(written from a Production point of view)
William Shatner, OC (born 22 March 1931; age 90), an Emmy Award-winning Canadian actor, became most famous for portraying Captain James T. Kirk of the starship USS Enterprise in all 79 aired episodes of Star Trek: The Original Series, 21 of the 22 episodes of Star Trek: The Animated Series, and the first seven Star Trek movies. He also directed and co-wrote the story for Star Trek V: The Final Frontier. His image also appeared in Star Trek Beyond, in a photograph that was among Spock's possessions bequeathed to his alternate reality counterpart.
In addition, Shatner appeared indirectly (through archive footage) in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "Trials and Tribble-ations" and his archive voice-over was used in the Star Trek: Enterprise fourth season episode "These Are the Voyages...". He has also voiced the role of Kirk in a number of video games and he is the credited author for a series of Star Trek novels involving Kirk, the first of which was The Ashes of Eden. (His primary "ghost" writers are Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens.)
Outside of the Star Trek franchise, Shatner is well-known for his roles on several other television shows, including Bob Wilson in the "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet" episode of The Twilight Zone, the title character on the 1980s police drama series T.J. Hooker, and his Emmy Award-winning portrayal of famed attorney Denny Crane on the ABC drama The Practice and its spin-off, Boston Legal. He is also remembered for hosting the informational program Rescue 911 from 1989 through 1996 and is currently recognized as the official spokesperson for Priceline.com, having appeared in advertisements for the company since 1998. Prior to his work on Star Trek, he starred in Incubus, one of a handful of movies to be filmed entirely in the constructed language known as Esperanto.
In 2021, Shatner was a passenger on private spacecraft company Blue Origin's second human spaceflight, NS-18, becoming the oldest human ever to fly into space.
- 1 Biography
- 2 Early career
- 3 Playing James T. Kirk
- 4 Post-TOS career
- 5 Musical career
- 6 Book writing
- 7 Other projects and appearances
- 8 Notes
- 9 Appearances as Kirk
- 10 Star Trek interviews
- 11 External links
Shatner was born in the Notre-Dame-de-Grâce neighborhood of Montreal, Quebec, Canada, to a Conservative Jewish household. A native English speaker, he is also fluent in French.
He received a Bachelor of Commerce degree from McGill University in Montreal, where the Student Center was unofficially renamed "The Shatner Center" in the 1990s in a student popular election. As of 2014, a flimsy sign was hanging in the lobby, but the university administration had not officially accepted the name change.
Famous for his clipped, dramatic, and often imitated narration and dialogue delivery, Shatner has become one of the most recognizable stars in Hollywood. In a career spanning five decades, he has become a household name not only for his role as James T. Kirk, but also for playing T.J. Hooker in the series of the same name, the host of Rescue 911, and for his Emmy Award-winning role as legendary but senile lawyer Denny Crane on Boston Legal. He is also an accomplished writer, producer, director and host. On 14 December 2006, Shatner was inducted into the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame for his many accomplishments in the field of television.
Shatner has three daughters: Leslie, Lisabeth, and Melanie. All are from his first marriage to Gloria Rand, whom Shatner married in 1956 but divorced in 1969, following the cancellation of Star Trek. Shatner subsequently married actress Marcy Lafferty in 1973. Shatner and Lafferty remained together until their divorce in 1994. Shatner then married Nerine Kidd in 1997, but this marriage ended tragically with Kidd's death in a drowning accident in 1999.
He is currently married to Elizabeth Martin, who shares Shatner's passion for horses. They live together in Los Angeles, California. In his spare time, he plays paintball and tennis and is a professional horse breeder. In this latter profession, he founded the annual Hollywood Charity Horse Show in 1990, which he continues to host.
Shatner has been awarded the Order of Canada, one of the highest civilian honors in the country, and has received two Emmys for his work on Boston Legal. He is also commemorated on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Canada's Walk of Fame in Toronto, and has two honorary degrees to his name from McGill University and the New England Institute of Technology. On 29 April 2014, Shatner received NASA's highest civilian honor, the Distinguished Public Service medal. 
Shatner began his screen acting career in Canadian films and television productions, including the role of Ranger Bob during the first year of the popular children's show Howdy Doody. He was also seen in a 1952 episode of Omnibus with future Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country co-star Christopher Plummer, who also hails from Montreal. In fact, Shatner would eventually be Plummer's understudy at the Stratford Shakespearan Festival's 1956 production of Henry V, where Shatner had to take Plummer's role for a performance when he was ill, giving the younger actor his major break in his career.
