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William Shatner

William Shatner
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William Shatner Biography

From 1966-68, William Shatner played Captain James Tiberius Kirk in the original "Star Trek" TV series. As the macho and goodhearted Kirk, Shatner displayed a unique acting style punctuated by hyper-dramatic pauses and inflections. Though many considered this style overblown (so much so that it has birthed the adjective "Shatnerian"), it fit the interesting dynamic that emerged between the series' three principals: the passionate Kirk, the icy Spock and the cantankerous Dr. McCoy. It was this chemistry, along with the show's futuristic premise and progressive display of a harmonious, interracial crew, that helped make "Star Trek" a pop cultural phenomenon even after the original series ended. By extension, as Star Trek films and TV spin-offs multiplied, Shatner himself gleaned a degree of immortality for having been the first captain of the U.S.S. Enterprise. Read Full Bio >>

William Shatner Awards

YearAwardCategoryForResult
2013 Television Critics Association Awards Nominated
2013 Gemini Awards Best Performing Arts Program or Series or Arts Documentary Program or Series The Captains (2011). Nominated
2012 Television Critics Association Awards Nominated
2011 Television Critics Association Awards Nominated
2009 Prism Awards Performance in a Drama Episode "Boston Legal" (2004). Won

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William Shatner Trivia

  • His third wife, Nerine Kidd, accidentally drowned in the swimming pool at their home in Studio City. [9 August 1999]
  • Daughter Lisabeth Shatner wrote the script for the "T.J. Hooker" (1982) episode "Partners in Death" (1986).
  • Breeds and shows American Saddlebreds and Quarter Horses.
  • Has 3 daughters, Leslie, Lisabeth Shatner and Melanie Shatner. He and his wife live in Southern California. Also has a 360 acre horse farm in Kentucky.
  • Hobbies: horses and tennis.
  • He appeared in the music video and sang in the choir on the song "Voices That Care".
  • Attended McGill University, in Montreal.
  • 'The Shatner Building' at McGill University is named after him.
  • Shortly after the original series of "Star Trek" (1966) was cancelled, his wife Gloria Rand left him and took him to the cleaners. With very little money and acting prospects now, he lived in a truck bed camper until acting bit-parts turned into higher paying roles.
  • Has done far more than "Star Trek" (1966) and a few other science fiction shows. The face that launched a thousand starships has also performed in radio dramas, on Broadway, participated in live television during the Golden Age and accomplished award winning stage performances.
  • Shatner is the CEO of the Toronto-based Core Digital Effects company that did the effects for the 1996 film Fly Away Home (1996).
  • Is fluent in French.
  • Wrote some Star Trek fiction novels, among them "The Ashes of Eden", "The Return", and "Avenger".
  • Children with Gloria Rand: Leslie Carol (born August 31, 1958, married to Gordon Walker, two children: Grant and Eric); Lisabeth Mary (born June 12, 1960, married to Adam Issacs); Melanie Ann (born August 1, 1964, married to actor Joel Gretsch).
  • Father of Melanie Shatner.
  • Daughter Lisabeth Shatner was Miss Golden Globe 1985.
  • Both his daughters Leslie and Lisabeth Shatner appeared in the "Star Trek" (1966) episode "Miri".
  • His daughter Melanie Shatner had a small role in Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (1989) that was directed by her father.
  • In 2001, he married Elizabeth Martin, a horse trainer who lost her husband to cancer in 1997. Their grief and their love of horses drew them together they currently live in Southern California.
  • Received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1983.
  • His face appears on the cover of the official First Aid handbook issued by the National Safety Council.
  • Produces and hosts the annual Hollywood Charity Horse Show which he founded in 1990. Over 1.25 million dollars has been raised for children's charities, such as Ahead With Horses, L.A.'s BEST and Children's Museum of Los Angeles.
  • In 1999, he was nominated for an Emmy for his guest-starring role in "3rd Rock from the Sun" (1996).
  • Wrote and directed a college musical ...."The Red, White and Blue Revue".
  • He understudied Christopher Plummer in a stage production of "Henry V".
  • Bill was born to Ann and Joseph Shatner on March 22, 1931 in Montreal, Canada.
  • Has a Bachelor of Commerce degree from McGill University in Montreal.
  • His favorite "Star Trek" (1966) episode is "The Devil in the Dark".
  • His clipped, dramatic narration, peppered with dramatic pauses, is often referred to as "Shatnerian".
