Home Relationship Adam Nimoy’s new memoir examines relationship with famous father

Adam Nimoy’s new memoir examines relationship with famous father

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Author Adam Nimoy, the son of the late actor Leonard Nimoy, appears at Long Beach Public Library Wednesday at 7 p.m. for a talk and Q&A on his recently published second memoir, “The Most Human: Reconciling with My Father, Leonard Nimoy.” Registration for the free event is at the library’s website. He also appears Thursday at Barnes & Noble on Manhattan’s Upper West Side.

The new book, which follows 2008’s “My Incredibly Wonderful, Miserable Life: An Anti-Memoir,” again focuses on “my relationship with my dad,” says Adam Nimoy, 67, who spent seven years as a Los Angeles entertainment attorney before working for more than a decade as a TV series director through 2003. He has since taught directing and helmed the acclaimed 2016 documentary about this father, “For the Love of Spock.”

“It’s one of the more defining relationships in my life,” Nimoy explains by phone from his home in L.A.’s Mar Vista neighborhood. “It was something I did not intend to” revisit in the new book, he says. “I thought I was going to move on and do more memoir work in terms of my recovery, sobriety, raising my teenage children as a single parent and trying to recreate my career. But my father just kept looming in the background and I really couldn’t get away from that.”

Adam Nimoy, with his dad, actor Leonard Nimoy, on the cover of “The Most Human: Reconciling with My Father, Leonard Nimoy.” Credit: Chicago Review Press

The same could be said of his addiction recovery — “The Most Human” chronicles Nimoy’s journey from high school pot and alcohol use to severe enough abuse that the struggle has followed him his whole life.

Both his parents — Leonard and the late Sandra Zober Nimoy — suffered alcohol issues. Adam Nimoy quotes his father as saying, “I was not an obvious fall-down drunk, but I would become reclusive, distant, remote, quiet, not there.” Part of their reconciliation came from attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings together — though as the memoir notes, each struggled with step 9 of AA’s 12-step program: Making amends with each other.

They eventually did, but arrived at that destination through a circuitous, sometimes tortured, sometimes proud and joyful journey. The elder Nimoy died in 2015 at age 83.

“You don’t need to be an addict and an alcoholic to know that recovery is just a way to try to deal with the problems of life in an effective manner,” Adam Nimoy says, adding that his father “did a lot of stuff that really … [upset me] and a lot of stuff that was just flat-out wrong, and some of it is in the book. But in the end, it doesn’t really matter. The fact is, he is my father and I need to find a way to reach out to him and connect with him and communicate with him.”

“A lot of people have dysfunction with a parent, with a sibling, with children,” the author adds. “It didn’t end with my dad. It goes down the line.”

Nimoy’s adult children — Madeleine Nimoy, vice president of production at Paramount Television Studios, and Jonah Nimoy, a professional musician, “don’t have substance-abuse issues. Thankfully. They’ve got plenty of other issues that I have to deal with. … We find ways to resolve them because we have tools and we have a connection that I did not have with my dad.”

The book also delves into two of his three marriages: to Nancy Plotkin, the mother of his children, in 1985 that ended in divorce; and to Martha Smurda Nimoy, whom he married in 2011 and who was diagnosed with cancer four months later, dying  in 2012.

Unmentioned is his 2018 marriage to model-turned-actor Terry Farrell, who played Jadzia Dax in the series “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine,” and whom he later divorced. “She just doesn’t figure into that part of the story, so there was no point in it,” Nimoy says.

As for the immediate future, “I’m not ruling out the possibility of going back and doing some directing work, or of going back and teaching” — and in something of a combination of all that, “I’m thinking of writing a book about filmmaking and my experiences directing and working with the actors, writers and producers. I have another book in me that I’m determined to get out after this one.”

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