One of Shatner's earliest American television appearances was a 1956 episode of The Kaiser Aluminum Hour called "Gwyneth," in which he co-starred with Joanne Linville, who played the title role. Shatner later reunited with Linville in episodes of The United States Steel Hour and The Defenders before co-starring together in the Star Trek episode "The Enterprise Incident".
Shatner ultimately landed several guest roles on the TV series Studio One in 1957. His first appearance on that program was in a 1957 two-parter entitled "The Defender" (featuring Ian Wolfe), which served as the basis for the aforementioned TV show The Defenders, on which Shatner had a recurring role (albeit as a different character than the one he played on Studio One). The following year, Shatner landed his first American film role, playing Alexi Karamazov in 1958's The Brothers Karamazov. Among his co-stars in this film were future TOS guest stars David Opatoshu and Harry Townes.
On Broadway, Shatner performed with his future "Elaan of Troyius" co-star France Nuyen in The World of Suzie Wong, with Nuyen playing the title role. This play ran for a total of 508 performances from 14 October 1958 through 2 January 1960. Shatner's performance won him a Theatre World Award in 1959. He and Nuyen performed an excerpt from the play on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1958. His next Broadway play was the comedy A Shot in the Dark, which ran for 389 performances between October 1961 and September 1962. Fritz Weaver joined the cast late in the run, replacing actor Walter Matthau.
In the meantime Shatner continued co-starring with a number of future Star Trek guest-stars in several popular American television programs throughout the 1950s and '60s, including Playhouse 90 (with James Gregory), Kraft Television Theatre (with Richard Kiley), Outlaws (with John Anderson, John Hoyt, and Ken Lynch), Naked City (with Theodore Bikel and Lou Antonio), The Dick Powell Show (with Frank Overton), The Nurses (with Stephen Brooks and Madlyn Rhue), 77 Sunset Strip (with Brian Keith), Route 66 (with Glenn Corbett and Louise Sorel), Burke's Law (with Michael Ansara and Bill Catching), The Outer Limits (with Lawrence Montaigne, James B. Sikking, and Malachi Throne), Twelve O'Clock High (with Robert Lansing, Frank Overton, and Bert Remsen), and The Big Valley (with Bill Quinn and Jason Wingreen). He even appeared along with his future co-star Leonard Nimoy in a 1964 episode of The Man from U.N.C.L.E. called "The Project Strigas Affair." He also appeared with George Takei (as well as Keye Luke and Abraham Sofaer) on Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre that same year.
Other popular TV shows Shatner appeared on during this time include Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Thriller, The Fugitive, Gunsmoke, and The Virginian. He also had a recurring role as Dr. Carl Noyes on Dr. Kildare in early 1966, during which he co-starred with Bruce Hyde and Diana Muldaur – both of whom he was reunited with on Star Trek. Most notably, however, he starred in two episodes of The Twilight Zone, both written by Richard Matheson, including the famous "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet", in which he played Bob Wilson, a man released from a mental hospital who seemingly suffers a relapse aboard an airliner after seeing a creature on the plane's wing.
Shatner also continued acting in films during the 1960s. In 1961, he appeared as Captain Harrison Byers, the aide to Judge Dan Haywood, in the classic Academy Award-winning drama Judgment at Nuremberg with future TOS guest actor Rudy Solari. That same year, he had the starring role as a revolutionary and controversial high school teacher in The Explosive Generation, and the following year he starred as a bigot in the Roger Corman classic The Intruder (with George Clayton Johnson). He then appeared as a preacher in 1964's The Outrage (co-starring Paul Fix).
1965's low budget horror film Incubus stars Shatner. The film was believed to be lost for some years, until a copy was found in France. Its main point of interest, other than Shatner's starring role is that it is entirely filmed in Esperanto, a constructed language, which has very rarely been used onscreen. The pronunciation of the language by the actors has been criticized by fluent speakers; Shatner's has been compared to Montreal French.
In 1968, while Star Trek was still in production, he starred in the dual role of brothers Johnny Moon and Notah in the Western White Comanche. He also did a television movie entitled Perilous Voyage in 1968, again working alongside Louise Sorel. For unknown reasons, NBC sat on this film for eight years, not airing it until 29 July 1976.
