When I had a chance to read some of the many expressions of sorrow, it occured to me that for many of my friends, they can't recall a time when there wasn't Spock as a cultural icon. Me? I started watching Star Trek from the very beginning. In those days before DVRs, I would miss a show here and there due to family committments, but I saw essentially all of them the first time aired. Most of the exceptions I caught in the summer re-runs. I remember the episode when the network caved in to fan pressure and renewed the show for the third season, and made a statement at the end of the show to try to defuse the campaign. I remember when it finally failed, with the Friday 10PM slot killing it off. I remember seeing him in a stage production of some Sherlock Holmes play in Los Angeles in which he played Holmes; one of his lines required him to say "It wouldn't be logical", and when he gave the line, he turned away from the other actors and looked straight out into the audience, who laughed at this Spock-like statement. I recall the years of reading the novels, figuring we'd never see Star Trek again, and then feeling the anticipation when the motion picture was announced. Of course, there had to be Spock!
My parents were friends with Nimoy's brother and sister-in-law, so when the book I Am Not Spock was published, my Dad got me a signed copy. In early 1982, I had the pleasure of going with my folks to the actor's brother's home to watch the Superbowl, and Leonard Nimoy also attended. At the time, he was directing (or possibly editing) Star Trek 3, and though I was curious as to the plot, I didn't press. He won the betting pool on the game.
I've seen him in so many things, now; heard his voice on so many voiceovers or radio pieces.
When a character becomes mythic, it means that others will take the part. They'll have their work cut out for them to take up the challenge.
Last night, when I led our Jewish services, I kept Mr. Nimoy in mind as I recited the Mourner's Kaddish.