Leonard Nimoy's legacy will live long and prosper on The Big Bang Theory. The Star Trek actor, who died of end-stage COPD on Feb. 27 at age 83, was a major presence on the CBS sitcom — even though he never actually appeared on it in person.
Jim Parsons' Sheldon Cooper idolized Nimoy, and frequently referenced his beloved Star Trek character Mr. Spock on the show. In one early episode during season two, Sheldon even considered attempting to clone the actor after Penny (Kaley Cuoco) gave him a napkin that had been both signed and used by Nimoy at the Cheesecake Factory where she worked at the time.
A few seasons later, Nimoy lent his voice to the half-hour comedy for a dream sequence in which Sheldon imagined that his Spock action figure was talking to him.
"I thoroughly enjoyed myself," the Star Trek icon told The Hollywood Reporter at the time. "[They're] a talented company and a smart show; they made me welcome."
The experience was a memorable one for the cast and crew, too. "As thrilled as we are he's doing it," executive producer Steve Molaro told THR of the casting, "we're even more thrilled just to get our pictures taken with him."
In recognition of Nimoy's influence on both Sheldon and the show, The Big Bang Theory creator Chuck Lorre used his trademark vanity card at the end of the March 5 episode to pay tribute. The card featured a black-and-white photo of the late star, along with one simple sentence: "The impact you had on our show and our lives is everlasting."
— Star Trek (@StarTrek) March 6, 2015
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