William Shatner, 2005
|Born||William Alan Shatner
March 22, 1931
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
|Other name(s)||Bill Shatner|
|Occupation||Actor, novelist, spokesman|
Marcy Lafferty Shatner
(1997–1999 her death)
William Alan Shatner (born March 22, 1931) is a Canadian actor and novelist. He gained worldwide fame and became a cultural icon for his portrayal of James T. Kirk, captain of the starship USS Enterprise, in the television series Star Trek from 1966 to 1969, Star Trek: The Animated Series and in seven of the subsequent Star Trek feature films. He has written a series of books chronicling his experiences playing Captain Kirk and being a part of Star Trek as well as several co-written novels set in the Star Trek universe. He has also authored a series of science fiction novels called TekWar that were adapted for television.
Shatner also played the title veteran police sergeant in T.J. Hooker from 1982 to 1986. He has since worked as a musician, author, producer, director, and celebrity pitchman. From 2004 to 2008, he starred as attorney Denny Crane in over 100 episodes of the television dramas The Practice and its spin-off Boston Legal, for which he has won two Emmy Awards and a Golden Globe Award. As of 2009, Shatner stars as the voice of Don Salmonella Gavone on the animated series The Gavones.
Shatner was born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, the son of Anna (née Garmaise) and Joseph Shatner, a clothing manufacturer. He has two sisters, Joy and Farla. His paternal grandfather, Wolf Schattner, anglicized the family name to "Shatner". Shatner's grandparents were Jewish immigrants from Austria, Poland, and Hungary, and Shatner was raised in Conservative Judaism. He attended Willingdon Elementary School, in Notre-Dame-de-Grâce (NDG) and Baron Byng High School, in Montreal, as well as West Hill high school in NDG. He is an alumnus of the Montreal Children's Theatre. He earned a Bachelor's degree in commerce from McGill University, where the Brown building is unofficially named the "Shatner Building" in his honor.
Trained as a classical Shakespearean actor, Shatner performed at the Shakespearean Stratford Festival of Canada in Stratford, Ontario. He played a range of Shakespearean roles at the Stratford Festival in productions that included a minor role in the opening scene of a renowned production of Sophocles' Oedipus Rex directed by Tyrone Guthrie (which was nationally televised), Shakespeare's Henry V and Marlowe's Tamburlaine the Great. Shatner made his Broadway debut in the latter. In 1954, he was cast as Ranger Bob on the The Canadian Howdy Doody Show. Shatner was understudy to Christopher Plummer; the two would later star as adversaries in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.
Though his official movie debut was in the 1951 Canadian film entitled The Butler's Night Off, Shatner's first feature role came in the 1958 MGM film The Brothers Karamazov with Yul Brynner, in which he starred as the youngest of the Karamazov brothers, Alexei. In 1959, he received decent reviews when he took on the role of Lomax in the Broadway production of The World of Suzie Wong. In 1960, Shatner appeared in two television series. He starred twice as Wayne Gorham in NBC's The Outlaws Western series with Barton MacLane and then on Alfred Hitchcock Presents in an episode titled "Mother, may I go out to swim?". Prior to all of the above, a very young Shatner also had a leading role in the same Hitchcock series during its third season (1957–58) titled "The Glass Eye", making it one of his first TV appearances. In 1961, he starred in the Broadway play A Shot in the Dark with Julie Harris and directed by Harold Clurman. Walter Matthau (who won a Tony Award for his performance) and Gene Saks were also featured in this play. Shatner also starred in two episodes of the NBC television series Thriller, "Grim Reaper" and "The Hungry Glass".
In 1962, he starred in Roger Corman's award-winning movie The Intruder. He also appeared in the Stanley Kramer film Judgment at Nuremberg and two episodes, "Nick of Time" and "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet", of the science fiction anthology series The Twilight Zone. In the 1963-1964 season, he appeared in episodes of two ABC series, Channing and The Outer Limits ("Cold Hands, Warm Heart"). In 1963 he starred in the Family Theater production called "The Soldier" and received credits in other programs of The Psalms series. In 1964, he guest starred in the episode "He Stuck in His Thumb" of the CBS drama The Reporter starring Harry Guardino as journalist Danny Taylor of the fictitious New York Globe.
