“I am not a Starfleet commander or T.J. Hooker. I don't live on Starship NCC-1701 or own a phaser, and I don't know anybody named Bones, Sulu or Spock. And no, I've never had green alien sex, though I'm sure it would be quite an evening. I speak English and French, not Klingon. I drink Labatts, not Romulan Ale. And when someone says to me, ‘Live long and prosper,’ I seriously mean it when I say, ‘Get a life.’ My doctor's name is not McCoy, it's Ginsberg, and tribbles were puppets, not real animals, PUPPETS! And when I speak, I never, ever talk like every Word, Is, Its, Own, Sentence. I live in California, but I was raised in Montreal. And yes, I've gone where no man has gone before, but I was in Mexico and her father gave me permission! My name is William Shatner and I am Canadian!” William Shatner
Canadian actor William Shatner is widely famous for portraying James T. Kirk, the captain of the USS Enterprise, in the science fiction television series “Star Trek” from 1966 to 1969, “Star Trek: The Animated Series” from 1973 to 1974, and several “Star Trek” feature films. He won a Saturn Award for his performance in the second film, “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan,” (1982) and Razzie Awards for Worst Actor and Worst Director for “Star Trek V: The Final Frontier” (1989). Shatner is also recognized for his role of Denny Crane in the series “The Practice” (5 episodes, 2004) and its spin-off “Boston Legal” from 2004 2008. The actor picked up an Emmy Award for the first and Emmy and Golden Globe Awards for the latter. Shatner also played regular roles in “Barbary Coast,” (1975-1976), “T.J. Hooker” (1982-1985) and “$#*! My Dad Says” (2010-2011).
In 1983, Shatner was awarded a star on the Walk of Fame for his dedication to television. He also received the Life Career Award from the 1980 Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, an Award of Excellence at the 1994 Banff Television Festival, the 2003 ACTRA Montreal Award of Excellence, and the President's Award at the 2009 Nashville Film Festival, to list a few honors.
Shatner has been married four times. He has three kids from his first marriage to Gloria Rand. Currently, he is married to Elizabeth Shatner.
Childhood and Family:
William Alan Shatner was born on March 22, 1931, in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, to Joseph and Anne Shatner. As a child, he performed in Canadian Broadcasting Company radio productions. It was not long before he knew he wanted to become an actor, but due to his father's objection, he temporarily abandoned his dream and was a business major at McGill University. After earning his BA, he broke his promise to join his father's clothing firm in favor of working with the Canadian Repertory Company in Ottawa.
Mr. Shatner has been married four times. He was married to Gloria Rand from August 12, 1956, until March 4, 1969. The marriage produced three daughters, Leslie (born in 1958), Lisabeth (born in 1960) and Melanie (born in 1964) He then married Marcy Lafferty on October 20, 1973, but they divorced on December 11, 1996. On November 15, 1997, he married Nerine Kidd. He reportedly had filed for divorce in October of 1998, but reconciled before her death from an apparent drowning while swimming in the pool at their Los Angeles home on August 9, 1999. Shatner married his present wife, Elizabeth J Martin, on February 13, 2001. Shatner is also known by the nicknames The Shat, Bill and Billy.
Beginning his acting career in radio as a child, William Shatner did not work full time until after he graduated from college and performed at the Shakespearean Stratford Festival of Canada in Stratford, Ontario. He landed a minor role in “Oedipus Rex” and Shakespeare's “Henry V” before making his Broadway debut in Sir Tyrone Guthrie's production of “Tamburlaine the Great” (1956).
Shatner made his screen debut in the forgotten Canadian film “The Butler's Night Off” (1951). Three years later, he broke into the small screen as Ranger Bob in the series “Howdy Doody.” He went on to appear in many television shows throughout the 1950s, including “Encounter,” “Omnibus,” “Studio One in Hollywood,” “Alfred Hitchcock Presents,” “Kraft Theatre” and “The United States Steel Hour.” Between 1956 and 1957, Shatner starred in the NBC anthology series “The Kaiser Aluminum Hour,” which also featured a number of popular Hollywood actors of the era, including Paul Newman, Ralph Bellamy, MacDonald Carey, Hume Cronyn, Robert Culp, Kim Hunter, Forrest Tucker, Jack Warden and Natalie Wood.
