The Time Leonard Nimoy Sang ‘The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins’

February 27, 2015 12:52 pm Last Updated: February 27, 2015 4:45 pm

Leonard Nimoy died at age 86 on Friday, it was reported

Nimoy is best known for his role as Spock in the original “Star Trek,” but there’s one moment he probably wanted to forget.

Nimoy sung about Hobbits in “The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins,” which turned into a viral meme. The song was filmed originally for a variety show called Malibu U. But the video resurfaced later in the 1990s.

 

(L-R) Actor Leonard Nimoy and wife Susan Bay arrive on the red carpet of the Los Angeles premiere of "Star Trek" at the Grauman's Chinese Theatre on April 30, 2009 in Hollywood, California.  (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
(L-R) Actor Leonard Nimoy and wife Susan Bay arrive on the red carpet of the Los Angeles premiere of “Star Trek” at the Grauman’s Chinese Theatre on April 30, 2009 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

 

Actor Leonard Nimoy and his wife Sandra Zober arrive for the 21st Annual Emmy Awards show at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, California, June 8, 1969.  (AP Photo/David Smith)
Actor Leonard Nimoy and his wife Sandra Zober arrive for the 21st Annual Emmy Awards show at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, California, June 8, 1969. (AP Photo/David Smith)

Here’s the Associated Press report on his death:

Leonard Nimoy, the actor known and loved by generations of “Star Trek” fans as the pointy-eared, purely logical science officer Mr. Spock, has died.

Nimoy’s son, Adam Nimoy, said the actor died Friday of end-stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease at his Los Angeles home. He was 83.

Although Leonard Nimoy followed his 1966-69 “Star Trek” run with a notable career as both an actor and director, in the public’s mind he would always be Spock. His half-human, half-Vulcan character was the calm counterpoint to William Shatner’s often-emotional Captain Kirk on one of television and film’s most revered cult series.

Nimoy’s ambivalence to the role was reflected in the titles of his two autobiographies, “I Am Not Spock” (1975) and “I Am Spock” (1995).

After “Star Trek” ended, the actor immediately joined the hit adventure series “Mission Impossible” as Paris, the mission team’s master of disguises. From 1976 to 1982 he hosted the syndicated TV series “In Search of … ” which attempted to probe such mysteries as the legend of the Loch Ness Monster and the disappearance of aviator Amelia Earhart.

He played Israeli leader Golda Meir’s husband opposite Ingrid Bergman in the TV drama “A Woman Called Golda” and Vincent van Gogh in “Vincent,” a one-man stage show on the life of the troubled painter. He continued to work well into his 70s, playing gazillionaire genius William Bell in the Fox series “Fringe.”

He also directed several films, including the hit comedy “Three Men and a Baby” and appeared in such plays as “A Streetcar Named Desire,” “Cat on a Hot Tim Roof,” “Fiddler on the Roof,” “The King and I,” “My Fair Lady” and “Equus.” He also published books of poems, children’s stories and his own photographs.

But he could never really escape the role that took him overnight from bit-part actor status to TV star, and in a 1995 interview he sought to analyze the popularity of Spock, the green-blooded space traveler who aspired to live a life based on pure logic.

People identified with Spock because they “recognize in themselves this wish that they could be logical and avoid the pain of anger and confrontation,” Nimoy concluded.