Today, we lost a true artist.
Leonard Nimoy, in his portrayal of Spock, did break a new frontier. We have seen actors in roles as aliens, of course. In such cases they were either sinister inscrutable monsters, or basically humans in a funny suit. Nimoy did something new in his role of Spock. That his home-world, Vulcan, was a land that extolled reason and logic above all was not new. We have seen this before in big-brained aliens with pulsing, swollen, craniums. What we see new in his role is an alien made as a person, a major character, not just a cut-out, nor just like everyone else. We see his struggles as he tries to reconcile his emotional and rational nature, and we all recognize the similar struggle within us. We admire his quiet dignity, and personal integrity.
He gave us a different kind of hero: the rational stoic who used his great intellect for noble purposes, unlike the typical genius super-villains of the time. This was all a very new role, made all the more challenging when from a character of an alien background. And Nimoy made it all real for us.
Let us pay respects to a gifted artist who has done something many artists aspire to, but often never achieve: something new.