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Did Leonard Nimoy Really Sign That Napkin For Sheldon In The Big Bang Theory?

The late Leonard Nimoy created a pop culture legacy like no other throughout his lengthy career. Arguably his best-known role is that of Mr. Spock in the "Star Trek" franchise, which launched him into international superstardom. However, it's not the only noteworthy role Nimoy took on during his tenure under the bright lights of Hollywood. For instance, he notably played Dr. David Kibner in 1978's "Invasion of the Body Snatchers," voiced King Kashekim Nedakh in 2001's "Atlantis: The Lost Empire," and voiced Sentinel Prime in 2011's "Transformers: Dark of the Moon."

Additionally, Nimoy was quite the frequent face on television, appearing on several well-known programs over the years. Although, for modern television audiences, one of his most recognizable small-screen cameos came on "The Big Bang Theory." In the episode "The Transporter Malfunction," he voices a Mr. Spock action figure that speaks to a guilty Sheldon Cooper (Jim Parsons), who broke his own Spock figure and secretly swapped it with Leonard Hofstadter's (Johnny Galecki). His signature also appears on the episode "The Bath Item Gift Hypothesis."

In this installment of "The Big Bang Theory," Penny Teller (Kaley Cuoco) gifts Sheldon a napkin signed by Leonard Nimoy, but did the "Star Trek" icon actually sign it? Here's the truth about it.

Yes, Nimoy actually signed Sheldon's napkin

As the title of the 2022 book "The Big Bang Theory: The Definitive, Inside Story of the Epic Hit Series" promises, it's full of behind-the-scenes stories and interesting factoids about the beloved sitcom. It even sheds some light on the Leonard Nimoy-autographed napkin, revealing the truth about the signature scribbled across it. As explained by writer and producer Steve Molaro, "The napkin was really signed by Leonard. We sent it to him and got it signed at the last minute before we shot it." Thus, for the first of multiple times, Nimoy managed to play a key role on "Big Bang Theory" without having to show up on camera in the flesh.

While Nimoy never physically appeared on "The Big Bang Theory," another Nimoy family member did: his son, Adam Nimoy. In the episode "The Spock Resonance," Sheldon is interviewed for a documentary about Spock fans directed by Adam. As it turns out, this is a real documentary titled "For the Love of Spock," which came to fruition following Leonard Nimoy's death on February 27, 2015, and features Jim Parsons and other "Big Bang Theory" actors in the final cut. "It was a wonderful experience – they were just a fabulous group of people to work with, so it was sort of a win-win all around, and I'm just so grateful to them for welcoming us," Adam Nimoy told Digital Spy.

Despite never actually appearing on "The Big Bang Theory," Leonard Nimoy is still an integral part of the show's legacy — thanks to his voice as well as his actual signature.