William Shatner Pays Tribute To Leonard Nimoy In Emotional Post

The Captain misses his best friend.

By Michileen Martin | Updated

william shatner

William Shatner doesn’t have the best track record when it comes to his relationships with his former Star Trek co-stars. George Takei, for example, celebrated the news about Shatner’s successful Blue Origin mission by mocking him and opening up another series of salvos between the two. Likewise, at the time of his death, the late Leonard Nimoy had seemingly shut down all contact between himself and Shatner. Regardless, this past weekend, Shatner took to Twitter to remember Nimoy on the seventh anniversary of the actor’s passing.

William Shatner’s thoughts were brief and to the point. He wrote “Leonard. 3/26/31 -2/27/15,” followed by a heart emoji. The words are accompanied by a photo of Shatner and Nimoy hugging. By the following day, the post had tens of thousands of likes, and thousands of quote tweets and retweets. You can see the post below.

As reported by the New York Times, Leonard Nimoy died in February 2015 of endstage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD. Nimoy let the world know he had the disease a year earlier. Assuming he had contracted the disease because of his years as a smoker — in spite of kicking the habit three decades earlier — Nimoy urged others to quit smoking as soon as possible. At the time of his death he was 83 years old, and according to William Shatner, the two hadn’t spoken in five years.

What wound up being the final bone of contention between William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy was related to the former’s 2011 documentary The Captains. For the doc, Shatner interviewed all of the other surviving leading actors who had played Star Trek captains up to that point; including Patrick Stewart, Avery Brooks, Kate Mulgrew, Scott Bakula, and Chris Pine. He apparently wanted Nimoy involved too and when the Spock actor refused, Shatner filmed him anyway at a convention.

Other supposed behavior that sparked times of ill-will between the two allegedly stemmed from William Shatner feeling threatened by the popularity of Nimoy’s Spock. Among other things, Shatner was accused of stealing lines from Nimoy because he felt his character should be portrayed as smarter than the Vulcan, hiding the bike Nimoy used to get around the Paramount studio lot, and even trying to torpedo a profile on Nimoy but having the journalist barred from the studio.

Fans were not happy when, in the wake of Nimoy’s passing, William Shatner didn’t attend the funeral. Though in spite of some of the jealous behavior Shatner is accused of toward his former co-star — at least some of which he has admitted to — Shatner says he did his best to reconnect with Nimoy in the years before the latter’s passing. He claimed to regularly send letters to Nimoy, including one in which he supposedly called the Spock actor his only “real friend” and never received a response. So, in all fairness to Shatner, after being barred from someone’s life for five years, it likely didn’t feel like he’d be welcome at his funeral.

star trek spock leonard nimoy

In spite of whatever differences William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy had, they seem to have enjoyed times of true friendship. Along with Star Trek: The Original Series, the pair went on to collaborate on Star Trek: The Animated Series, six Trek films, and other projects. Perhaps it’s best to remember that friendships, like all relationships, are complicated but worthwhile things.

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