  • In the late 1960s he recorded an LP entitled "The Transformed Man", which is considered a camp classic today. One track was a spoken cover verion of "Mr. Tambourine Man", in which he gave an over-dramatic performance that some compared to a man on a bad drug trip. Shatner today embraces his checkered reputation as a "camp" performer.
  • His version of "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" was voted as the worst massacre of a Beatles song ever in May 2003.
  • Is a vegetarian.
  • Did most of his own stunts for Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984), even though he had a stunt double, John Meier.
  • During the filming of Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984) a fire broke out on the studio lot that threatened to destroy the Genesis planet sets. Shatner was one of a few cast and crew members who helped try to put the fire out, grabbing a fire hose and spraying it at the fire.
  • Was the first person to appear on "Late Night with Conan O'Brien" (1993) sketch "Celebrity Secrets," which has since become a regular sketch on the show featuring major celebrities such as Harrison Ford, Tom Hanks, and his fellow "Star Trek" captains, Patrick Stewart and George Takei.
  • Has appeared in productions at the Stratford Festival in Stratford, Ontario, Canada.
  • According to Debra Hill, a Halloween mask in Shatner's likeness was painted white and used as the mask of Michael Myers in the original Halloween (1978).
  • Worked as a camp counselor, as a teen, at Camp B'nai Brith in the Laurentian Mountains in Quebec.
  • Had a *very* brief stint on "WWF Monday Night RAW" (1993) as the "manager" of Bret Hart.
  • At first, Shatner believed that as the star of "Star Trek" (1966), he was supposed to "outshine" the rest of the actors. He said later he came to appreciate the merits of an ensemble cast, and each member's contribution, working on the show.
  • In his early performing days, Shatner was once required to play the piano in a scene (with music supplied off-camera), then pull a weapon from a drawer to kill another actor. First the piano cue went badly, then the only "weapon" available turned out to be a corkscrew. Shatner carried on, and in his own words, "I screwed him to death!"
  • His 1986 "Saturday Night Live" (1975) appearance mocked Iran-Contra figure Oliver North (with Shatner standing mute in a green uniform), his own recently-cancelled "T.J. Hooker" (1982), and even overzealous "Star Trek" (1966) fans, when a sketch had him addressing a convention with the words "Get a life!" (So many fans asked him later if he'd meant anything by the sketch--he hadn't; it was written by the SNL staff--that "Get a Life!" became the title of his fan memoir.)
  • Did a concert with crooner 'Brian Evans' in Key West, joining the singer for his own style and rendition of the song "Lady Is A Tramp" and "What Kind of Fool Am I."
  • Has appeared in episode of six different series with Leonard Nimoy: "The Man from U.N.C.L.E." (1964), "Mission: Impossible" (1966), "Star Trek" (1966), "Star Trek" (1973), "T.J. Hooker" (1982) and "Futurama" (1999).
  • He had some worries about appearing in the "Futurama" (1999) episode, "Where No Fan Has Gone Before". He spoke with Billy West, who told Shatner that the cast and crew had nothing but respect for him. He agreed to continue.
  • He joins Sylvester Stallone, Prince, Kevin Costner, Roberto Benigni and Tom Green as being the only actors to direct themselves in performances that would "win" them a Razzie Award for Worst Actor.
  • Once bought a horse from Chelsea Field's father who is also the father-in-law of Scott Bakula.
  • With the death of James Doohan on 20 July 2005, he is the oldest living "Star Trek" (1966) male cast member. Grace Lee Whitney who played Ensign Janice Rand (promoted to Commander Rand by Star Trek VI) was born on 1 April 1930.
  • Has appeared in episodes of three different series with George Takei and Nichelle Nichols: "Star Trek" (1966), "Star Trek" (1973) and "Futurama" (1999).
  • Is of Ukrainian Jewish descent and is mentioned in The Simpsons episode "Like Father, like Klown" [sic] (series 3, Episode 6) as being a famous Jewish entertainer.
  • During his marriage to Marcy Lafferty, was son-in-law of Perry Lafferty.


William Shatner Photos

  • William Shatner and Avery Brooks

    11th Annual Star Trek Convention at the Rio in Las Vegas - Day 4

  • William Shatner

    50th Anniversary of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital - Arrivals

  • William Shatner

    2nd Annual "Endless Summer" Primetime Emmy Suite & Party - Inside

  • William Shatner

    2nd Annual "Endless Summer" Primetime Emmy Suite & Party - Arrivals

  • William Shatner and Elizabeth Martin

    31st Annual Genie Awards Gala

  • William Shatner

    2010 CBS Summer Press Tour Party - Arrivals

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