Born in Boston, Massachusetts, Nimoy spent much time in live theater, and appeared as a guest star in many television shows. One of his better-known roles was that of Tevye the dairyman, in the musical Fiddler on the Roof, based on the series of short stories by Yiddish author Sholom Aleichem.
Nimoy went on to reprise Spock's character in a voice-over role in the groundbreaking Star Trek: The Animated Series: the first science fiction animated television series to be written for an adult audience, with high quality scripts. It is generally regarded as being of high quality story and voice-work wise, suffering only from a serious lack of quality in the area of animation.
Nimoy is also well known for playing a spy called Paris in the hit television series Mission Impossible. He narrated the television series In Search Of, which investigated paranormal or unexplained events or subjects.
Nimoy has written two autobiographies, the first one called I Am Not Spock (1977). The title of this book was controversial, as many fans incorrectly assumed that Nimoy was distancing himself from the Spock character; however, Nimoy's stated intention was merely to remind the public at large that Spock and Nimoy were not one and the same.
His second autobiography was entitled I Am Spock (1995), and this title was meant to communicate to the readership that after many years, he realized that his years of portraying the Spock character led to a much greater identification between the fictional character and the real person. Over the years Nimoy has had much input into how Spock would act in certain situations, and, conversely, Nimoy's contemplation of how Spock acted in various stories gave him cause to think about things in a way that he never would have thought if he had not portrayed this character. As such, in this autobiography Nimoy maintains that in some meaningful sense, he really is now Spock, and Spock is him, while at the same time maintaining the distance between fact and fiction.
Nimoy has written several volumes of poetry, some published along with a number of his photographs. His latest book is entitled A Lifetime of Love: Poems on the Passages of Life (Blue Mountain Press).
Recently Nimoy has been working on the Shekhinah project, a photographic study of women intended to visualize the feminine aspect of God's presence, inspired by Kabbalah (esoteric Jewish mysticism.) Nimoy has long been active in the Jewish community, and is an adherent of Reform Judaism.