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Leonard Nimoy’s Mr. Spock was cultural icon who inspired millions

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Forty years ago, “Star Trek” morphed from unique-but-under appreciated canceled program after three years on NBC, to powerhouse franchise spawning a dozen (and counting) films, more than a half-dozen (and counting) TV series, hundreds of books, innumerable video games, gazillions of dollars in merchandise, and countless copycats.

Leonard Nimoy, aka Mr. Spock, arguably had a larger role in that pop culture sci-fi explosion than anyone other than series creator Gene Roddenberry. And that, too, is subject to debate.

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