Shatner guest-starred in The Man from U.N.C.L.E. in an episode that also featured Leonard Nimoy, with whom Shatner would soon be paired in Star Trek. He also starred in the critically acclaimed drama For the People in 1965 as an assistant district attorney, costarring with Jessica Walter. The program lasted for only thirteen episodes. Shatner starred in the 1965 Gothic horror film Incubus, the second feature-length movie ever made with all dialogue spoken in the constructed language Esperanto. He also starred in an episode of Gunsmoke in 1966 as the character Fred Bateman.
Shatner was first cast as Captain James T. Kirk for the second pilot of Star Trek, entitled "Where No Man Has Gone Before". He was then contracted to play Kirk for the Star Trek series and held the role from 1966 to 1969. In the episode "Operation: Annihilate!" he also played the corpse of the recently killed George Samuel Kirk (the brother of James T. Kirk).
In 1973, he returned to the role of Captain Kirk, albeit only in voice, in the animated Star Trek series. He was slated to reprise the role of Kirk for Star Trek: Phase II, a follow-up series chronicling the second five-year mission of the Enterprise, but Star Trek: Phase II was cancelled in pre-production and expanded into Star Trek: The Motion Picture.
Between 1979 and 1991, Shatner played Captain Kirk in the first six Star Trek films, and directed the fifth. In 1994, he portrayed Captain Kirk in a film for the final time in Star Trek Generations, an appearance which ended with the character's death. His final appearances in the role are in the movie sequences of the video game Starfleet Academy (1997), and briefly for a Trek-parody DirecTV advertisement (featuring footage from Star Trek VI) running from late summer 2006.
In the summer of 2004, rumors circulated that the producers of Star Trek: Enterprise were considering bringing William Shatner back into the Trek fold. Reports in the media indicated that the idea was given serious thought, with series producer Manny Coto indicating in Star Trek Communicator magazine's October 2004 issue that he was preparing a three-episode story arc for Shatner. Shortly thereafter, Enterprise was cancelled, likely ending all hope that Shatner would return to Star Trek.
Shatner was not "offered or suggested" a role in the 2009 film Star Trek. Director J.J. Abrams said in July 2007 that the production was "desperately trying to figure out a way to put him in" but that to "shove him in...would be a disaster." Shatner had invented his own idea about the beginning of Star Trek with his latest novel, Star Trek: Academy — Collision Course.
In 2008, he joined Star Trek: The Tour in Long Beach, California – a touring exhibition planned to visit 40 cities in North America. In an interview, he spoke about accepting the dominance of Star Trek in public recollection of his career, and coming to terms with the adoration of fans.
Shatner writes in Star Trek Memories that "The Devil in the Dark" was his favourite original Star Trek episode. From his perspective, the episode was "exciting, thought-provoking and intelligent, it contained all of the ingredients that made up our very best Star Treks."
Shatner did a number of television commercials for Ontario, Canada based Loblaws supermarket chain in the 1970s, and finished the ad spots by saying, "At Loblaws, more than the price is right. But, by Gosh, the price is right."
Shatner was an occasional celebrity guest on The $20,000 Pyramid in the 1970s, once appearing opposite Nimoy in a matchup billed as "Kirk vs. Spock". His appearances became far less frequent after a 1977 appearance, in which, after giving an illegal clue ("the blessed" for Things That Are Blessed) at the top of the pyramid ($200) which deprived the contestant of a big money win, he threw his chair out of the Winner's Circle. He appeared on Match Game in 1974 and 1975, though he was never a regular on this program.
Shatner had a dry spell in the early 1970s, which he believes was due to his being typecast as Captain Kirk, making it difficult to find other work. Moreover, his wife Gloria Rand left him. With very little money and few acting prospects, he lived in a truck bed camper in the San Fernando Valley until acting bit-parts turned into higher paying roles. Shatner refers to this part of his life as "that period", a humbling one in which he would take any odd job, including small party appearances, to support his family. He appeared in a critically acclaimed role as the lead prosecutor in a 1971 PBS adaptation of Saul Levitts hit play The Andersonville Trial. He later landed a starring role in the western-themed secret agent series Barbary Coast during 1975 and 1976, as well as a major role in the horror film The Devil's Rain. He also made guest appearances on many 1970s television series such as The Six Million Dollar Man, Columbo, The Rookies, Kung Fu and Mission: Impossible.
