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Six degrees of Leonard Nimoy. Or Baltimore's AVAM.

Leonard Nimoy has roused a cosmic windstorm of emotion -- how very unVulcan! -- with his announcement that he's retired from acting.

Now he'll have more time to visit a Baltimore institution that he helped put on a solid foundation: Rebecca Hoffberger's American Visionary Art Museum.

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In a New York Times article dated April 19, 2000, Stephanie Mansfield wrote, "Pushing the desirability quotient [of visionary art] is Ms. Hoffberger's museum, whose benefactors include the actors Edward Norton and Leonard Nimoy and the director Jonathan Demme."

Yes, that's Nimoy, right up there with Maryland's own Norton and with Demme, who has a friendly relationship with the Maryland Film Festival.

Nimoy was in top form in Philip Kaufman's 1978 "Invasion of the Body Snatchers." In this inspired remake, Nimoy plays a pop psychologist to perfection. His Dr. David Kibner tries to quell the panic of fellow San Franciscans after loved ones abruptly change into hollow versions of themselves. The actor exploits his "Star Trek" otherworldliness in the role of a saturnine guru. He couldn't be a "pod," we think. That would be too obvious.

What are your picks for Nimoy's best work besides Spock?

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