William Shatner took to social media to remember his former first officer/cast mate in Star Trek and best friend Leonard Nimoy on the fourth anniversary of his passing. Nimoy, who played Spock in Star Trek: The Original Series (TOS) and across numerous Star Trek films, died on February 27th 2015.
On Instagram, Shatner, who played Capt. James T. Kirk, shared a photo of he and Nimoy in happier times.
After Nimoy’s passing, Shatner announced he couldn’t come to the funeral due to a scheduling conflict with a fundraiser he committed to for the Red Cross. In his memoir, “Live Long And…What I Learned Along the Way“, the former captain of the Enterprise admitted he didn’t feel he would be welcome due to his falling out with Nimoy toward the end of his life.
“It was made clear to me that I was not welcome at his funeral. That was painful. I had an easy excuse.
My closest friend was Leonard Nimoy. We were born four days apart and raised in Orthodox Jewish homes. We shared so much throughout our careers. I loved Leonard, and he used to refer to me as his brother. Yet at the end of his life and for reasons I still don’t know, he was not my friend. I would call him and he wouldn’t answer the phone or return any messages. He died and I didn’t feel welcome at his funeral.”
The falling out spread to five years before Nimoy’s death as Shatner admitted in his 2016 book, “Leonard“. Shatner filmed Nimoy without his permission for the Star Trek documentary, The Captains. The film focused on the lives of the actors behind the position through five broadcast TV series with Shatner from TOS, Patrick Stewart from Star Trek: The Next Generation, Avery Brooks from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Kate Mulgrew from Star Trek: Voyager, and Scott Bakula from Star Trek: Enterprise.
Shatner admitted befuddling the incident that caused the rift, and never reconciling with Nimoy. He believes it was due to something beyond the Nimoy’s lack of blessing, according to Comicbook.com.
Shatner had no known issues with DeForest Kelley, who played Dr. Leonard “Bones” McCoy before his passing in 1997. He’s clashed with George Takei, who played Hikaru Sulu, multiple times. Similar to Nimoy, Shatner became estranged from James Doohan, who played Chief Engineer Montgomery Scott, but reconciled shortly before Doohan’s death in 2005.
In a 2015 interview with Hollywood In Toto, Walter Koenig, who played Pavel Chekov, explained the hate against Shatner being largely due to Shatner being self-absorbed by design due to the expectations of Hollywood.
If anything, it created a mutual bond among the cast, with Koenig saying: “The rest of us got along well, mostly because of our mutually grumbling of Mr. Shatner.”
Nichelle Nichols, who played Nyota Uhura, describes her relationship with Shatner as “very cordial” in an interview on Startrek.com.
Shatner, who’s well aware of his reputation, was the featured roast for Comedy Central in 2006 with Takei, Nichols and Nimoy (in a taped segment) appearing.
Do you have a favorite Leonard Nimoy memory? Sound off.