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William Shatner (born March 22, 1931) is a Canadian actor and writer who was born in Montreal, Quebec. Shatner is most famous for his starring role as Captain James T. Kirk of the Starship Enterprise in the television show Star Trek from 1966 to 1969. Shatner has written two books chronicling his experiences playing Captain Kirk and being a part of the Star Trek franchise.
He has since worked as a writer, producer, director, and author. Trained as a classical Shakespearean actor, he played at the Stratford Festival of Canada in Stratford, Ontario before going to the United States to work. His movie debut was in the classic MGM film The Brothers Karamazov with Yul Brynner in which Shatner starred as the pious brother Alexei. He also appeared in the Stanley Kramer film Judgment at Nuremberg.
Post-Star Trek career
Shatner had a long dry spell in the decade between the original Star Trek series and the Star Trek movies, which he attributes to his being typecast as Captain Kirk, making him unable to find other work. He says this period was a humbling one, as he would take any odd job, including small party appearances to support his family. The dry spell ended for Shatner (and the other Star Trek cast) when Paramount produced Star Trek: The Motion Picture in 1979, under pressure from long loyal fans of the series. Its success re-established Shatner as an actor, and Captain Kirk as a cultural icon.
While continuing to film the successful series of Star Trek movies, he returned to television in the 1980s, starring as a uniformed police officer in the T.J. Hooker series; this show became a popular hit.
As the unwilling central public figure of a widespread geek-culture of Trekkies, Shatner is often humorously critical of the often "annoying" fans of Star Trek. He also has found a outlet in spoofing the cavalier, almost superhuman character persona of Captain Kirk, in films such as Airplane II: The Sequel (1982), National Lampoon's Loaded Weapon I (1993) and Saturday Night Live, in which he advised Star Trek fans to "Get a life!", repeating a popular catch-phrase.
Shatner has enjoyed success with a series of ghost-written Tek science fiction novels. The first published in 1990 was entitled TekWar. This popular series of books led to a number of television movies, in which Shatner played a role, and to a short lived television series.
In the 1990s Shatner appeared in several plays on American National Public Radio, written and directed by Norman Corwin.
Shatner appeared in several episodes of the television series Third Rock From the Sun as "The Big Giant Head"', a fat, womanizing, substance-abusing, higher-ranked officer from the same alien planet.
William Shatner has been married four times:
1. Gloria Rand in the 50's.
2. Marcy Lafferty who he married in 1976; they divorced in 1994.
3. Nerine Kidd who he married on November 15, 1997; she drowned on August 9, 1999 at the couple's home.
4. Elizabeth Martin who he married on February 13, 2001
Shatner has three daughters: Leslie, Lisabeth, and Melanie, and a son, Daniel. He currently lives in Southern California.
In his spare time, he enjoys breeding and showing American Saddlebreds and Quarter Horses. Shatner has a 360-acre horse farm in Kentucky named Bellreve where he raises the winning horses.
Shatner is also the CEO of the Toronto, Ontario-based Core Digital Effects company which provided the special effects for the 1996 film Fly Away Home.
As an author, William Shatner has enjoyed some success with his ghost-written Tek series of science fiction novels, the first published in 1990 was entitled TekWar. The sitcom Father Ted pays homage to Shatner by making Father Ted Crilly a Tek fan.
His musical record, The Transformed Man (1968), has become a camp favorite. It includes spoken-word covers of "Mr. Tambourine Man" by Bob Dylan and "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" by The Beatles. These are widely held to be so bad they are hilarious. Shatner also spoofed them in a series of television commercials delivered in the same style over music. George Clooney chose William Shatner's "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" as one of his Desert Island Discs as an incentive to leave the island. He said, "If you listen to this song, you will hollow out your own leg and make a canoe out of it to get off this island." Shatner again satirises himself in the recent cartoon series "Futurama": in Episode 56 he recites (spoken-word) Eminem's "Slim Shady" song during a feast, spoofing his own "Lucy" chant.
* In 1965 he starred in the Esperanto-language film Incubus.
* Shatner has recently been noted for his role in the Priceline commercials.
* William Shatner has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6901 Hollywood Blvd.
* The Student Society Building at McGill University is unofficially named after William Shatner, and contains a sign in the lobby bearing his name.
"I am not a Starfleet commander, or T.J. Hooker. I don't live on Starship NCC-170...(some audience members say "one"), 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. ("Pomp And Circumstances" begins playing) I speak English and French, NOT KLINGON! I drink Labatt's, 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!" -- from Saturday Night Live appearance.