Barack Obama: 'I loved Spock'

(CNN)President Barack Obama added himself to the long list of those remembering beloved actor Leonard Nimoy -- who died earlier today at the age of 83. Nimoy is best remembered for playing the role of Spock in numerous Star Trek films and the original television series.

"Long before nerdy was cool, there was Leonard Nimoy," the President said in a statement released earlier Friday, calling Nimoy, "the center of Star Trek's optimistic, inclusive vision of humanity's future. ...I loved Spock."
Obama also referenced the famed Star Trek character during a 2009 press conference responding to a question from CNN's Jake Tapper -- then with ABC. Following Tapper's characterization of Obama's answers on a question about healthcare as "Spock-like language," the President had a quick retort.
"Was that reference to Spock a crack on my ears?" Obama quickly responded.
    Obama also recalled meeting Nimoy in 2007, saying he greeted him with the Vulcan salute -- the universal sign for "Live long and prosper".
    "Michele and I join his family, friends, and countless fans who miss him so dearly today," Obama added.