Who is William Shatner?
William Shatner is best known for his portrayal of Captain James T. Kirk in the Star Trek franchise, from his 1965 debut on the Starship Enterprise to his final appearance in the seventh Star Trek feature film, Star Trek Generations (1994).
He has notched up an impressive 70-plus years in front of the camera.
His television career after his last appearance as James Kirk encompassed comedy, drama, and reality shows.
A master of reinvention, William expands his talents into directing, writing, and singing.
An Emmy Award-winning Canadian actor, William Shatner’s creative output and self-deprecating sense of humor secured him a place in the North American pop culture pantheon.
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William Shatner Personal Info
Name: William Alan Shatner, aka Bill Shatner
DOB: March 22, 1931
Birthplace: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Education: McGill University (BComm)
Hometown: Los Angeles, California
Famous As: Captain James T. Kirk, commander of the starship U.S.S. Enterprise, in the Star Trek TV show.
William Shatner Biography
William Shatner was born in Côte Saint-Luc, Montréal, Québec, Canada, to Anne (née Garmaise) and Joseph Shatner, a clothing manufacturer.
His father was a Jewish emigrant from Bukovina in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, while his maternal grandparents were Lithuanian Jews.
Shatner is the middle child of three siblings: his older sister, Joy Rutenberg, and a younger sister, Farla Cohen.
A native English speaker, he is also fluent in French.
His paternal grandfather, Wolf Schattner, transformed the family name to Shatner.
William Shatner grew up as a Conservative Judaist.
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William Shatner’s Early Life And Education
William Shatner exhibited an early interest in performance, enrolling at age eight in an acting school for children and later performing in radio productions for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) and the Montreal Children’s Theatre.
He enrolled at West Hill High School but later transferred to Baron Byng High School.
Though, Shatner became quite popular as a young performer in high school.
He, instead, pursued an Economics major at the prestigious McGill University in Montreal.
Shatner graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce degree in 1952.
After graduating from university, he joined a local Summer theatre group as an assistant manager.
William Shatner’s Career
Trained as a classical Shakespearean actor, William Shatner got recruited to join the Stratford Shakespeare Festival of Canada in 1954.
He spent several years performing supporting roles in various plays at the Shakespearean Stratford Festival.
His brief appearance in the opening scene of a high-profile production of Sophocles’s Oedipus Rex by Tyrone Guthrie introduced him to television viewers across the whole of Canada.
In 1954, Shatner decided to leave Stratford and move to New York City in the hope of building a career on the Broadway stage.
Shatner made his Broadway debut in Tamburlaine the Great, where he played Usumcasane.
William Shatner spent many years honing his craft until he landed his first role in a major Hollywood movie, appearing in the MGM film The Brothers Karamazov as Alexei, the youngest of the brothers, in a cast that included Yul Brynner.
He then returned to Broadway for a two-year run in The Secret Life of Suzie Wong, where he won the 1959 Theatre World Award for his performance.
His big break came when Shatner was signed up for the new sci-fi series Star Trek in 1966, with William portraying Captain Kirk.
The science fiction series created by Gene Roddenberry premiered on September 8, 1966, and lasted for three seasons.
William Shatner starred in the show as Captain Kirk commanding the Starship USS Enterprise for its entire duration of three years.
After the cancellation of the Star Trek series in 1969, William Shatner went through a dry period. He experienced difficulty in finding acting jobs.
Unable to find employment, Shatner lost his home and ended up living in a camper truck.
William Shatner refers to this part of his life as; that period, a humbling time during which he would take any odd job to support his family.
Things looked up in 1979 when Shatner returned to his role as Captain Kirk for Star Trek: The Motion Picture.
Thanks to the support of a worldwide fan base, a whole series of Star Trek movies followed, and William’s reputation as an actor was re-established.
Besides the Star Trek films, Shatner gained a new starring role on television as a police officer in T. J. Hooker, which ran from 1982 to 1986.
Shatner remained a fixture on television even after T. J. Hooker went off the air, becoming the host for Rescue 911 in 1989.
On the big screen, Shatner appeared as a beauty pageant host in Miss Congeniality (2000) and its sequel Miss Congeniality 2 (2005), with Sandra Bullock.
In 2003, William Shatner made a guest appearance as a talented but eccentric lawyer, Denny Crane, on The Practice.
The Practice brought Shatner his first Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series in 2004.
The character, Denny Crane, was popular enough to precipitate a spin-off, Boston Legal (2004–08), which revolved around his relationship with a younger lawyer.
The role in Boston Legal earned Shatner Golden Globe and Emmy awards for outstanding supporting actors in a drama in 2005.
Shatner has appeared in advertisements for many companies and products, and in recent years he has done a series of commercials for the travel website Priceline.
Although he received stock options for the Priceline commercials, reports that they are worth hundreds of millions of dollars are exaggerated.
Acting isn’t William’s only passion. The Renaissance Man is a prolific screenwriter, sci-fi novelist, director, and producer.
Outside of showbiz, he is an expert equestrian who breeds award-winning horses at his farm in Kentucky and hosts the annual Hollywood Charity Horse Show, which he founded in 1990.
While his career has had its roller coaster twists and turns, William Shatner has become one of the most recognizable stars in Hollywood.
In a career spanning five decades, Shatner has become a household name for his role as Captain Kirk, T.J. Hooker, and his Emmy Award-winning role as a legendary but senile lawyer, Denny Crane, on Boston Legal.
On 14 December 2006, Shatner was inducted into the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame for his many achievements in the field of television.
William Shatner’s Net Worth
William Shatner has an estimated net worth of around $125 million.
The bulk of his fortune came from working as an actor.
The role that he is best known for is Captain Kirk in Star Trek.
