(1931 - )
William Shatner was born on March 22, 1931, in Montreal,
Quebec, Canada. He earned
a B.A. in commerce from McGill University in Montreal. In 1954, he was
cast as “Ranger Bill” on the popular Howdy Doody Show in the United States. His official movie debut was in the 1958 film The Brothers Karamazov. In 1959, Shatner moved to Broadway in
the production of The World of Suzie Wong. Then in 1962, he starred
in the film The Intruder. He also appeared in the film Judgment
From 1966 to 1969, Shatner starred in the television
show Star Trek as Captain James T. Kirk of the USS Enterprise.
On the 1968 episode “Plato’s Stepchildren,” Shatner
is noted for having partaken in the first televised interracial kiss,
with Nichelle Nichols. Between 1979 and 1994, Shatner played Captain
Kirk in the seven Star Trek films, and directed the fifth. Shatner
as Captain Kirk had become a cult icon.
From 1982 to 1986, he returned to television, starring
as a police officer in the T.J. Hooker series. Then from 1989
to 1996, he hosted the dramatic reenactment series Rescue 911.
Throughout the 1980s and 90s, Shatner attempted to
play characters in films that would attempt to dispel the Kirk image,
including Airplane II: The Sequel (1982), National Lampoon’s
Loaded Weapon (1993), and Free Enterprise (1998).
In 2004, Shatner was cast as the eccentric attorney
Denny Crane for the final season of the legal drama, The Practice,
and then in 2005 in its subsequent spin-off, Boston Legal. In
2004 and 2005, Shatner won two Emmy Awards for his portrayal of attorney
Denny Crane in both of these television series. He also won a 2005 Golden
Globe for his character in Boston Legal.
Shatner is also the CEO of the Toronto,
Ontario based C.O.R.E. Digital Pictures company, which provided
the special effects for the 1996 film Fly Away Home.
Shatner has had a spoofed musical career, starting
with the 1968 album The Transformed Man. His exaggerated, interpretive
reading of “Mr. Tambourine Man” became an instant camp classic.
Shatner also provided vocals for In Love, a song written by Ben
Folds for the Fear of Pop album. In 2004, Shatner along with
Ben Folds produced his second studio album, Has Been.
Sources: American Jewish Desk Reference, (NY: Random House, 1999). pg. 483; Wikipedia; Internet Movie Database