In 1958, Shatner made his Hollywood feature debut as Alexi Karamazov in “The Brothers Karamazov,” starring Yul Brynner, Maria Schell and Claire Bloom. The film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Lee J. Cobb) and Cannes' Palme d'Or. Later that same year, he was cast in an episode of “Hallmark Hall of Fame” called “The Christmas Tree,” directed by Kirk Browning. Shatner returned to Broadway in 1959 in a production of “The World of Suzie Wong,” in which he earned respectable reviews for his performance.
In 1960, Shatner played Marc Antony in a British television version of Shakespeare's play “Julius Caesar,” opposite Michael Goodliffe, John Laurie and James Maxwell, and Wayne Gorham in a two part episode of NBC's “Outlaws” called “Starfall.” The next year, he scored his first leading role in a feature in “The Explosive Generation,” a drama directed by Buzz Kulik. 1961 also saw him play a supporting role in the Staenley Kramer directed drama “Judgment at Nuremberg,” starring Spencer Tracy, Burt Lancaster and Richard Widmark, and appear in two episodes of the NBC television series “Thriller.” In addition, he starred in a Broadway production of “A Shot in the Dark,” alongside Julie Harris, Walter Matthau and Gene Saks.
Shatner next starred as Adam Cramer in the Roger Corman film “The Intruder” (1962), opposite Frank Maxwell and Beverly Lunsford, had an unaccredited part in the 1963 film “Operation Bikini,” starring Tab Hunter, Frankie Avalon and Scott Brady, and worked with Paul Newman in the western “The Outrage” (1964), for director Martin Ritt. In 1963, he joined the cast of the ABC television series “77 Sunset Strip” in the role of Paul De Vinger. He went on to offer a notable guest appearance in an episode of “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” called “The Project Strigas Affair” (1964) before scoring his first series regular role in the critically acclaimed CBS drama “For the People” (1965), where he starred as obsessive New York City assistant district attorney David Koster. The show ran for 13 episodes from January 31 to May 9, 1965.
In 1966, Shatner appeared as Dr. Carl Noyes in five episodes of the Richard Chamberlain series “Dr. Kildare” and guest starred in episodes of “Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre” and “Gunsmoke.” The same year, he also returned to features as the star of the horror film “Incubus,” directed and written by Leslie Stevens. However, Shatner did not gain his big breakthrough until he won the starring role of Captain James T. Kirk on the science fiction series “Star Trek: The Original Series,” opposite Leonard Nimoy as Mr. Spock and DeForest Kelley as Dr. McCoy. Created by Gene Roddenberry, the show premiered on NBC on September 8, 1966, and quickly emerged as a cult favorite among college students and intellectuals. However, as the result of overall low ratings, NBC decided to cancel the show on June 3, 1969. The role later brought him TV Land nominations for Most Memorable Kiss (2006) and TV Moment That Became Headline News (2007), both of which he shared with Nichelle Nichols.
While working on “Star Trek,” Shatner starred in the television movie “Alexander the Great” (1968) and with Joseph Cotton in the western movie “White Comanche” (1968), where he portrayed the dual role of cowboy Johnny Moon and his ruthless Indian twin brother Notah. He also appeared as Peter Hoyt in an episode of “CBS Playhouse” called “Shadow Game” and starred as Chris Pardee in the TV film “The Skirts of Happy Chance” (both 1969). After the cancellation of the series, Shatner made a guest appearance as Henry Swann in the western series “The Virginian.”
