80 Facts About William Shatner


William Shatner began his screen acting career in Canadian films and television productions before moving into guest-starring roles in various US television shows.

FactSnippet No. 797,021

William Shatner appeared as James Kirk in all the 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.

FactSnippet No. 797,022

William Shatner has written a series of books chronicling his experiences before, during and after his time in a Starfleet uniform.

FactSnippet No. 797,023

William Shatner has co-written several novels set in the Star Trek universe and a series of science fiction novels, the TekWar sequence, that were adapted for television.

FactSnippet No. 797,024

Outside Star Trek, Shatner played the eponymous veteran police sergeant in T J Hooker and hosted the reality-based television series Rescue 911, which won a People's Choice Award for Favorite New TV Dramatic Series.

FactSnippet No. 797,025

William Shatner's cover versions of songs are dramatic recitations of their lyrics rather than musical performances: the most notable of them are his versions of The Beatles' "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" and Bob Dylan's "Mr Tambourine Man".

FactSnippet No. 797,026

In 2021, William Shatner flew into space aboard a Blue Origin sub-orbital capsule.

FactSnippet No. 797,027

William Shatner's parents were Ann and Joseph Shatner, a clothing manufacturer.

FactSnippet No. 797,028

William Shatner is the middle child of three siblings: he has an older sister, Joy Rutenberg and a younger sister, Farla Cohen .

FactSnippet No. 797,029

All four of William Shatner's grandparents were Jewish immigrants: they came from settlements that are currently in Ukraine and Lithuania, but which were then under the rule of Austria-Hungary and the Russian Empire.

FactSnippet No. 797,030

William Shatner attended two schools in Notre-Dame-de-Grace, Willingdon Elementary School and West Hill High School, and is an alumnus of the Montreal Children's Theatre.

FactSnippet No. 797,031

William Shatner studied Economics at the McGill University Faculty of Management in Montreal, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce degree in 1952.

FactSnippet No. 797,032

William Shatner was granted the same accolade by the New England Institute of Technology in May 2018.

FactSnippet No. 797,033

In 1954, William Shatner decided to leave Stratford and move to New York City in the hope of building a career on the Broadway stage.

FactSnippet No. 797,034

William Shatner was offered the chance to make his first appearance on American television: in a children's program called The Howdy Doody Show, he created the role of Ranger Bob, co-starring with a cast of puppets and a clown, Clarabelle, whose contributions to her dialogue with Shatner consisted entirely of honks on a bicycle horn.

FactSnippet No. 797,035

In 1959, William Shatner received good reviews in the role of Lomax in The World of Suzie Wong on Broadway.

FactSnippet No. 797,036

William Shatner was featured in two episodes of the NBC television series Thriller and the film The Explosive Generation .

FactSnippet No. 797,037

William Shatner took the lead role in Roger Corman's movie The Intruder and received very good reviews for his significant role in the Stanley Kramer film Judgment at Nuremberg .

FactSnippet No. 797,038

In 1964, William Shatner guest-starred in the second episode of the second season of the ABC science fiction anthology series The Outer Limits, "Cold Hands, Warm Heart".

FactSnippet No. 797,039

In 1965, William Shatner guest-starred in 12 O'Clock High as Major Curt Brown in the episode "I Am the Enemy".

FactSnippet No. 797,040

William Shatner starred in the 1966 gothic horror film Incubus the second feature-length movie ever made with all dialogue spoken in Esperanto.

FactSnippet No. 797,041

William Shatner starred in an episode of Gunsmoke in 1966 as the character Fred Bateman.

FactSnippet No. 797,042

William Shatner appeared as attorney-turned-counterfeiter Brett Skyler in a 1966 episode of The Big Valley, "Time to Kill".

FactSnippet No. 797,043

William Shatner was then contracted to play Kirk for the remainder of the show, and he sat in the captain's chair of the USS Enterprise from 1966 to 1969.

FactSnippet No. 797,044

In 1973, William Shatner returned to the role of Kirk, albeit only in voice, in the animated Star Trek series, which ran for two seasons and twenty-two episodes.

FactSnippet No. 797,045

William Shatner refers to this part of his life as "that period", a humbling time during which he would take any odd job, including small party appearances, in order to support his family.

FactSnippet No. 797,046

William Shatner had a starring role too in the western-themed secret agent series Barbary Coast during 1975 and 1976, and appeared as a guest of the week in many popular shows of that decade, including Columbo, Ironside, Kung Fu, Mission: Impossible, The Rookies and The Six Million Dollar Man.

