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Trek actor admits to COPD diagnosis

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LLAPPhoto by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

Leonard Nimoy, veteran character actor best known for his role as the half-human Vulcan Spock, revealed to fans on twitter that he has chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a complex form of respiratory decline known to be associated with smoking.

Nimoy drew attention in NYC last month when he was seen in a wheelchair attached to an oxygen generator. Those not familiar with the disease may not realize that the congestion generated by bronchitis, and the expansion of lung tissue due to emphysema, leads to shorter duration of physical exertion. Nimoy downplayed fears in an updated tweet. “I’m doing okay,” he writes on February 5th, “Just can’t walk distances.”

While his work on the Gene Roddenberry signature science fiction adventure made him a superstar, Nimoy guest starred in a number of early television series, including Perry Mason, and The Outer Limits adaptation of Asimov’s famous “I, Robot.”. He also plays a murderous prisoner in the subversive 1966 film Deathwatch. After the original Trek series went off air, the actor narrated the popular science series In Search Of, and in color, he played against Peter Falk in an episode of Columbo.

Leonard Nimoy is 82, and a proud grandfather.