William Shatner earns a salary of $150,000 per episode on a television show. He is one of the highest Canadian actors.
There has been a rumor, started by the Telegraph reported, that William Shatner made $600 million as the commercial pitchman for Priceline.com.
In 1997 Shatner signed a contract with Priceline.com in a series of commercials for the travel company.
He received stock options instead of cash for his work.
At the time, getting stock seemed like a brilliant move.
The internet bubble burst in 2000 caused Priceline shares to slump from over $200 to just $1.80.
Then, Priceline stock began to rise steadily until the price reached over $400 per share.
Telegraph reported that Shatner held on to all his stock options.
Based on this report, rumors swirled that Shatner is now supposedly worth over $600 million.
William Shatner has vehemently denied these rumors on several public occasions.
He even took to Twitter with the following:
“Someone stupid said a stupid thing about me making $600M. It ain’t so. Relatives are coming out of the woodwork. Too bad it never happened.”
The estimated figure of $125 million for his net worth seems to suggest that William Shatner never came into a large sum of money, as the figure would be much higher.
William Shatner Family
William Shatner is single again after four failed marriages.
His first marriage to Canadian actress Gloria Rand was on August 12, 1956.
The couple had three daughters together: Leslie, Lisabeth, and Melanie.
His marriage to Gloria Rand ended in 1969 following the cancellation of Star Trek: The Original Series.
The couple split due to financial difficulty. Shatner was unable to find employment to replace his Star Trek acting role.
Four years after Gloria, William Shatner wed actress Marcy Lafferty in 1973.
Shatner and Lafferty remained together for 23 years until their divorce in 1996. It was his longest marriage.
However, Shatner did not have any children with Lafferty.
William Shatner’s third wife was Nerine Kidd, whom he married in 1997.
His third marriage ended tragically with Kidd’s death in a drowning accident in 1999.
Returning home at around 10 p.m. on August 9, 1999, Shatner found his wife lying lifeless at the bottom of their backyard swimming pool.
Kidd was forty years old at the time.
The autopsy revealed that her blood contained both alcohol and diazepam.
The Los Angeles coroner decided that the cause of her death was accidental drowning.
After such a tragic loss, Shatner found love again with his 2001 marriage to Elizabeth J. Martin, a horse breeder.
But in late 2019, the Star Trek actor filed for divorce from his fourth marriage. They parted ways in 2020.
William Shatner is once again a single man.
William Shatner Accomplishments
- William Shatner was a Two-time Saturn Award winner: 1980 Life Career Award and 1983 Best Actor (Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan).
- In 1983 Shatner was awarded Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
- In 1995, he was inducted into the ASHA Breeders Hall of Fame.
- He was a Two-time Emmy Award winner: 2004 Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series (The Practice) and 2005 Outstanding Supporting Actor in A Drama Series (Boston Legal).
- In 2000 Shatner received his Star on Canada’s Walk of Fame.
- In 2005 Shatner received his Golden Globe Award.
- In 2006 William Shatner was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame.
- In 2009, he was the winner of the Prism Award.
- In 2014 Shatner was awarded the NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal – the highest award NASA gives a non-government employee
- In 2015 William Shatner received the Voice Arts Icon Award.
- He is a multiple-time World Champion breeder: 2017 National Reining Horse Association Dale Wilkinson Lifetime Achievement Award and 2021 ASHA C.J Cronan Sportsmanship Award.
- In 2019 William Shatner was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada by Canadian Governor General Julie Payette.
- In 2020 Shatner added his name to the WWE Hall of Fame – Celebrity Wing inductee.
That’s William Shatner’s Bio.
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Frequently Ask Questions (FAQs)
How old is William Shatner, and what is his net worth?
William Shatner was born on March 22, 1931. He is 91 years old with an estimated net worth of $125 million.
What does William Shatner suffer from?
Tinnitus – You can still live long and prosper. William Shatner battled has been battling Tinnitus for years. Tinnitus manifests itself as ringing or noise in the ears or head.
Does Shatner believe in God?
Although his parents were religious, Shatner connects more to Jewish culture than religious practice, as he shared in an interview. “My father and mother had an observant religious life. They went to temple every Sabbath, prayed to God, and I was dragged along,” he said. “I’m not religious but I’m spiritual.”
Where did William Shatner make most of his money?
William Shatner’s net worth is estimated to be $125 million. Most of this fortune has been gained through his work as an actor, primarily in TV shows. The role that he is best known for is Captain Kirk in Star Trek.
Does William Shatner still make money from Star Trek?
Original Captain Kirk William Shatner reveals that he receives no royalties from Star Trek: The Original Series. Shatner had already established himself as a familiar face on television when in 1966 he debuted as Captain James T. Kirk of the Starship Enterprise on the famed sci-fi show created by Gene Roddenberry.
How much did William Shatner make per episode of Star Trek?
William Shatner’s salary for the original Star Trek TV series was on the lower side. He was reportedly paid just $5,000 per episode (which comes out to about $39,000 in 2020), and he was also guaranteed a $500 raise every season the series was renewed.
Does William Shatner have a wife and kids?
William is a loving dad to his three daughters. The actor shares his kids, Leslie Shatner, Lisabeth Shatner, and Melanie Shatner, with his first wife, Gloria Rand.
Does William Shatner have dual citizenship?
No, William Shatner is a Canadian-born actor. He has been acting for more than 50 years, making his mark on American culture as Captain James T. Kirk on Star Trek. Shatner has appeared on TV screens across the U.S., but he is not a U.S. citizen.
Does William Shatner have a son?
Shatner has three lovely daughters but no son.
What is William Shatner doing now?
He is in television commercials (Planet Fitness, 2022, and Medicare, 2021) and hosts a television series, The UnXplained, now in its third season. Shatner’s acting career is legendary – Captain James T.