FactSnippet No. 797,047

One of the special skills that William Shatner was able to offer to casting directors was an expertise in a martial art: he was taught American Kenpo karate by the black belt Tom Bleecker, who had in turn been trained by the founder of American Kenpo, Ed Parker.

FactSnippet No. 797,048

William Shatner was so furious at himself over his error that he leapt out of his chair, picked it up and threw it out of the show's iconic Winner's Circle.

FactSnippet No. 797,049

William Shatner went on to play Kirk in six further Star Trek films: Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country and—in a story that culminated in the captain's self-sacrificial death—Star Trek Generations .

FactSnippet No. 797,050

William Shatner mocked the cavalier, almost superhuman, persona of Captain Kirk in the films Airplane II: The Sequel and National Lampoon's Loaded Weapon 1 .

FactSnippet No. 797,051

In 1982, Shatner was the leading character of a high-profile television show when he was cast as a veteran Los Angeles police sergeant in T J Hooker.

FactSnippet No. 797,052

William Shatner's growing success on television and in movie theatres in the 1980s did not lead him to stop working for advertisers: the Commodore VIC-20 home computer, for example, was endorsed by him both on television and in print.

FactSnippet No. 797,053

William Shatner has a star on Canada's Walk of Fame, granted to him in recognition of his being the first Canadian actor to star in major series on three US networks—NBC, CBS and ABC.

FactSnippet No. 797,054

The novels led to four TekWar television movies, in which William Shatner played not the lead character but his boss, Walter Bascom.

FactSnippet No. 797,055

William Shatner reprised the role in a television series that followed, as well as directing several episodes of it himself, but its run on the USA Network, Syfy and Canada's CTV was brief.

FactSnippet No. 797,056

In December 1989, William Shatner took part in the British television series This Is Your Life, a show in which a celebrity is ambushed by the host and then taken to a studio for the story of his life to be told in a stream of anecdotes related by his acquaintances: William Shatner's episode began with Michael Aspel taking him by surprise on the set of the Starship Enterprise at Universal Studios in Hollywood.

FactSnippet No. 797,057

In 1994, William Shatner revisited Columbo to play the murderer-of-the-week in the episode Butterfly in shades of grey.

FactSnippet No. 797,058

William Shatner narrated a television miniseries shot in New Zealand A Twist in the Tale .

FactSnippet No. 797,059

William Shatner has said that while it is true that his work for priceline earned him stock options, reports that they are now worth hundreds of millions of dollars are exaggerated.

FactSnippet No. 797,060

William Shatner was the Chief Executive Officer of the Toronto, Ontario-based C O R E Digital Pictures, a special effects studio that operated from 1994 to 2010.

FactSnippet No. 797,061

William Shatner appeared in Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous, in which Stan Fields is kidnapped in Las Vegas together with the winner of the pageant of the previous year.

FactSnippet No. 797,062

In Groom Lake, released the following year, William Shatner repeated his Star Trek V feat of directing and starring in a movie based on a story of his own invention—a film exploiting the interest in Area 51 kindled by The X-Files, and co-starring a young Amy Acker, later best known as a regular colleague of Joss Whedon.

FactSnippet No. 797,063

In 2003, William Shatner appeared in Brad Paisley's Celebrity and Online music videos along with Little Jimmy Dickens, Jason Alexander and Trista Rehn.

FactSnippet No. 797,064

William Shatner had a supporting role in the comedy DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story, which starred Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn.

FactSnippet No. 797,065

William Shatner remained with Boston Legal until, after five seasons and one hundred and one episodes, it ended in 2008.

FactSnippet No. 797,066

William Shatner expanded his work on YouTube in 2009, supplying the voice of Don Salmonella to the animated series The Gavones.

FactSnippet No. 797,067

William Shatner made several guest appearances on The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien, including in cameos in which he made fun of the Republican politician Sarah Palin.

FactSnippet No. 797,068

William Shatner was not "offered or suggested" a role in the 2009 film Star Trek.

FactSnippet No. 797,069

William Shatner's 2012 began with his return to his roots in theatre.

FactSnippet No. 797,070

William Shatner joked that Bradshaw, famous as a quarterback with the Pittsburgh Steelers, was "putty in my hands".

FactSnippet No. 797,071

William Shatner announced his participation in the series in a Twitter post quoting one of its catchphrases, and disclosed that he was himself a so-called brony, one of the show's devotees.