Shatner's first television series, the crime drama For the People, aired in 1965 but failed to gain the attention needed to keep it on the air past the initial thirteen episodes. Also in 1965, Shatner played the title role in a pilot, Alexander the Great, which co-starred Robert Fortier and featured music by Leonard Rosenman. However, the pilot was not picked up for a series. (It was finally aired on television in 1968.) Fortunately, however, Shatner gained a new opportunity for stardom when, that same year, he starred as Captain James Tiberius Kirk in the second pilot for a show by Gene Roddenberry called Star Trek, "Where No Man Has Gone Before".
Playing James T. Kirk
Stardom was not immediate for Shatner or the rest of the Star Trek cast. Ratings for the series were low and, after only three years, resulted in its cancellation in 1969. But that same year, the Apollo 11 moon landing transformed the vision of interplanetary travel from fantasy to a more realistic possibility. Star Trek reruns gained new popularity and thrust Shatner and the cast into television immortality.
By 1973 Star Trek had gained an extensive amount of popularity thanks to reruns. There was such a high demand for more Star Trek that a new animated series was put together, reuniting most of the original cast members to lend their voices to their now famous characters. The series lasted for two seasons, with Shatner voicing Captain Kirk in all but one of the 22 episodes. Although the animated series came to an end in 1974, Trek had still not died; pre-production began on a new, live-action Star Trek series in 1977. Although this new series was never made, it resulted in the first Trek feature film, Star Trek: The Motion Picture, in 1979. And, for the first time in ten years, Shatner was back, in the flesh, in the role that had made him famous.
Shatner continued playing the Kirk character through the next six features, concluding with his character's demise in 1994's Star Trek Generations. Although Shatner enjoyed working on the film, he later displayed regret at having Kirk killed off and commenced to look for the opportunity to once again play the legendary Starfleet captain, although he did play him during a pre-Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country period for video cutscenes along with Walter Koenig and George Takei for Interplay's Starfleet Academy in 1997. He did not appear in 2009's Star Trek, however. 
In 2006, a commercial for DirectTV aired in which Shatner reprises his role as Captain Kirk, complete with a Trek film Starfleet uniform. The commercial takes place during the events of Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country but it has Kirk stepping out of character to promote DirectTV.
Shatner has also reprised the role of Kirk – albeit, in voice over only – for the video game Star Trek: Legacy. Also giving voice to their respective captains in this game are Patrick Stewart (Jean-Luc Picard), Avery Brooks (Benjamin Sisko), Kate Mulgrew (Kathryn Janeway), and Scott Bakula (Jonathan Archer).
Shatner has been contacted about a possible role in Star Trek Beyond. Along with Shatner, Leonard Nimoy was also rumored to appear before his death in 2015, in a scene with Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto, as the future alternate reality versions of the characters. 
In the aftermath of Star Trek's cancellation Shatner continued to work steadily in film and television; because his marriage to Gloria Rand had failed, he was no longer living to pursue his career as a direct result, but instead pursuing his career to live. The year after Trek's apparent demise, Shatner starred in the made-for-TV movies Sole Survivor (which also featured a former Star Trek co-star, John Winston) and The Andersonville Trial (with John Anderson, Harry Townes, Whit Bissell, Robert Easton, Dick Miller, Kenneth Tobey, and Ian Wolfe). He also made guest appearances in such shows as The F.B.I. (with Lawrence Montaigne), The Name of the Game (with William Smithers), Storefront Lawyers (with Robert Foxworth), Ironside (with Gene Lyons, Barbara Anderson, Roger C. Carmel, Barry Atwater, and Robert Ito), The Sixth Sense (written by Gene L. Coon), Mission: Impossible (with Barbara Anderson), Barnaby Jones (with Darleen Carr, Vince Howard, and Lee Meriwether), Mannix (with Yvonne Craig and Phillip Pine), The Six Million Dollar Man (with Alan Oppenheimer), Kung Fu (with Rosemary Forsyth, Keye Luke, and France Nuyen), Petrocelli (with Glenn Corbett, Susan Howard, David Huddleston, and Susan Oliver), and Police Story (with Dean Stockwell).
