Leonard Nimoy once escaped from Spock-obsessed fans via firetruck

Trapped in a manager's office and hiding from a crowd of fans, Nimoy had to get creative to get out of the building.

Everett Collection

Ah, Spockmania. The Boston Globe used the phrase to describe the reaction to Leonard Nimoy's pointy-eared Vulcan officer as early as 1967. 

Nobody, least of all Leonard Nimoy, was prepared for the massive fan reaction that Spock would gather. In his 1995 book I Am Spock, the actor described the first reaction that an outsider had to him in makeup. "I was in full Vulcan regalia when [my agent] came to visit me. He was accompanied by a client, a lovely Irish actress named Maura McGiveney." You may know McGiveney from her appearances on TV shows like Perry Mason and Adam-12.

"I believe Miss McGiveney was the first person off the street to see me in my Spock costume... 'Oh,' she breathed, lifting a hand to my — excuse me, to Spock's — ears. 'May I touch them? They're so attractive...' It was the first inkling I had of Spock's effect on women."

That effect was laid out even more clearly when he received laundry bags of fan mail weekly. He only appeared in public once in his full Spock makeup, for a small-town parade in 1967, and quickly swore to never do it again for his own safety.

"The problem came after, when I was taken to a nearby park. A table was set up at the bandstand so that I could sign autographs. But instead of the hundreds I'd hoped to see, there were thousands of people there. They surged forward so quickly that I was terrified someone would be crushed to death; and then they started pressing against the bandstand so hard it began to sway beneath my feet! The people with me soon realized we were in trouble. Fortunately, the local police came to the rescue and pulled me through the throng!"

Not long after, he visited a Long Island department store to promote his album, Leonard Nimoy Presents Mr. Spock's Music from Outer Space. He was signing autographs, protected from the crowd on either side of his counter by gates. But at one point the crowd grew too rowdy, the gates began to collapse. Nimoy stood on the counter and attempted to calm the fray, but at that point the crowd was in too much of a frenzy to listen. "Finally, the manager grabbed my arm and said, 'Let's get out of here!'"

They bolted and made it to the manager's office, where they locked the door. However, they soon realized that they were trapped! There was no way out of the building than down and through the crowd they'd just escaped.

"But the manager was a resourceful man," Nimoy wrote, "and said, 'Wait a minute. We can't go down because of all the people. But we can go up. There's a back stairway that leads to the roof...'"

A quick call to the fire department, and soon a fire truck pulled up around the back, safely away from the eyes of Spock-crazed fans. "I went up to the roof, climbed down the provided fire ladder, and made good my escape!"

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45 Comments

Mychal56 9 months ago
Gotta love Mr. Spock, and of course Leonard. R.I.P..❤️🙏
JJ614 9 months ago
I apologize.
But in my defense.....the ears really WERE....attractive.
Avie 9 months ago
"Nobody, least of all Leonard Nimoy, was prepared for the massive fan reaction that Spock would gather."

Garner, not gather.
SteveO 9 months ago
When all else fails and do t know who to take care of things, call the Fire Dept. !!
trogg888 9 months ago
I remember seeing him as a white eyes. Sometimes as an indian.on one episode two white eyes thought they were going to dupe him but they learned better.i think some spock mojo was already sneakinadg through.versatile actor and played a bad guy and good guy equally well.his son was on a favorite episode with wil weaton.
Runeshaper 9 months ago
That was intense! Glad Nimoy escaped unscathed. Hopefully, the fans did too!
Andybandit 9 months ago
He was a great actor. He was good in Fringe and The first Star Trek movie with Chris Pine.
cperrynaples Andybandit 9 months ago
Yep, he was old Spock opposite Zachery Quinto as young Spock!
JJ614 cperrynaples 9 months ago
The best writing! ST 2009.

Funniest line? Here's Nimoy/Spock marooned on an ice planet. Not even in his own universe, having been pulled through a black hole. His own Captain Kirk had been dead almost a century in HIS universe.

Suddenly out of nowhere, Chris Pine/Kirk shows up, a huge ice monster threatening to eat him alive. Nimoy/Spock saves his life by scaring the mean old monster away with a torch of fire.

First words out of Nimoy Spock's mouth?

"James T. Kirk. How did you find me?"

As though no matter the universe, no matter if Kirk Prime was dead, he just knew the ONLY reason Pine/Kirk was there was because of course, he'd been searching for Spock, dependable as ever!

"I have been, and always shall be your friend."

