A tribute to a legend

by Martin Hafer

With the recent death of original Vulcan Star Trek favorite Leonard Nimoy, I couldn’t help but think that it was just the inevitable passing of an actor whose work we have loved over the years. Instead of only sadness, I see it as the celebration of an actor who worked his craft, entertained a lot of fans, and made his mark after a long and successful career. And many of us will always remember the actor that way.

What’s interesting is that, unlike the majority of fans who’ll remember Nimoy mostly for playing the emotion-free character of Mr Spock, or even his younger fans like my daughter who knew him for his video-game voice acting, I remembered him first and foremost as Kid ‘Monk’ Baroni!

Who the heck is Kid ‘Monk’ Baroni, I hear you cry?! I’m glad you asked me that…

The film Kid Monk Baroni was the 21-year-old Leonard Nimoy’s first starring role. Considering he’d made few appearances in film or television before this time, it’s not surprising that the film comes with a very humble pedigree. It’s by no means a classic but it is better than it should be. Plus, it gives you a chance to see the sort of actor Nimoy was in his early days before he and his spread-fingered salutation would become a worldwide phenomenon. It’s the work of a young, struggling actor being given a chance to be a star–and that makes it so interesting.

So, if you’re feeling down at Nimoy’s passing, try watching some of his work to appreciate what he gave us and why his death isn’t so much a tragedy but a part of life. Perhaps you could see an episode of Star Trek or the TV series Mission: Impossible. Or, if you really want something different, try Kid Monk Baroni. The full film is below.

Enjoy the film.

And in the immutable words of Lieutenant Commander S’chn T’gai Spock, Live Long, and Prosper.