He’s known as “The Shat” to some, to others Star Trek‘s Captain James T. Kirk, Boston Legal‘s Denny Crane, the Priceline guy, or, to many, just Bill. However you know him, he’s William Shatner, who has proven to be an inspiration to millions with his humor and refusal to slow down in life despite the fact that he has just turned 88. Not to put too fine a point on it, but we’ve recently had the opportunity to sit right next to the guy, and we can tell you, he is the adage that “age is just a number” personified. If you don’t believe us, just check out the short podcast episode above.
Bill was born on March 22, 1931, in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Developing a desire to act early on, he graduated from McGill University in 1952 and took the job of assistant manager at the Mountain Playhouse in Montreal. Calling himself a “disaster” in that position, he abandoned the business end of the profession and performed for three years with the Canadian Repertory Company in Ottawa and joined the famous Stratford, Ontario Shakespeare Festival as an understudy.
A performance as the second male lead in Tamburlaine brought him to the attention of New York Critics, and he was soon playing roles on American television, including Playhouse 90, The Twilight Zone, Alfred Hitchcock Presents and The Outer Limits; he hit the Broadway stage in such shows as The World of Suzie Wong and A Shot in the Dark (which also starred Julie Harris and Walter Matthau); and appeared on the big screen in movies like The Brothers Karamazov and Judgment at Nuremberg. In 1965, he played the role of Captain Kirk in the second Star Trek pilot, “Where No Man Has Gone Before,” and his life would change forever.
The interesting thing about Bill is that for many years he was identified as Kirk, as iconic a pop culture a figure as you could find. However, somewhere along the line, he switched things around and now he himself has become the icon. Well, man or icon, that’s what we’re celebrating here, with Bill himself as well as some of his co-workers commenting on the highlights of a career that has spanned some 65 years.
Scroll down to read more about William’s life and career!