By Bob Thomas for Enterprise Incidents # 13
Leonard Nimoy is convincing packed audiences nightly at the Shubert Theater that he is Sherlock Holmes. But as soon as he steps out the stage door, fans ask for his autograph as Mr. Spock.
During an interview at the Hollywood Brown Derby, the actor was interrupted again and again by youngsters wanting the signature of the pointy-eared space traveler of "Star Trek."
"Do you realize that we finished shooting that series eight years ago?" said Nimoy wonderingly. "How could anyone have predicted that ‘Star Trek' would still be alive for so many people?"
Certainly not Nimoy, who saw the series as a chance to escape to relative anonymity as a Hollywood character actor. It did much more. In fact, being star of a now-legendary TV series carries the threat of overwhelming his career.
Nimoy touched on this matter in reporting that Paramount Pictures has opened negotiations for him and William Shatner to repeat their series roles in a big-screen feature based on "Star Trek"
"l think it’s important for Bill. and me to get together and discuss who we are and who we want to be," Nimoy argued. "Both Bill and I have been able to do other things. He had his own series (‘Barbary Coast`) this season, and I did ‘Mission: Impossible’ for a couple years. I've done some films and a great deal of stage work — not only ‘Sherlock Holmes‘ but musicals like ‘Fiddler on the Roof,` ‘The King and l,` ‘Camelot,` 'My Fair Lady.'
"Now, do we want to go back to ‘Star Trek?’ We could devote our lives to it."
Of his pre-Star Trek days, he said: "I came to Hollywood in 1949 and until 1960 I was just barely making a living.
"My kind of face just wasn't considered contract material for the studios; they were looking for the Tab Hunters and the Guy Madisons. Finally between 1960 and 1965 I started hitting $10,000 a year. ‘Star Trek' was the first time anybody noticed me. "
Nimoy, 45, is still not certain what made "Star Trek" so legendary. During its first two seasons, the series was struggling for an audience.
"I must say that I wasn’t too unhappy when the show was canceled at the end of the third season," said the actor. "That third year was not our best one. Gene Roddenberry, who had conceived ‘Star Trek' and guided it through the first two seasons was no longer there."