Leonard Nimoy’s Family Have Donated His Most Precious Star Trek Prop

By Doug Norrie | 1 month ago

leonard nimoy spock

In television history, there are plenty of iconic props out there, ones that you can recognize from a mile away and know exactly what production they were a part of. Spock’s ears, worn by Leonard Nimoy are definitely part of that group. Those iconic pointy ends setting the character apart from the rest of the group with just that minor, but very important feature. And it looks like those ears are going to take their rightful place in history, on display now for all to see. That’s because the family of Leonard Nimoy donated the Vulcan ears to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum where they will live on for future generations. 

Boing Boing has it (via Nerdist) that the family of Leonard Nimoy donated the ears to the Smithsonian late last year and the museum even held an unboxing for the moment. The donation happened in anticipation of the museum opening up in the Kenneth C. Griffin Exploring the Planets Gallery which is set to unveil sometime this year. Leonard Nimoy’s son Adam was the family member who ended up donating the ears for the occasion. Check out the folks at the Smithsonian opening the box for the first time after they were donated. It’s a pretty cool moment and a testament to just how much these seemingly minor props have stayed the test of time. 

These ears were donated from the private collection of Leonard Nimoy and he had taken a pair of them home after the original series was shot back in 1966. Originally somewhat controversial because folks at the studio thought that viewers would interpret the ears as being satanic or devilish in nature, it wasn’t clear if they were going to stick around for the character. And apparently, Leonard Nimoy kind of hated them as well, at least early on. But they stuck, thanks in large part to the overwhelming popularity of the character, driven in large part by just how good Nimoy was as Spock

Leonard Nimoy played Spock for the better part of five decades, even playing the role for the original pilot episode that was eventually scrapped. The cast got an overhaul with William Shatner taking on the Captain Kirk role, but Nimoy stuck. He was nominated three times for Best Supporting Actor In A Drama Series at the Primetime Emmy Awards, though never actually took home the hardware. He would star in all 79 episodes of the series and go on to reprise the role in eight feature-length movies. His final turn as the character came in 2013 with Star Trek Into Darkness. 

Leonard Nimoy passed away in 2015 from complications due to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. He was 83 years old. Now, the Spock ears will “live long and prosper” in the Smithsonian and should be on display for years to come. In the annals of television history, they rank up there with the most noticeable features of any character. And Leonard Nimoy is definitely responsible for the staying power of the character throughout the years.