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Old 28-02-2015, 08:32 AM
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Unhappy Local fans, friends react to Leonard Nimoy's death

When news spread Friday of Leonard Nimoy’s death, Hans Spitzer was heartened that the actor had lived up to his catchphrase.

“ ‘Live long and prosper,’ ” said Spitzer, general manager of Source Comics & Games in Roseville. “At 83 years old, that’s what Leonard Nimoy did. Not a bad run.”

The actor who broke out as Mr. Spock in the “Star Trek” franchise was an inspiration to local fans, and may have even contributed to the success of a genre that spawned the longest-running science fiction bookstore in the country.

Don Blyly, owner of Uncle Hugo’s Science Fiction Bookstore in Minneapolis, said “Star Trek” served as a gateway for eventual sci-fi aficionados. Nimoy’s character in particular, Blyly said, helped ease people into the genre with his smarts.

“Spock helped a great deal in making it more respectable, because he wasn’t just action-adventure,” Blyly said. “He presented a more intellectual approach of looking at things, and that helped make science fiction itself more socially acceptable.”

Nimoy was also known for his stage career, having played the Twin Cities after the original “Star Trek” TV series.

“Leonard was a dear friend,” said Minneapolis theater producer Dennis Babcock. “It’s a great loss.”

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