I saw Leonard: My Fifty-Year Friendship with a Remarkable Man by William Shatner sitting on the book table at my local wholesale club and for some reason, I was drawn to it. No, I’m not a Star Trek fan and though I’ve seen a couple episodes over my 50 years on this earth, I’ve never watched any of the movies. But, since my criteria for reviewing a book on this site is that if any of the Beatles names appear in the book or the word “Beatles” is in there, then it qualifies to be reviewed on this site. “Beatles” finally appeared on page 245!
Leonard is a wonderful tribute to William Shatner’s lifelong friendship with Leonard Nimoy. It tells of the similarities in their backgrounds that helped developed each of their acting careers, and finally brought them together on the second pilot episode of the original Star Trek series in 1966. And even though the series only lasted 3 years, their friendship lasted a lifetime. Shatner tells you the behind the scenes stories of what went on during those three seasons, including the practical jokes the cast played on each other when time allowed.
After the series ended, no one in the cast or crew ever expected the fandom and mania that would follow the Star Trek crew for the rest of the their lives. Both Nimoy and Shatner feared their acting careers would be stunted by the show, but both went on to successful acting careers that stretched far beyond where no man has gone before…including both of them recording albums!
I think what drew me to this book was that Star Trek was only on the air from 1966-1969 at the height of Beatlemania. So, what else was going on during that time besides Sgt. Pepper’s, Woodstock and the Summer of Love? This book did a great job of letting me look into another aspect of the ’60’s culture. Star Trek was a TV series that was dealing with important social issues that were present at the time that would have been censored, but instead, could be slipped by the sensors because it was a futuristic science fiction show. Star Trek was even the first TV show to ever show an interracial kiss.
This book was an easy read and you don’t have to be a Star Trek fan to like it. You’ll read about a great friendship between two successful actors that lasted until Leonard Nimoy’s death on Feb. 27, 2015. And for that reason…
I rate this book, 4 0ut of 4 Beetles!