In 1971 he co-starred with Barry Atwater, Robert Hooks, and Michael Strong in the TV movie Vanished and with Bruce Davison in the pilot movie for Owen Marshall, Counsellor at Law. The following year, he was reunited with his "Miri" co-star Kim Darby in the science fiction telefilm The People. He also co-starred with Anthony Zerbe in the TV version of the Sherlock Holmes adventure The Hound of the Baskervilles. He had several more TV movie credits throughout the 1970s, including Incident on a Dark Street (1973, with Robert Pine), Horror at 37,000 Feet (1973, with Darleen Carr, France Nuyen, and Paul Winfield), Indict and Convict (1974, with Susan Howard), The Tenth Level (1975, with Stephen Macht), Columbo: Fade in to Murder (1976, with his former Trek co-star Walter Koenig), The Bastard (1978, with Kim Cattrall, John Colicos, John de Lancie, William Daniels, James Gregory, and Alex Henteloff), Little Women (1978, also with John de Lancie), Crash (1978, co-starring Adrienne Barbeau, Ron Glass, George Murdock, and then-wife Marcy Lafferty), and Riel (1979, with Christopher Plummer).
In 1975 Shatner became the star of another series, a Western comedy-drama called Barbary Coast. However, the series was canceled after its first season. Afterward, Shatner starred in two TV mini-series, both of which co-starred fellow Star Trek performers: 1977's Testimony of Two Men, with Theodore Bikel, Jeff Corey, John de Lancie, and Logan Ramsey, and How the West Was Won, with Robert DoQui, Fionnula Flanagan, Brian Keith, Ed Lauter, Ricardo Montalban, George D. Wallace, and Morgan Woodward.
During this time, Shatner appeared in a three cult feature films: the very adult 1974 action film Big Bad Mama, co-starring Dick Miller and Noble Willingham, the 1975 horror movie The Devil's Rain, and the 1977 sci-fi/horror picture Kingdom of the Spiders, co-starring wife Marcy Lafferty. Another movie from the 1970s was titled Want a Ride, Little Girl? This film, also called Impulse and I Love to Kill, and in which he again co-starred with wife Lafferty, has been so critically condemned that Shatner himself has come forward and said that it was a "bad time" for him, and he has also denied being able to remember why he agreed to join its cast.
Unlike many actors who have become identified to specific characters in film and television, Shatner has been able to escape typecasting and continued to find roles outside the realm of Trek which have also been popular; this is due at least in part to, as having been pointed out above, his having pursued his career to live rather than his living to pursue his career. From 1982 to 1986, he starred in the title role of T.J. Hooker, a hard-boiled police officer. That series also starred Star Trek: Voyager guest star Richard Herd and frequent Star Trek: Deep Space Nine guest star James Darren. (Shatner later reunited with Richard Herd for a 1994 episode of seaQuest DSV.)
It was during the 1980s that Shatner began an acting trend that lasts to this day: making fun of himself and of his role as Captain Kirk, the popularity of which he had trouble understanding. An early example of this came with his role as Lunar Base Commander Buck Murdock in the 1982 spoof Airplane II: The Sequel, which had him poke fun at many of the quirks and mannerisms of Kirk and Star Trek in general. (Marcy Lafferty also appeared in the film, as did Bruce French.)
In 1986 Shatner hosted Saturday Night Live and took part in an infamous sketch in which he told Star Trek fans to "get a life!" The appearance later became the subject of an autobiographical account by Shatner, chronicling his relationship with the Star Trek fandom.
Outside of Star Trek, Shatner continued to act in Canadian-made films (such as 1980's The Kidnapping of the President and 1982's Visiting Hours) and American-made TV movies (such as 1988's Broken Angel, with Roxann Dawson and Brock Peters). In 1989 Shatner became the host of the popular documentary series Rescue 911, which lasted from 1989 to 1996.
It was in the 1980s that Shatner geared towards directing. In 1989 having already directed multiple episodes of T.J. Hooker, Shatner directed Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, for which he also co-wrote the story. This came as part of a deal made between him and co-star Leonard Nimoy several years earlier; Nimoy was able to direct two earlier Trek films only if Shatner was also allowed the opportunity to direct one later. The result was lukewarm, earning negative criticism and low box office proceeds. Nonetheless, Shatner was not deterred and continued directing for television and for films he had written.
1990s and 2000s
Continuing his trend towards "lampooning" himself Shatner starred as the villain in yet another spoof, National Lampoon's Loaded Weapon 1, in 1993. James Doohan also made a gag appearance in his beloved role of Scotty (albeit, as a 20th century police officer in charge of repairing the police station's cappuccino machine), while F. Murray Abraham, Whoopi Goldberg, and Charles Napier also had cameos.
