Nimoy who played Mr. Spock on the original TV show Star Trek, died Friday at the age of 83. Takei played alongside Nimoy as Sulu.
Takei remembered when a cartoon version of Star Trek was proposed, the producers had no plans for including Takei or other actors of color from the show. Nimoy spoke out, according to a story in the Washington Post originally told to MSNBC.
“When he found that out, he said, ‘Star Trek’ is about diversity and the people that most represent diversity are Nichelle and George and Walter,” Takei told MSNBC. “If you can’t have them, then they can’t have him,’” Takei said. “And he was willing to give up his role in the animated version because he felt it was truly not representative of what ‘Star Trek’ was all about.” Sure enough, the actors were soon all cast.
“He was an extraordinary man,” Takei said.
Nimoy was an exceptional man who also happened to be an excellent actor. In an interview with the BBC, Takei described Nimoy’s creative side.
“The script actually had him knocking out an adversary with a punch. He said, ‘No, this is not Spock. Why would he expend all that energy when it can be done much more logically?’
“He invented that Spock pinch on the set.”
You can hear Takei tell his story about Nimoy in the audio clip below from the BBC.