Shatner (and the other Star Trek cast members) returned to their roles when Paramount produced Star Trek: The Motion Picture in 1979. It re-established Shatner as an actor, and Captain Kirk – now promoted to Admiral – as a cult icon.
While continuing in the successful series of Star Trek movies, he gained a new starring role on television as a police officer in T.J. Hooker series which ran from 1982 to 1986. He then hosted the popular dramatic reenactment series Rescue 911 from 1989 to 1996. During the 1980s, Shatner also began dabbling in film and television directing, directing numerous episodes of T.J. Hooker and the feature film Star Trek V: The Final Frontier.
As the unwilling central figure of a widespread geek-culture of Trekkies, Shatner is often humorously critical of the sometimes "annoying" fans of Star Trek. He also has found an outlet in spoofing the cavalier, almost superhuman character persona of Captain Kirk, in films such as Airplane II: The Sequel (1982) and National Lampoon's Loaded Weapon (1993). During a guest-host spot on Saturday Night Live, in a skit about a Star Trek convention, he advised a room full of Trekkies to "Get a life". Shatner also appeared in the film Free Enterprise in 1998, in which he played himself and tried to dispel the Kirk image of himself from the view of the film's two lead characters.
Shatner has enjoyed success with a series of science fiction novels published under his name, though most are widely believed to have been written by uncredited co-writers such as William T. Quick and Ron Goulart. The first, published in 1990, was TekWar. This popular series of books led to a Marvel Comics series, to a number of television movies, in which Shatner played a role, and to a short-lived television series in which Shatner made several appearances; he also directed some episodes. In 1995, a first-person shooter game named William Shatner's TekWar was released, and was the first game to use the Build engine.
In the 1990s, Shatner appeared in several plays on National Public Radio, written and directed by Norman Corwin. In the television series 3rd Rock from the Sun, Shatner appeared in several episodes as the "Big Giant Head", a womanizing party-animal and high-ranking officer from the same alien planet as the Solomon family. The role earned Shatner a nomination for an Emmy. In 2003, Shatner appeared in Brad Paisley's "Celebrity" country music video along with Little Jimmy Dickens, Jason Alexander, and Trista Rehn.
Also in 2004, Shatner was cast as the eccentric but highly capable attorney Denny Crane for the final season of the legal drama The Practice, for which he was awarded an Emmy, and reprised the same character in the subsequent spin-off, Boston Legal, for which he won a Golden Globe, an Emmy in 2005 and was nominated again in 2006, 2007, 2008, & 2009. With the 2005 Emmy win, Shatner became one of the few actors along with co-star James Spader as Alan Shore, to win an Emmy award while playing the same character in two different series. Even rarer, Shatner and Spader each won a second consecutive Emmy while playing the same character in two different series. Shatner remained with the series until its end in 2008.
In 2005, Shatner executive-produced and starred in the Spike TV reality miniseries Invasion Iowa. On October 19, 2005, while working on the set of Boston Legal, Shatner was taken to the emergency room for lower back pain. He eventually passed a kidney stone, recovered and soon returned to work. In 2006, Shatner sold his kidney stone for US$75,000 to GoldenPalace.com. In an appearance on The View on May 16, 2006, Shatner said the $75,000 and an additional $20,000 raised from the cast and crew of Boston Legal, paid for the building of a house by Habitat for Humanity. Shatner opened the 2005 AFI Life Achievement Award A Tribute to George Lucas with the song "My Way".
Shatner also plays on the World Poker Tour in the Hollywood Home games. He plays for the Wells Fargo Hollywood Charity Horse Show. Shatner has appeared in Priceline.com commercials both online on TV and print, as the "Priceline Negotiator". Shatner is also the CEO of the Toronto, Ontario-based C.O.R.E. Digital Pictures, which provided the special effects for the 1996 film Fly Away Home.
On August 20, 2006, Shatner was featured on the Comedy Central Roast of William Shatner. Jason Alexander served as roastmaster with (in alphabetical order) Andy Dick, Farrah Fawcett, Greg Giraldo, Lisa Lampanelli, Artie Lange, Nichelle Nichols, Patton Oswalt, Kevin Pollak, Jeffrey Ross, George Takei, Betty White, and Fred Willard performing the roasting duties. Special, pre-recorded, guest appearances were given by Leonard Nimoy, Sandra Bullock, Ben Stiller, Sarah Silverman, Jimmy Kimmel, and Clint Howard.