Shatner appeared in episodes of numerous television shows during the first half of 1970s, such as “Medical Center,” “The F.B.I.,” “The Name of the Game,” “Men at Law,” “The Sixth Sense,” “Mission: Impossible,” “Hawaii Five-O,” “Owen Marshall: Counselor at Law,” “Marcus Welby, M.D.,” “Barnaby Jones,” “The Magician,” “The Six Million Dollar Man,” “Ironside,” “Kodiak,” “Police Story” and “Police Woman,” among other series, as well as in such TV movies as “Sole Survivor,” “The Andersonville Trial,” “Swing Out, Sweet Land,” “Vanished,” “The People,” “The Hound of the Baskervilles,” “Incident on a Dark Street” and “Go Ask Alice,” to list a few. In 1973, he returned as the voice of Captain Kirk in “Star Trek: The Animated Series,” which ran until October 1974. Shatner next played the regular role of Jeff Cable on the short lived ABC television series “Barbary Coast,” opposite Dennis Cole and Doug McClure. On the big screen, he starred alongside Ruth Roman and Jennifer Bishop in the horror film “Impulse” (1974) and Angie Dickinson and Tom Skerritt in “Big Bad Mama” (1974). He also supported Ernest Borgnine, Eddie Albert and Ida Lupino in the horror film “The Devil's Rain” (1975).
Between 1976 and 1979, Shatner portrayed characters in the TV films “Perilous Voyage,” “The Tenth Level,” “The Bastard,” “Crash,” “Riel” and “Disaster on the Coastliner” and appeared in the TV miniseries “Testimony of Two Men” and in episodes of “The Oregon Trail” and “Little Women.” He next appeared with Marty Allen, Richard Arlen and Abby Dalton in the film “A Whale of a Tale” (1977), starred as Dr. Robert 'Rack' Hansen in “Kingdom of the Spiders” (1977), costarred with Mel Tormé in the adventure film “Land of No Return” (1978) and teamed up with Colleen Dewhurst and Frank Moore in the dramatic film “The Third Walker” (1978). In 1979, Shatner reprised the role of Captain Kirk for the feature movie “Star Trek: The Motion Picture,” which was directed by Robert Wise. Distributed by Paramount Pictures, the film version received negative reviews from critics but earned nominations at the 1980 Academy Awards for Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Best Effects, Visual Effects and Best Music, Original Score.
Entering the 1980s, Shatner was cast as Jerry O'Connor in the movie “The Kidnapping of the President” (1980), opposite Hal Holbrook and Van Johnson, Dr. Jeff Benedict in the TV film “The Babysitter” (1980), opposite Patty Duke, Gary Baylor in the horror movie “Visiting Hours” (1982), starring Michael Ironside, Lee Grant and Linda Purl, and appeared in the film “Airplane II: The Sequel” (1982). He then directed his then-wife, Marcy Lafferty, in a Los Angeles production of “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” and narrated the syndicated series “This Was America” (both 1981).
The actor returned to the role of James T. Kirk in the film “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan” (1982), directed by Nicholas Meyer. The film received favorable reviews from critics and earned Shatner a Saturn for Best Actor for his performance. The film was also a success at the box office with a total of $97 million worldwide and created a world record for first day box office gross. He again played James T. Kirk in “Star Trek III: The Search for Spock” (1984). Directed by Leonard Nimoy, the third film earned generally positive reviews from critics and totaled $87 million worldwide against a budget of $16 million. For his performance in the film, Shatner was nominated for a Saturn for Best Actor.
Shatner returned to series television starring in “T.J. Hooker,” which was created by Rick Husky. The show ran on ABC from 1982 until 1985 and CBS from 1985 to 1986. In 1984, Shatner appeared in the TV film “Secrets of a Married Man” (1984), which he followed with a role in the television film “North Beach and Rawhide” in 1985. In 1986, Shatner again reprised the role of Captain Kirk in the film “Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home,” for director Leonard Nimoy. The film was received four Oscars nominations and Shatner gained a Best Actor Saturn nomination for his performance.
After narrating the TV film “The Trial of Standing Bear” and starring with Susan Blakely and Roxann Dawson in “Broken Angel” (both 1988), Shatner made his feature directing debut with “Star Trek V: The Final Frontier” (1989), from which he also reprised his role of Captain Kirk. The film received negative reviews from critics, was a box office disappointment and won Razzies for Worst Actor (Shatner), Worst Director and Worst Picture. Also in 1989, Shatner hosted the dramatic reenactment series “Rescue 911” and published his first novel, “TekWar.”