Loaded Weapon 1 was followed in 1998 with the popular Free Enterprise (written/produced by Mark A. Altman and directed/co-written by Robert Meyer Burnett), a Star Trek-themed black comedy in which Shatner played a caricature of himself named, aptly enough, "Bill." He is currently set to film a sequel to Free Enterprise. reprising his role as "Bill."
In 1998 Shatner became the spokesperson for "Priceline.com." The earliest of this company's commercials, in which Shatner strummed a guitar and spoke "songs" advertising Priceline in front of a bemused audience, gained much notoriety and earned him somewhat of a come-back in show business. He continues to perform for Priceline commercials, which he at first did in voiceover. More recently, he has been seen as the "Priceline Negotiator." He did appear in two Priceline.com commercials with Leonard Nimoy as well, and one with Robert Pine.
In 1999 and 2000 Shatner had a recurring role as "The Big Giant Head" (aka Stone Phillips) in the sitcom 3rd Rock from the Sun. This role led to the actor's first Emmy nomination, that of Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series, in 1999.
In 2000, Shatner appeared in the popular comedy Miss Congeniality as Stan Fields, the aging host of the Miss United States Pageant. This role ultimately led to Shatner becoming the host of the real thing – the 50th Annual Miss USA Pageant – in 2001. Also in 2001, Shatner lent his voice as Mayor Phlemming in the combination animated/live action hit comedy Osmosis Jones with Rif Hutton and Herschel Sparber lending their voices as well. Shatner reprised his role as Stan Fields in the 2005 sequel, Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous opposite Diedrich Bader and Enrique Murciano. Continuing his experience as a master of ceremonies, Shatner was the chairman for the 2001 specials Iron Chef USA and Iron Chef USA: Holiday Showdown. In late 2006, he hosted the short-lived ABC game show Show Me The Money.
Shatner's popularity has also earned him cameos in such films as Showtime (in which he spoofs his T.J. Hooker character as well as himself) and Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story in which he played the chancellor of the dodgeball tournament. Shatner later made an appearance in the 2008 comedy film Fanboys, which also featured Christopher McDonald in a supporting role. Additionally, Shatner has lent his voice to a number of animated films, including Osmosis Jones (2001) and Over the Hedge (2006). In Shooting Stars (aka Shoot or be Shot, 2002), he played a deranged script writer; the film also features Voyager and Enterprise actress Julianne Christie.
In 2002 Shatner and the rest of the original Trek cast (minus DeForest Kelley and James Doohan) lent their voices to their animated selves in a popular episode of Futurama called "Where No Fan Has Gone Before." That same year, Shatner wrote, directed, and co-starred in the independent science fiction film Groom Lake. Also starring in the film were fellow Trek performers Dan Gauthier and Tom Towles.
Shatner voices the sun's core in the 2010 computer-animated film Quantum Quest. The film's main protagonist, a photon named Dave, is voiced by Chris Pine, who stars in 2009's Star Trek as an alternate-continuum incarnation of James Kirk, the role whose "Prime Continuum" incarnation Shatner originated in the 1960s. Also lending their voices to Quantum Quest are Star Trek alumni Jason Alexander, Robert Picardo, and Brent Spiner.  
Shatner later starred on the CBS sitcom $#*! My Dad Says (pronounced "bleep"), based on Justin Halpern's popular Twitter feed. But that program's run was short; it was cancelled without completing its only season.
Denny Crane and Boston Legal
In 2004 Shatner made his debut as legendary but eccentric attorney Denny Crane on The Practice, earning an Emmy Award as Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series. He reprised the role of Crane in the spin-off series Boston Legal, which also starred former DS9 cast member Rene Auberjonois. For the last two seasons of the show, Auberjonois was replaced by Shatner's Star Trek III co-star, John Larroquette, although Auberjonois made continued recurring appearances.
Shatner won another Emmy for playing Denny Crane in 2005, this time as Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series, for his work on Boston Legal. He received another Emmy nomination for the role in 2006, although he did not win. He was awarded a fourth Emmy nomination for playing Denny Crane and his third nomination in the category of Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series in 2007. The award, however, ultimately went to Terry O'Quinn for his role in J.J. Abrams' Lost. In 2008, Shatner was again nominated for an Emmy Award for Boston Legal.
In 2005, Shatner won the Golden Globe as Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television for Boston Legal. In 2007 Shatner was nominated for a second Golden Globe.