Shatner hosted the short-lived ABC game show Show Me the Money, which began in November 2006. The show was cancelled in December 2006 due to low ratings. It was Shatner's first unsuccessful attempt at a series since Barbary Coast in 1976. Shatner continued to co-star on Boston Legal.
On March 22, 2007, it was announced that Shatner would induct legendary professional wrestler/broadcaster Jerry "The King" Lawler into the WWE Hall of Fame during the 2007 ceremony to be held at the Fox Theater in Detroit, Michigan. Shatner had been chosen due to his memorable 1995 appearance on WWF Monday Night Raw in which Shatner, promoting the TekWar TV series, pushed Lawler to the canvas while being interviewed. Shatner later managed fellow Canadian Bret "Hit Man" Hart in a match against Jeff Jarrett, managed by Lawler.
Shatner has starred in a series of Kellogg's All-Bran cereal commercials in the UK and Canada.
Shatner also appeared in the ABC reality television series Fast Cars and Superstars: The Gillette Young Guns Celebrity Race, featuring a dozen celebrities in a stock car racing competition. In the first round of competition, Shatner matched up against former NFL coach Bill Cowher and former volleyball superstar Gabrielle Reece. Shatner was disqualified in the episode for repeatedly crossing a safety line on the track. As of 2007, Shatner is the first Canadian actor to star in three successful TV series on three different networks (NBC, CBS, and ABC).
On September 18, 2008, William Shatner relaunched his online video blogs on YouTube in a project aptly named "The Shatner Project".
Shatner is currently hosting Shatner's Raw Nerve, a celebrity interview series airing on The Biography Channel. The first episode of the series aired on December 2, 2008 and featured actress Valerie Bertinelli.
Shatner has appeared several times on The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien, including cameos reciting Sarah Palin's resignation speech, Twitter posts, and autobiography. He has also recited Twitter posts by Levi Johnston, father of Palin's grandson. He also appears in the opening graphics of the occasional feature "In The Year 3000," with his disembodied head floating through space, announcing, "And so we take a cosmic ride into that new millennium; that far off reality that is the year 3000," followed by the tag line, "It's the future, man."
Shatner appeared in the closing ceremony for the 2010 Winter Olympics.
Shatner has been married four times: his first marriage was to Gloria Rand, from 1956 to 1969. His second marriage — his longest marriage thus far — lasted 21 years and was to Marcy Lafferty Shatner from 1973 to 1994. The couple divorced in 1994. His third marriage was to Nerine Kidd-Shatner from 1997 to 1999.
On August 9, 1999, Shatner returned home around 10 p.m. to discover the body of his wife Nerine at the bottom of their back yard swimming pool. Alcohol and Valium were detected in an autopsy, and a coroner ruled the death an accidental drowning. The LAPD ruled out foul play and the case was closed. Speaking to the press shortly after his wife's death, a clearly shaken and emotional Shatner said that she "meant everything" to him and called her his "beautiful soulmate". Shatner urged the public to support Friendly House, a non-profit organization that helps women re-establish themselves in the community after suffering from alcoholism and drug addiction. He later told Larry King in an interview that "...my wife, whom I loved dearly and who loved me, was suffering with a disease that we don’t like to talk about, alcoholism. And she met a tragic ending because of it." In his new 2008 book Up Till Now: The Autobiography, Shatner discusses how Leonard Nimoy helped take Nerine for treatment of her alcoholism. Shatner writes in an excerpt to his book:
|“||Leonard Nimoy's personal experience of alcoholism now came to play a central role in my life and it helped us bond together in a way I never could have imagined in the early days of Star Trek. After Nerine [Kidd] and I had been to dinner with Leonard and Susan Nimoy one evening, Leonard called and said: "Bill, you know she's an alcoholic?" I said I did. I married Nerine in 1997, against the advice of many and my own good sense. But I thought she would give up alcohol for me. We had a celebration in Pasadena, and Leonard was my best man. I woke up about eight o'clock the next morning and Nerine was drunk. She was in rehab for 30 days three different times. Twice she almost drank herself to death. Leonard took Nerine to Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, but she did not want to quit.||”|
In 2000, a Reuters story reported that Shatner was planning to write and direct The Shiva Club, a dark comedy about the grieving process inspired by his wife's death. Shatner's 2004 album Has Been included a spoken word piece titled "What Have You Done" that describes his anguish upon discovering his wife's body in the pool.