FactSnippet No. 797,072

Shatner became the focus of political controversy in 2021, when it was revealed that a popular science documentary show that he would host, I Don't Understand with William Shatner, was scheduled to be aired on RT, formerly known as Russia Today, from July 12.

FactSnippet No. 797,073

Also in 2021, William Shatner starred in the film Senior Moment, which co-starred Jean Smart and Christopher Lloyd.

FactSnippet No. 797,074

In 2022, William Shatner competed in season eight of The Masked Singer as "Knight" .

FactSnippet No. 797,075

William Shatner made his debut on the shelves of record shops in 1968, with the release of an album titled The Transformed Man.

FactSnippet No. 797,076

The idiosyncratic way with songs that William Shatner chose for this LP, an approach so amusical that it scarcely even qualified as Sprechstimme, was a style to which he remained loyal throughout his recording career.

FactSnippet No. 797,077

Devoid of Star Trek branding because of licensing restrictions, the album's sleeve was decorated with a photograph of William Shatner brandishing an upturned camera tripod in the style of Jim Kirk going into battle with a phaser rifle.

FactSnippet No. 797,078

In 2007, one of William Shatner's albums, Has Been, was taken up by the writer and choreographer Margo Sappington as the basis for a dance project, Common People, created for the Milwaukee Ballet.

FactSnippet No. 797,079

William Shatner attended the premiere of the work and arranged for it to be filmed.

FactSnippet No. 797,080

William Shatner says that there are episodes of the original Star Trek television show that he has never seen, and he is just as averse to sitting down with Boston Legal.

FactSnippet No. 797,081

William Shatner has claimed that the only Star Trek movie that he has screened is the one that he directed and so necessarily viewed when it was being edited, Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, although in his 1993 book Star Trek Memories, he recalls how disappointed he felt when he attended the premiere of the first Star Trek movie, Robert Wise's Star Trek: The Motion Picture.

FactSnippet No. 797,082

William Shatner left Rand while acting in Star Trek: The Original Series, after which he divorced her in March 1969.

FactSnippet No. 797,083

William Shatner urged the public to support Friendly House, a non-profit organization that helps women to rebuild their lives after trying to free themselves from alcoholism or other forms of drug addiction.

FactSnippet No. 797,084

William Shatner's replied, "I'd get really nervous and want to be prepared" for Shatner and for the experienced cast of Dynasty.

FactSnippet No. 797,085

William Shatner's supported Shatner in 1999 when he was mourning Nerine's death.

FactSnippet No. 797,086

William Shatner's character is attracted to Nolan and tries to insert himself into her defence.

FactSnippet No. 797,087

William Shatner suffers from tinnitus, which he believes might be the result of a pyrotechnical accident on set while shooting the 1967 Star Trek episode "Arena", though he did not begin to suffer symptoms until the early 1990s.

FactSnippet No. 797,088

William Shatner revealed in 2020 that he suffers from swollen joints and various age-related "aches and pains".

FactSnippet No. 797,089

William Shatner rode one of his own mares, Great Belles of Fire, in Star Trek Generations.

FactSnippet No. 797,090

William Shatner has a 360-acre farm near Versailles, Kentucky, named Belle Reve Farm, where he raises American Saddlebreds.

FactSnippet No. 797,091

William Shatner plays on the World Poker Tour in the Hollywood Home Games, where celebrities play for their favourite charities.

FactSnippet No. 797,092

In 2018, William Shatner was awarded the National Reining Horse Association Lifetime Achievement Award in the National Reining Horse Association Hall of Fame.

FactSnippet No. 797,093

On New Year's Day 1994, William Shatner was the Grand Marshal of the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, California.

FactSnippet No. 797,094

In 2014, William Shatner was one of the Grand Marshals for the 102nd Calgary Stampede as he is an avid equestrian.

FactSnippet No. 797,095

In September 2016, William Shatner attended the 2016 Salt Lake Comic Con as a special guest.

FactSnippet No. 797,096

In 2017, William Shatner hosted as "captain" of the maiden voyage of a Star Trek-themed cruise entitled "Star Trek: The Cruise".

FactSnippet No. 797,097

William Shatner made appearances for the Star Trek: the Original Series set re-creation in Ticonderoga, New York built by James Cawley, including personally guiding tours of small groups.

FactSnippet No. 797,098

William Shatner has starred in movies and television shows for seven decades.

FactSnippet No. 797,099

William Shatner has appeared in video games, primarily as James T Kirk, as well as a number of commercials.

FactSnippet No. 797,100