ABC News has confirmed that the legendary sci-fi actor and director Leonard Nimoy has tragically died at the age of 83. The news was passed on to the news network by the actor's family from Los Angeles. For generations of science fiction fans and followers, he will forever be fondly remembered as the character 'Mr. Spock' from the Television series and films of Star Trek, which spawned a multitude of subsequent programmes in the same genre for the franchise.

Nimoy died this morning in Bel-Air, California, with his granddaughter Madeleine Nimoy passing the sad news on to ABC News for distribution to a global audience.

The Associated Press were informed by his son Adam that the cause of his death was due to the end-stage (of) chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The star had made it known in 2014 that he was struggling with the illness, having been a smoker in his earlier life (which can contribute to the ailment), although he had given up that habit 30 years before. Clearly wary of what he had developed and the likely factors that can cause it, he repeatedly tweeted posts to warn smokers of the dangers of the ailment last year.

Nimoy was quite a fan of using tweets to pass his messages across to his fans, having sent a touching message earlier this week via social media to state that: "A life is like a garden.

Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP." The 'LLAP' in question being a reference to his familiar and much used phrase as Spock of "Live Long and Prosper."

"Spock" was the affable half-Vulcan, half-human with the oddly pointed ears that marked him out distinctly from the rest of the cast. He played first officer to Captain Kirk, energetically portrayed by William Shatner, preferring to refer to logic whenever possible to resolve the plethora of issues that the crew faced on a day to day basis in deep space, aboard the 'Starship Enterprise'.

Mr. Spock was first seen on television screens in 1966 for the pilot of the Star Trek series, which he portrayed on screen until 1969. He also starred in eight movies in the franchise, never being afraid to integrate his character into the newer generation of shows that were being created.

As an actor, he moved on from the original Star Trek series to play in Mission: Impossible for two series, as well as a number of television parts and feature films, including the remake of Invasion of the Body Snatchers in the late 1970s with Donald Sutherland.

Nimoy was more than just an actor though, he also directed many films, besides being a singer, poet and photographer. He directed two of the Star Trek feature films and also the hugely successful Three Men and a Baby.

He never lost 'sight' of the character that he was to be forever associated with though, entitling his two autobiographies, I Am Not Spock (written in 1975) and I Am Spock (1995), with a clear understanding of being synonymous with the role that he became linked with.

His co-star Shatner tweeted his own message of regret at the death of his friend with the message: "I loved him like a brother. We will all miss his humour, his talent, and his capacity to love."