Shatner starred as Denny Crane on ABC's Boston Legal for four years, from 2004 through 2008. The series ran for its fifth and final season in the fall of 2008, with the two-hour series finale airing 8 December 2008. Because of Shatner's involvement, the writers of the show often threw in puns and in-jokes related to Star Trek, usually delivered by Shatner himself.
Besides former series regular Rene Auberjonois and more recent regular John Larroquette (whom Shatner worked with on Star Trek III: The Search for Spock), other Trek performers with whom Shatner has worked on the show include Henry Gibson (as a peculiar judge whom Denny Crane refers to as "nansy-pansy" and "namby-pamby"), Joanna Cassidy (who played Denny's lover and his brief eighth wife), and the aforementioned Jeri Ryan (as an actress with whom Denny, of course, becomes infatuated). DS9 actor Armin Shimerman also had a recurring role, as did Ethan Phillips of Voyager fame, although neither shared scenes with Shatner. Scott Bakula had a guest spot on the series, as well but he also did not share any scenes with Shatner.
Between 1967 and 1970 both William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy recorded covers of famous songs for MCA, which were later collected in the album "Spaced Out: The Best of Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner."
Shatner is also famous (or infamous) for his rendition of the Beatles song "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds," as well as his spoken word cover of Elton John's "Rocket Man (I Think It's Gonna Be A Long Long Time);" both were featured on an album titled The Transformed Man.
"William Shatner Live" was released in 1977, and includes references to the then upcoming Star Trek film.
In 2004, he returned to his musical career with a new album, titled Has Been, produced by musician Ben Folds, who previously worked with Shatner on his own first solo album, Fear of Pop. The lead track Common People is a cover of a Pulp song, but much of the other content is co-written by Shatner himself. It features guest performers such as Joe Jackson, Lemon Jelly and Henry Rollins.
Exodus: An Oratorio in Three Parts features Shatner doing a Biblical reading, accompanied by the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra.
2011's Seeking Major Tom is an album of cover versions, mostly themed around science fiction, or space, with some exceptions, such as his version of Bohemian Rhapsody. There is one song by Shatner, co-written with Adam Hamilton, called Struggle.
In 2013, he released Ponder the Mystery, which features guest appearances from the likes of Mick Jones of the Clash, Rick Wakeman, and Tony Kaye of Yes.
Following the death of Kirk in Star Trek Generations, Shatner has written, with the assistance of Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens, as stated above, a set of nine novels, chronicling the resurrection and subsequent adventures of Kirk in the 24th century. His tenth novel, Star Trek: Academy - Collision Course, shows his own views of how the Star Trek universe began.
He has also written a series of novels called TekWar. These novels, for which one of his inspirations was Marie Winn's book The Plug-In Drug, ultimately became the basis for a TV series and a number of telefilms, which Shatner himself directed, starred in, and served as executive producer. There was also a comic series titled TekWorld, inspired by his writings.
Other projects and appearances
Shatner appeared on the USA Network's and the World Wrestling Federation's Monday Night RAW to promote TekWar, where he was involved in an altercation with Jerry "The King" Lawler. Shatner personally inducted Lawler into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2007. He later guest hosted the February 1, 2009 episode of RAW, which included a segment with Trek alumnus the Big Show.
Shatner participated in the 2001 Star Trek Edition of the game show Weakest Link, along with LeVar Burton, Denise Crosby, Roxann Dawson, John de Lancie, Robert Picardo, Armin Shimerman, and Wil Wheaton. He lost, but not before showing host Anne Robinson what his Trek character was most "known" for: his way with women.
Shatner opened the AFI Lifetime Achievement Award ceremony for Star Wars creator George Lucas on June 9, 2005, beginning the segment with "Star Trek changed everything."
In 2005, Shatner starred in the reality mini-series, Invasion Iowa, which took place in Riverside, Iowa, the future birthplace of James T. Kirk. In addition, Shatner hosted two specials for The History Channel in 2006, Comets: Prophets of Doom and How William Shatner Changed the World.
