"The series, while it was extremely good entertainment, at the same time offered food for thought," Nimoy said at the time. "The messages are there and there are enough ideas present for people to interpret them as they see fit."
"Emotionally, I think the character helped me as I think the character helped a lot of people," Nimoy told ET in 2009. "Spock was helpful as a role model and he was to me. I think I became a much more balanced individual as a result of portraying Spock."
Nimoy continued to work after the show ended its run, appearing in JJ Abrams' Fox drama Fringe as well as the movie Star Trek Into Darkness. Nimoy was consulted before the casting of Spock for JJ Abrams' reboot, and he told ET that he "saw immediately" the potential that Zachary Quinto had for playing the part. This meant a lot coming from someone who fought to preserve the sanctity of the show.
"I have always felt, particularly with Star Trek, that one must be careful to see to it that you're not simply cashing in on the title," Nimoy told ET in 1982. "The audience has high expectations. I'm delighted with the fact that people care."
Nimoy passed away at his Bel-Air home on Friday morning at the age of 83. According to his wife, Susan Bay Nimoy, his death was due to the end stages of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (CPOD), which affects the lungs.
"I loved him like a brother," William Shatner, who played Captain Kirk alongside Nimoy in the Star Trek series, told ET in a statement. "We will all miss his humor, his talent, and his capacity to love."