfortunately, his gun slinging ways come to an abrupt end after the job is completed.

The Man from U.N.C.L.E.  (1964)


Before they cruised the galaxy together, William Shatner and Nimoy shared screen time together the ‘60s classic spy thriller. Shatner plays a drunk party guest who overstays his welcome while Nimoy plays “Calvin Coolidge,” who tried to control the situation.

Gunsmoke (1966)


Nimoy played John Walking Fox, a Native American under suspicion by local authorities after using gold coins to pay for the funeral of a friend.

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