In August 2006, Shatner was the guest of honor at the Comedy Central Roast of William Shatner. His chair of honor was his captain's chair from the original Enterprise. This event was hosted by "roastmaster" Jason Alexander (a huge Star Trek fan and one-time Voyager guest star who credits Shatner as an inspiration for his becoming an actor) and had a number of comedians (including another one-time Voyager guest, Andy Dick) taking jabs at Shatner, joking about his life and career. Among the "roastees" were Shatner's TOS co-stars Nichelle Nichols and George Takei, while Trek alumni Clint Howard (reprising his role as Balok, now middle-aged and addicted to tranya) and Sarah Silverman left recorded messages for Shatner. In attendance at the event were Shatner's Boston Legal co-stars Rene Auberjonois and Mark Valley, TNG actor Brent Spiner, and Voyager actress Jeri Ryan. In September 2011 Shatner followed up on his appearance in the Comedy Central Roast of Charlie Sheen, this time as one of the roasters. This outing was hosted by "roastmaster" Seth MacFarlane. MacFarlane, an unapologetic "Trekkie" himself and having missed out on Shatner's own roast, made use of the opportunity to take several swings at the illustrious Star Trek actor after all.
Since his own roast, Shatner has appeared in two music videos with Jason Alexander for country music star Brad Paisley – "Celebrity" and "Online". Both have referenced his singing career and "Online" also has several Star Trek references. In the latter, Shatner plays Alexander's father, while Voyager guest-star Estelle Harris plays his mother, as she memorably did on Seinfeld.
Shatner currently hosts his own offbeat celebrity interview show for A&E Television's revamped "Bio" channel entitled Shatner's Raw Nerve, which premiered on 2 December 2008. Among the guests he has interviewed so far are his Star Trek co-star Leonard Nimoy and TNG guest star Kelsey Grammer.
In addition, Shatner made frequent appearances on NBC's The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien. He first appeared as a guest on the show, but he has since made cameos to recite the resignation speech and the Twitter posts of former Alaska governor Sarah Palin as though they were poetry. Most recently, he recited quotes from Levi Johnston, the father of Palin's grandson.
Shatner is also featured in the introductory video for Conan O'Brien's "In the Year 3000" segment. In the video, Shatner's disembodied head "floats" across the screen while introducing the segment: "It's almost like a cosmic ride into the millennium. That far-off reality that is the year 3000. It's the future man." In the 13 November 2009 episode, the video was altered to include Shatner's TOS co-star George Takei, who destroys Shatner's head by firing "phasers" from his eyes and "photon torpedoes" from his mouth. After destroying Shatner's head, Takei remarks "Mmm, delicious!" and laughs maniacally.
In February 2011, Shatner appeared in an episode of the History Chanel series American Pickers where he and his wife asked the show's stars Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz to find items for their new Kentucky vacation house.
In 2009, Shatner produced and starred in a film called William Shatner's Gonzo Ballet, a documentary about a ballet set to his album Has Been, which was produced by Ben Folds. The award-winning film received critical acclaim and had a successful film festival run. The film had a multi-platform television premiere in July 2011 through EPIX, a joint venture between Paramount Pictures, Lions Gate, and MGM.
In 2017, Shatner guest-starred in an episode of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, entitled "The Perfect Pear", where he voiced the character of Grand Pear, the maternal grandfather of Applejack. Prior to the airing of the episode, Shatner had teased his role through a number of Twitter posts. He also proclaimed himself a "Brony" in 2016, and went on to state that the character of Rainbow Dash was his favorite.
The same year featured Shatner cast alongside fellow iconic 1960s television actor Adam West, as Two-Face and Batman respectively in the animated film Batman vs. Two-Face. The film also featured Julie Newmar and Lee Meriwether, who co-starred with both actors in their respective series'.
In 2021, private spaceflight company Blue Origin announced that Shatner would be a passenger on its second human flight, NS-18. The flight was originally scheduled for 12 October 2021, and (after a day's weather delay) launched on 13 October 2021. Shatner, then 90 years old, became the oldest human to go to space (in the process belying his alter ego's "galloping about the cosmos is a game for the young" quote in The Wrath of Khan),   as well as becoming the very first major Star Trek contributor, be it cast or production crew, to do so – alive that is, as the ashes of both Gene Roddenberry and James Doohan were spent into space after their respective deaths. But Shatner is, strictly speaking, not the very first (living) Star Trek-affiliated person to go into space, as three real-world astronauts with actual cameo appearances (as opposed to those only featured in utilized archival footage) in live-action Star Trek under their belt, had already preceded him, as had Blue Origin owner Jeff Bezos incidentally, on his company's 20 July 2021 first human flight NS-16; "Trekkie" Bezos has had a cameo role in Star Trek Beyond.
- The Ashes of Eden
- The Return
- Dark Victory
- Captain's Peril
- Captain's Blood
- Captain's Glory
- Academy: Collision Course
- Academy: Third Class
- Get a Life!