His current wife is Elizabeth Martin, whom he married in 2001. The couple came together through their interest in horses shortly after they were both widowed. Shatner has three daughters, Leslie Carol (b. 1958), Lisabeth Mary (b. 1960), and Melanie (b. 1964), from his marriage to Rand. Melanie had a brief career as an actress and is now the proprietor of Dari, an upscale women's clothing boutique. She is married to actor Joel Gretsch, with whom she has two daughters, Kaya and Willow.
In his spare time, Shatner enjoys breeding and showing American Saddlebreds and Quarter Horses. Shatner has a 360-acre (1.5 km2) horse farm in Kentucky named Belle Reve, where he raises American Saddlebreds. His champion American Saddlebreds include Call Me Ringo, Revival, and Sultan's Great Day.
Shatner suffers from tinnitus and is involved in the ATA (American Tinnitus Association). His treatment for this condition involved wearing a small electronic device that generated a low-level, broadband sound (white noise) that "helped his brain put the tinnitus in the background".
Shatner began his musical career with the spoken word 1968 album The Transformed Man. Delivered with orchestral backings with the odd "psychedelic" flourish, his exaggerated, interpretive recitations of "Mr. Tambourine Man" and "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" became instant camp classics.
Shatner performed a reading of the Elton John song "Rocket Man" during the Science Fiction Film Awards, televised in 1978. Dressed in tuxedo ruffles with a hand-rolled cigarette in hand, he spoke with Kirk-like delivery against a synthesizer-laden backdrop of the song. This was spoofed on Late Night with David Letterman in 1992, in the Music video for the Beck single Where It's At, and in a 2001 episode of Family Guy.
Shatner provided vocals for "In Love" by Ben Folds on his Fear of Pop album. He would later provide vocals for an alternate version of Folds's song "Rockin' the Suburbs", which was contributed to the Over the Hedge soundtrack in 2006.
A creative friendship blossomed that led to Folds producing and co-writing Shatner's well-received second studio album, Has Been, in 2004. The album revolves around Shatner's often melancholy and regretful autobiographical ruminations, and features a number of prestigious guest artists such as Aimee Mann, Lemon Jelly, Henry Rollins, Adrian Belew, Brad Paisley, and Joe Jackson. Notably, Has Been features the single "Common People", a cover version of the song by Pulp.
He appears on the piece "'64 - Go" by Lemon Jelly, featured on their CD entitled '64–'95, on which he was credited as "the creative genius that is William Shatner" and in Brad Paisley's music video for "Celebrity" and "Online." Shatner also appears as a studio producer in the music video for "Landed" by Ben Folds.
In 2007, a ballet called Common People, set to Has Been, was created by Margo Sappington (of Oh! Calcutta! fame) and performed by the Milwaukee Ballet. Shatner attended the premiere and filmed the event. The filmed footage eventually turned into a feature film called William Shatner's Gonzo Ballet, which had a very well-received World Premiere at the Nashville Film Festival on 17 April 2009.
On July 27, 2009, Shatner gave a "spoken word" interpretation of Sarah Palin's farewell address on The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien. He returned to the Tonight Show on July 29, 2009 and performed a few of Palin's "Tweets" on Twitter. Shatner went on the Tonight Show again on December 11, 2009, to read excerpts from Palin's Going Rogue: An American Life, but this was followed by an appearance from Palin herself reading excerpts from Shatner's autobiography, Up Till Now.
Shatner first appeared on screen with Leonard Nimoy in 1964, when both actors guest-starred in an episode of The Man from U.N.C.L.E., entitled: "The Project Strigas Affair". However, Shatner states in his autobiography that he does not recall meeting Nimoy at that time. As co-stars on Star Trek, they interacted socially both on and off the set. After classic Star Trek's cancellation in 1969, Shatner and Nimoy reunited in the production of a Star Trek animated series, as well as The $20,000 Pyramid, where "Kirk vs. Spock" appeared on two different tables. Nimoy also guest-starred on T.J. Hooker, in which Shatner starred in the title role, for a few episodes.
