It’s been almost seven years since Leonard Nimoy, the actor who created the role of Mr. Spock on “Star Trek,” passed away due to respiratory disease — but his character may be coming soon to a billboard near you, as part of a widening campaign to encourage COVID-19 vaccination.
The first round of the campaign, organized by Nimoy’s family and L.A. Care Health Plan with the blessing of ViacomCBS, has been in the works in Los Angeles since last May. One billboard design features Nimoy in his Mr. Spock role, giving the split-fingered Vulcan salute with the headline “Save Humanity: Get Vaccinated! It’s the Logical Thing to Do.” The other design shows mask-wearing humans in a Star Trek glow and takes full advantage of Spock’s “Live Long and Prosper” catchline.
“The phrase ‘Live Long and Prosper’ spreads a message that my dad strongly believed in — not only for a long and healthy life, but it also represents peace, tolerance, diversity and unity,” Julie Nimoy, the actor’s daughter, said in a news release. “This project really is a continuation of his mission on lung health.”
Julie Nimoy’s husband, David Knight, told GeekWire in an email that the “L.A. campaign is only the first stop.”
“New billboards in N.Y., Boston, Chicago, D.C., Seattle and Miami are already being discussed,” Knight wrote. “In addition, we’re currently speaking with the World Health Organization about additional billboards specifically on vaccine equity in major cities across the world.”
Knight and his wife are in charge of the Nimoy Knight Foundation, a nonprofit that aims to heighten awareness about lung disease and prevention as a tribute to Leonard Nimoy. The foundation is also working to get a Vulcan-salute statue built outside Boston’s Museum of Science.
Last month, Julie Nimoy lent a sterling silver “Live Long and Prosper” necklace to Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin space venture for a suborbital trip to space, as a follow-up to Star Trek captain William Shatner’s spaceflight in October.