- Leonard: My Fifty-Year Friendship with a Remarkable Man
- Shatner: Where No Man...
- Shatner Rules
- Star Trek Memories
- Star Trek Movie Memories
- Up Till Now: The Autobiography
- Other non-fiction
- I'm Working on That
- Spirit of the Horse: A Celebration of Fact and Fable
- How William Shatner Changed the World
- Mind Meld: Secrets Behind the Voyage of a Lifetime
- The Captains
- The Captains Close Up
- William Shatner Presents: Chaos on the Bridge
- William Shatner's Star Trek Memories
- Star Trek: 25th Anniversary
- Star Trek: Encounters as Kirk
- Star Trek: Judgment Rites as Kirk
- Star Trek: Legacy as Kirk
- Star Trek: Tactical Assault as Kirk
- "How Insensitive" / "Transformed Man" (Decca Records, 1969)
- The Transformed Man (Decca Records, 1969)
- Spaced Out
- Has Been
- William Shatner – Live! (Lemli Records, 1977)
- Captain of the Starship (K-Tel Records, 1978)
- Reissue of "Live!" album.
- Shatner once bought a horse from the father-in-law of Scott Bakula, who played Captain Jonathan Archer on Star Trek: Enterprise.
- Shatner suffers from tinnitus, along with the late Leonard Nimoy, reportedly due to a special effect explosion on the set of the Star Trek episode "Arena".  Shatner has since then become involved with the American Tinnitus Association. 
- On 28 March 2013, a humorous advertisement for the Star Trek video game depicted Shatner "fighting" a Gorn in a parody of this episode. 
- Actor John Lithgow, whom Shatner worked with on 3rd Rock from the Sun, essentially played Shatner's character from the Twilight Zone episode "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet" when it was remade for Twilight Zone: The Movie in 1983. A reference to this was made in an episode of 3rd Rock in which Shatner played role of "The Big Giant Head". When asked how his flight was, Shatner's character explained that it was horrifying: "I looked out the window… and I saw something on the wing of the plane!" to which Lithgow exclaimed, "The same thing happened to me!"
- Several costumes worn by Shatner were sold off on the It's A Wrap! sale and auction on eBay, including a grey jumpsuit from Star Trek: The Motion Picture  and a white undershirt. 
- Shatner is referenced in The Canadian Conspiracy mockumentary (1985) and the satirical movie Canadian Bacon (1995) in a list of Canadians supposedly trying to take over the USA by infiltrating its media. If Geneviève Bujold had been kept for the role of Kathryn Janeway, then he would have been one of two Montreal natives to have played a Star Trek captain.
Appearances as Kirk
Shatner appeared as Kirk in
- Star Trek: The Original Series: every episode except for "The Cage"
- Star Trek: The Animated Series: every episode except for "The Slaver Weapon"
- TAS: "The Slaver Weapon" (main title voice footage)
- Star Trek films
- DS9: "Trials and Tribble-ations" (archive footage)
- ENT: "These Are the Voyages..." (archive voice footage)
- ST: "Ephraim and Dot" (archive voice footage)
|Star Trek: The Original Series regular cast|
|Starring: William Shatner • Leonard Nimoy • DeForest Kelley|
|Co-Starring: Majel Barrett • James Doohan • Walter Koenig • Nichelle Nichols • George Takei • Grace Lee Whitney|
|Star Trek: The Animated Series regular cast|
|Starring: William Shatner • Leonard Nimoy • DeForest Kelley|
|Co-Starring: Majel Barrett • James Doohan • Nichelle Nichols • George Takei|
Star Trek interviews
- TNG Season 5 DVD special feature "A Tribute to Gene Roddenberry" ("Gene Roddenberry Building Dedicated to Star Trek's Creator"), interviewed on 6 June 1991
- WilliamShatner.com – official site
- William Shatner at MySpace.com
- William Shatner at Memory Beta, the wiki for licensed Star Trek works
- William Shatner at Wikipedia
- William Shatner at the Internet Broadway Database
- William Shatner at the Notable Names Database
- William Shatner at TriviaTribute.com
- Transcript of the Saturday Night Live "get a life" sketch
- Interview at the Archive of American Television
- William Shatner at SF-Encyclopedia.com
- William Shatner at StarTrek.com, the official Star Trek website
|Star Trek films director
Star Trek V: The Final Frontier