The 1999 death of Shatner's third wife, Nerine, served to strengthen the friendship of Shatner and Nimoy, as Nimoy had mourned over the loss of his best friend's wife. Nimoy also appeared alongside Shatner at the TV Land Awards (hosted by John Ritter) and was one of the many people to serve as a celebrity "roaster" of Shatner. Nimoy summarized his four decade friendship with Shatner by remarking, "Bill's energy was good for my performance, 'cause Spock could be the cool individual, our chemistry was successful, right from the start." Nimoy has also spoken about mutual rivalry between the actors during the Star Trek years: "Very competitive, sibling rivalry up to here. After the show had been on the air a few weeks and they started getting so much mail for Spock, then the dictum came down from NBC: 'Give us more of that guy, they love that guy, you know?' Well, that can be ... that can be a problem for the leading man who was hired as the star of the show; and suddenly, here's this guy with ears -- 'What's this, you know?'" said Nimoy. On an episode of the A&E Network series Biography, Nimoy remarked, "Bill Shatner hogging the stage? No. Not the Bill Shatner I know."
Shatner has been friends with Heather Locklear since 1982, when the then-unknown actress co-starred with him on T.J. Hooker as Officer Stacy Sheridan. Locklear was asked by Entertainment Tonight whether it was hard to work on two weekly TV shows at the same time. During the four years Locklear was in "Hooker", she was also appearing in a semi-regular role in a fellow Aaron Spelling production, Dynasty. She replied "...I'd get really nervous and want to be prepared..." for Shatner and the experienced cast of Dynasty. After Hooker ended Shatner helped Locklear get other roles. Locklear supported a grieving Shatner in 1999 when he was mourning the death of his wife, Nerine. In 2005, Locklear appeared in two episodes of Shatner's Boston Legal as Kelly Nolan, an attractive, youthful woman being tried for killing her much older, wealthy husband. Shatner plays Crane, a founding partner of a large law firm, and a legendary litigator. Crane is attracted to Nolan and tries to insert himself into her defense. He is about the same age as Nolan's deceased husband, so Crane courts death by pursuing her. Locklear was asked how she came to appear on Boston Legal. She explained "I love the show, it's my favorite show; and I sorta kind of said, 'Shouldn't I be William Shatner's illegitimate daughter, or his love interest?'"
Shatner is notable for having participated in the first interracial kiss in a U.S. television drama series between fictional characters, with Nichelle Nichols, in the 1968 Star Trek episode "Plato's Stepchildren". The scene provoked controversy and was seen as groundbreaking, even though the kiss was portrayed as having been forced by telekinesis; it is also frequently misremembered as "the first interracial kiss on US TV" even though it took place after Sammy Davis, Jr., and Nancy Sinatra had openly kissed on the variety program Movin' With Nancy in December 1967. Nancy Sinatra's kiss of Sammy Davis Jr. has been described as "not a passionate kiss, but more familial", therefore, the Shatner-Nichols kiss can be accurately called the "first interracial amorous kiss".
The "Plato's Stepchildren" episode was not telecast in some Southern cities for fear of protest in those states; nevertheless, most viewer reaction was positive. Shatner has claimed in his memoirs that no one on the set felt the kiss to be very important until a network executive raised fears of a Southern boycott and the kiss was almost written out of the script. Gene Roddenberry supposedly made a deal that the scene would be shot both with the kiss and with a cut-away shot which merely implied a kiss, and then a subsequent decision would be made about which scene to televise. The footage of the actual kiss was eventually used. Some cast members have written that this was because Shatner deliberately ruined the take for the implied-kiss footage by looking into the camera and crossing his eyes to force the real kiss to be used.
For years, Shatner was accused of being difficult to work with by some of his Star Trek co-stars, most notably James Doohan and George Takei. In the 2004 Star Trek DVD sets, Shatner seemed to have made up with Takei, but their differences continue to resurface. In the 1990s, Shatner made numerous attempts to patch things up with Doohan, but was unsuccessful for some time; however, an Associated Press article published at the time of Doohan's final convention appearance in late August 2004 stated that Doohan had forgiven his fellow Canadian Shatner and they had mended their relationship. Takei continues to speak negatively about Shatner. In a 2008 television interview, he stated "he has a big, shiny, demanding ego." Shatner, in turn, recorded videos for YouTube, saying that Takei had some sort of "psychosis". And on williamshatner.com, he wrote, "Finally at the age of, I think, 70, he decides to come out of the closet and say 'I'm gay.' Like, who cares? Be gay."