"Uh, WE'RE NOT FRIENDS." Spock was shocked.
Pacificsun 9 months ago
A neat story have never heard before (in detail). But fans overwhelming ultra-Idols was a well-known phenomena included in most memoirs. LN's problem was that he stood out like a klieg-light and his character, so unique.
MrsPhilHarris 9 months ago
Wouldn’t a ladder truck attract attention? If I saw one in my neighbourhood I’d wonder what was going on.
MrsPhilHarris 9 months ago
This comment has been removed.
LoveMETV22 daDoctah 9 months ago
Then there's the celebrities that chase the ice cream truck:

After all it's the ice cream man!
Wonder if it's the magical tunes playing or the frozen confectionery treats that gave the ice cream truck its allure. 🤣
Pacificsun LoveMETV22 9 months ago
In terms of the Ice Cream Truck I think it was about the "connection." Like the immediacy of the transaction. Not that anybody literally thought of it that way. But I mean it was the anticipation, picking out your own treat, even paying for it. Weirdly about, control. And probably the first purchases we ever made when it was only a quarter!
Irish 9 months ago
Leonard Nimoy was not only a great actor, he was also an accomplished author and musician. I read his book of poetry titled "You & I." He's written several books as well, including his autobiography "I Am Not Spock." Catching title, eh?
Pacificsun Irish 9 months ago
Which he had to rectify with a second book recalling that notion because there was such fan outrage.
Irish Pacificsun 9 months ago
I can understand that!!!
Pacificsun Irish 9 months ago
Extra note: until Cons actually became popularized, where (sincere) fan devotion became obvious, these working actors diligently avoided typecasting. So when he wrote that book it was to regain (or preserve) his identity. That was the point, but it was too subtle for the youngest of the fans to actually understand, and they were hurt.
trogg888 Irish 9 months ago
Never bite the fans that feed you
Moverfan Pacificsun 9 months ago
I think I Am Spock came out years later, though.
JJ614 Pacificsun 9 months ago
Title of Shatner's book? "Get a Life!"

(That's kind of why many of us Trekkies call "Galaxy Quest" the BEST Star Trek movie! lol
LoveMETV22 9 months ago
"But the manager was a resourceful man," Nimoy wrote, "and said, 'Wait a minute. We can't go down because of all the people. But we can go up. There's a back stairway that leads to the roof...'"

A quick call to the fire department, and soon a fire truck pulled up around the back, safely away from the eyes of Spock-crazed fans. "I went up to the roof, climbed down the provided fire ladder, and made good my escape!"
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texasluva 9 months ago
That is some kind of a story. So many in those crowds one could be crushed to death. Which now leads me to an idea. I will get a Spock costume and go door to door trick or treating. See what kind of fun this can lead too 😜. I'll have to get those ears and some makeup too boot. Of course hopefully I won't have to escape with huge crowds and climb down a building via the fire department ladder 😲🙈😄.
Coldnorth texasluva 9 months ago
What happens when your on said ladder and a fire breaks out somewhere and now you look like Spock swinging around on a ladder, as a fire truck is racing to the fire. Not much excitement there. Lol
JJ614 texasluva 9 months ago
You'll have to take a number. Thanks to Strange New Worlds' Ethan/Spock, Spock is still a popular costume. The very first teenage Halloween party I went to, I went as Spock.
Wiseguy70005 Coldnorth 8 months ago
The contraction of you are is you're.
Coldnorth Wiseguy70005 8 months ago
I asked you very nicely not to correct my grammar, etc. I am disabled and I am lucky to be able to type with one finger. So it is not polite to pick on disabled people. Doing so is disrespectful and hurtful. I hope anyone you love doesn’t have a disability. Must be so much fun for you to disrespect them.
cperrynaples 9 months ago
No you idiots! Nimoy also played Spock on Carol Burnett! It's on your own channel and you even wrote a post about it!
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JJ614 Pacificsun 9 months ago
Exactly. Until 1968, Nimoy still went to fan club presidents' houses to meet their members. He came for one in Amarillo, flying out right after some Friday filming of the episode "A Private Little War." With a black eye, he earned when Dr. M'Benga was supposed to slap Spock to wake him from his healing trance. Nimoy had told the actor, Booker Bradshaw, to not hold back, make it look real. So Bradshaw did, but it got away from him and he gave Nimoy a RL black eye!
JJ614 JJ614 9 months ago
(If you really look for it, you can see the black eye in the scene.)
Wiseguy70005 cperrynaples 8 months ago
That's not what they meant by "public."
Wiseguy70005 LoveMETV22 8 months ago
They don't look "too" menacing.
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