Leonard Nimoy gets career advice from—John F. Kennedy?

Contributed by
Dec 14, 2012, 4:31 PM EST

No JFK—no Mr. Spock. Don't believe us? Maybe you'll believe Leonard Nimoy, who in the clip below shares the future president's words of encouragement, words that may have helped the future Vulcan hang around Hollywood long enough to be cast in Star Trek.

Starting at 2:51, Nimoy tells about the long list of jobs he worked to support himself while he was a struggling actor—movie usher, ice-cream scooper and then, eventually, a cab driver for about six months.

"I had Jack Kennedy in the cab one night ... before he was president, obviously," said Nimoy during an appearance on LateNet with Ray Ellin. "I was driving in West Los Angeles and I got a call to go to the Bel Air Hotel and pick up Mr. Kennedy. And being from Boston, the Kennedy name rang a bell. So I went there, and sure enough, it was him. ... It was 1956, before the Democratic convention that year where he was almost nominated for the vice presidency. When I saw him that night, he didn't have any national recognition yet."

Click through to watch—or scroll down to read further about the encounter.

Since Nimoy had once lived in Massachusetts, he and Kennedy bonded as they discussed the actor's old neighborhood. Which led Kennedy to give him the following career advice:

It was only about a 10-minute ride. He said, "What are you doing out here?"

I said, "I'm an actor."

So he said, "A lot of competition in your business."

I said, "Yeah."

He said, "Just like mine."

And we kicked it around a little bit, and then he said, "Just keep in mind, there's always room for one more good one."

That was very helpful.

Now, we're not saying that Nimoy wouldn't have stuck around long enough to strike it big anyway—but a kind word from a Kennedy sure doesn't hurt!

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