WASHINGTON

- President Obama said yesterday that Leonard Nimoy, who made the sign for "live long and prosper" famous around the world, achieved that goal during his 83 years on Earth.

The actor, who played Mr. Spock in the "Star Trek" TV series and films, died yesterday at his Los Angeles home.

"I loved Spock," Obama said in a statement. "Long before being nerdy was cool, there was Leonard Nimoy. Leonard was a lifelong lover of the arts and humanities, a supporter of the sciences, generous with his talent and his time. And of course, Leonard was Spock. Cool, logical, big-eared and level-headed, the center of Star Trek's optimistic, inclusive vision of humanity's future."

Obama added that he met Nimoy in 2007.

"It was only logical to greet him with the Vulcan salute, the universal sign for 'Live long and prosper,' " the president said. "And after 83 years on this planet, and on his visits to many others, it's clear Leonard Nimoy did just that." The Vulcan salute is formed by spreading one's fingers into a "V."

Obama said he and first lady Michelle Obama join Nimoy's family, friends and countless fans in mourning his death.

Remembrances poured in from beyond the entertainment spectrum after news spread Friday about the death of the actor who played the half-alien, half-human in the "Star Trek" films, TV series and video games. NASA, Virgin Galactic, Intel and Google all sent messages, as did other groups motivated by Nimoy and his role as a truth-seeking science officer.

"Leonard Nimoy was an inspiration to multiple generations of engineers, scientists, astronauts and other space explorers," said NASA administrator Charles Bolden. "As Mr. Spock, he made science and technology important to the story, while never failing to show, by example, that it is the people around us who matter most."