Takei has repeatedly asserted (most recently on the December 26, 2009 episode of the NPR radio program Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me) that he invited Shatner (along with other Star Trek cast members) to his 2008 wedding to Brad Altman, but Shatner never responded to the invitation. Shatner has repeatedly counter-asserted (most recently in the January, 2010 issue of GQ) that he never received an invitation.
Tim Allen's role in Galaxy Quest as Captain Peter Quincy Taggart/Jason Nesmith is an analogue of James T. Kirk/William Shatner as known by the public at large; Taggart has a reputation for taking off his shirt at the flimsiest excuse, rolling on the ground during combat, and making pithy speeches at the drop of a hat, while Nesmith is an egomaniac who regards himself as the core of Galaxy Quest, and tells fans to "get a life". Poking fun at himself, Shatner professed when interviewed to have no idea whom Allen was parodying.
Entrepreneur Richard Branson, head of the space tourism company Virgin Galactic, offered William Shatner a free ride into space on the inaugural space launch of the VSS Enterprise scheduled for 2009, saving Shatner $200,000; however, Shatner turned it down, and said, "I do want to go up but I need guarantees I'll definitely come back."
In the Halloween series, Michael Myers wears a Captain Kirk mask that is spray-painted white. Designer Tommy Lee Wallace wanted a mask that represented a "blank face", and decided to use the Kirk Halloween mask. "It didn't really look like anybody." Wallace cut the eyeholes larger and rounder, removed the eyebrows and sideburns, poofed up the hair so it looked "demented and strange" and finally spray-painted the mask. Wallace explains, "It created a shiver right in the room, and we knew we had something special." John Carpenter claims that the mask looked nothing like Shatner whatsoever, but joked, "I guess I owe the success of Halloween to William Shatner." According to Jamie Lee Curtis, the mask needed to be a "human image", and the only thing in stores at the time that matched what they needed on set was the Kirk mask.
The character of Zapp Brannigan in the TV series Futurama was conceived as a mixture of both Shatner and Kirk, with Brannigan frequently exhibiting character traits associated with both. On the DVD commentary of Zapp's first appearance, the creators describe him as being "40% Kirk, 60% Shatner", and that the initial premise for the character was "What if the real William Shatner was the captain of the Enterprise instead of Kirk." Shatner himself – along with most of the rest of the surviving Star Trek cast – would appear in the fourth season episode "Where No Fan Has Gone Before". In a later episode, "Bender Should Not Be Allowed on TV", the character Calculon exclaims "Great Shatner's Ghost!".
On the 1996 MTV Movie Awards, William Shatner reprises his roles as James T. Kirk, T. J. Hooker, and the host of Rescue 911 in a parody of the feature film crime thriller Se7en. In the 3rd Rock from the Sun episode "Frozen Dick", John Lithgow's character has a panic attack after seeing something on the wing of an aircraft. This is an allusion to a scene played by Lithgow in Twilight Zone: The Movie, which itself is an updated version of an original The Twilight Zone episode, "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet", in which the same role was played by William Shatner. In the later 3rd Rock episode "Dick's Big Giant Headache", Shatner, playing the Big Giant Head, mentions to Dick that he saw something on the wing of his plane, and Lithgow exclaims, "The same thing happened to me!".
In 2004, Shatner won his first Emmy Award for his role as “Denny Crane” on The Practice. In 2005, he won his first Golden Globe award and a second Emmy Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series for his work on Boston Legal. In 2009, Shatner won a Streamy Award in the category of "Best Reality Web Series."
March 22, 1931|
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
|Other names||Bill Shatner|
|Height||177 cm (70 in)|
Elizabeth Anderson Martin (2001 - present)|
Nerine Kidd (1997-1999)
Marcy Lafferty (1973-1994)
Gloria Rand (1956-1969)
William Alan Shatner (born on March 22, 1931) is a Canadian actor who gained fame for playing James Tiberius Kirk of the USS Enterprise in the television show Star Trek from 1966 to 1969 and in seven of more movies. Shatner has written a series of books telling his experiences playing James T. Kirk and being a part of Star Trek. He also played the role as veteran police sergeant T.J. Hooker, from 1982 to 1986. He has since worked as a musician, bestselling author, producer, director, and celebrity pitchman, most notably for Priceline.com. He currently co-stars as attorney Denny Crane on the television drama Boston Legal, for which he has won an Emmy and a Golden Globe Award.