Biography

With decades of adventures under his belt, Shatner really isn't that different from his legendary TV alter ego, Captain James Tiberius Kirk on the original Star Trek. Before he rocketed (literally) to fame, Shatner did Shakespeare on stage and a host of small-screen guest spots. When he signed on to play Kirk in 1966, it was just another gig. Its cult wasn't born until the 1970s, when the show found new life in syndication. ST spawned a multitude of movies, small-screen spin-offs, books and conventions, thanks in part to Shatner, who played Kirk in seven ST films between 1979-1994. Shatner did take on other projects, including a starring role on the cop series T.J. Hooker and a stint as host of Rescue 911. Yet Shatner and Kirk remained inextricably linked and soon the actor embraced his campy place in pop culture, spoofing his image in myriad TV shows, recordings, books, even a series of commercials for Priceline.com. At age 73, Shatner reinvented himself yet again with a recurring role as a nutty attorney on the last season of The Practice, which snagged him his first Emmy in 2004 and another in 2005 for playing the same part in the spin-off Boston Legal. In his spare time, Shatner is an avid horseman, and started the Hollywood Charity Horse Show in 1990.

Fast Facts

  • Began acting career as a child on Canadian radio.
  • Made Broadway debut in Tamburlaine the Great (1956).
  • Made film debut in The Brothers Karamazov (1958).
  • Early TV career included memorable episodic turns on The Twilight Zone's "Nick of Time" (11/18/60) and "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet" (10/11/63), and The Man from U.N.C.L.E.'s "The Project Strigas Affair" (11/24/64) with future Star Trek costar Leonard Nimoy.
  • Shared TV's first interracial kiss on the Star Trek episode "Plato's Stepchildren" (11/22/68) with Nichelle Nichols, who played Lt. Uhura.
  • Mask of killer Michael Myers in the original Halloween (1978) was a likeness of his Star Trek character, Captain Kirk, painted white.
  • Title of his memoir Get a Life! (1999) was derived from a 1986 Saturday Night Live skit spoofing fans of Star Trek.
  • Varied (and much spoofed) music career includes cult classic The Transformed Man (1968), featuring unique covers of "Mr. Tambourine Man" and "Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds," and Has Been (2004), with Ben Folds, Aimee Mann, Henry Rollins and others.
  • Made several talked-about appearances reading Sarah Palin's speeches as beat poetry on The Tonight Show With Conan O'Brien in 2009.

Awards

  • 2004, Emmy — Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series: Winner
  • 2006, Emmy — Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series: Nominee
  • 2005, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television: Winner
  • 2008, Emmy — Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series: Nominee
  • 2009, Emmy — Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series: Nominee
  • 2004, CMT Music Awards — Flameworthy Cameo of the Year: Winner
  • 2005, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series: Nominee
  • 2007, Emmy — Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series: Nominee
  • 2008, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television: Nominee
  • 2008, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series: Nominee
  • 2005, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series: Nominee
  • 2007, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series: Nominee
  • 2008, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series: Nominee
  • 1999, Emmy — Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series: Nominee
  • 2005, Emmy — Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series: Winner
  • 2006, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series: Nominee

Relationships

  • Elizabeth Martin — Wife
  • Marcy Lafferty — Ex-wife
  • Nerine Kidd — Wife (deceased)
  • Anne Shatner — Mother
  • Joseph Shatner — Father
  • Melanie Shatner — Daughter
  • Gloria Rand — Ex-wife
  • Leslie Shatner — Daughter
  • Lisabeth Shatner — Daughter

College

  • Attended McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Details

  • Birth Name: William Alan Shatner
  • Birth Place: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
  • Birthday: March 22, 1931, Aries
  • Profession: Actor, Director, Producer, Writer
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