1991 saw Shatner co-host (with Leonard Nimoy) “The Star Trek 25th Anniversary Special” and play Captain James T. Kirk in the film “Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country,” which was directed by Nicholas Meyer. The film enjoyed strong success at the box office and garnered good reviews from critics. It was also nominated for Academy Awards for Best Makeup and Best Sound Effects and won a Saturn for Best Science Fiction Film. In 1993, he co-wrote the memoirs “Star Trek Memories.” The same year, he also hosted the first Annual “TekWar Symposium” and appeared in “Loaded Weapon 1,” an action film directed by Gene Quintano that starred Emilio Estevez, Samuel L. Jackson and Jon Lovitz.
In 1994, Shatner served as an executive producer on the TV films “TekWar” and “TekWar: TekLords,” where he also starred as Walter H. Bascom. He again played Walter H. Bascom in the TV films “TekWar: TekLab” and “TekWar: TekJustice” (both also 1994). The same year, he reprised the role of Captain Kirk in “Star Trek: Generations,” the seventh feature film based on the “Star Trek” television series. Despite mixed reviews from critics, the film performed well at the box office.
From 1995 to 1996, Shatner played the role of Walter H. Bascom in the television series version of “TekWar.” He also served as executive producer and directed episodes. In 1998, he parodied his image playing himself in the comedy film “Free Enterprise” and costarred with Jeff Speakman and Lisa Darr in the action film “Land of the Free.” In addition, Shatner was a narrator in the television series “A Twist in the Tale” (1999). Also in 1999, he began a recurring role in the NBC sitcom “3rd Rock from the Sun” and was nominated for an Emmy award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series for his performance in the episodes “Dick's Big Giant Headache Part I and II.”
The early 2000s found roles in such films as “Miss Congeniality” (2000), “Falcon Down” (2001), “Osmosis Jones” (2001, voice acting), “Shoot or Be Shot” (2002), “American Psycho II: All American Girl” (2002), “Groom Lake” (2002), “A Carol Christmas” (2003, TV) and “Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story” (2004). In 2004, he landed a recurring role as attorney Denny Crane on the David E. Kelley series “The Practice,” a role that brought him a 2004 Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series. He went on to reprise the role of Denny in the spin-off show “Boston Legal,” where he starred with James Spader, Candice Bergen, Rene Auberjonois and John Larroquette. The show ran from October 3, 2004, until December 8, 2008. For his good acting in the series, Shatner earned a 2005 Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series and another four Emmy nominations in the same category from 2006 to 2009. The role also brought him a 2005 Golden Globe award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television and a 2009 Prism Award for Best Performance in a Drama Episode.
In 2005, Shatner reprised his role of Stan Fields in the Sandra Bullock movie sequel “Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous.” The same year, he also portrayed Lucifer in the TV film “Last Laugh '05” and lent his voice to two episodes of “Atomic Betty.” The following year, Shatner's voice could be heard in the animated films “The Wild” and “Over the Hedge.” In 2007, he played Norman Kelly in the TV miniseries “Everest.”
After “Boston Legal” came to an end, Shatner starred as Dr. Edison Milford Goodson III in the CBS sitcom “$#*! My Dad Says,” alongside Jonathan Sadowski, Will Sasso, Nicole Sullivan and Tim Bagley. The show ran from September 23, 2010, to February 17, 2011. In 2010, Shatner also provided the voice of Core in the animated movie “Quantum Quest: A Cassini Space Odyssey” and hosted the TV comedy “Making a Scene.” In 2011, he guest starred as Juliet's father in an episode of “Psych.” He also had a cameo role in the 2011 animated film “Horrorween.”
Prism: Best Performance in a Drama Episode, “Boston Legal,” 2009
Nashville Film Festival: President's Award, “William Shatner's Gonzo Ballet,” 2009
Emmy: Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series, “Boston Legal,” 2005
Golden Globe: Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television, “Boston Legal,” 2005
Emmy: Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series, “The Practice,” 2004
ACTRA: ACTRA Montreal Award of Excellence, 2003
Temecula Valley International Film Festival: Lifetime Achievement Award, 2002
Banff Television Festival: Award of Excellence, 1994
Razzie: Worst Actor, “Star Trek V: The Final Frontier,” 1990
Razzie: Worst Director, “Star Trek V: The Final Frontier,” 1990
Saturn: Best Actor, “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan,” 1983
Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films: Life Career Award, 1980