William Shatner Biography

William 'Bill' Shatner is a Canadian actor, producer, director and comedian. This biography profiles his childhood, life, acting career and timeline.

William Shatner
Quick Facts

Birthday: March 22, 1931

Nationality: Canadian

Famous: Quotes By William Shatner Actors

Age: 88 Years, 88 Year Old Males

Sun Sign: Aries

Also Known As: William Bill Shatner

Born in: Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Famous as: Actor, Producer

Height: 5'10" (178 cm), 5'10" Males

Family:

Spouse/Ex-: Elizabeth Shatner (m. 2001), Gloria Rand (m. 1956–1969), Marcy Lafferty (m. 1973–1996), Nerine Kidd (m. 1997–1999)

father: Joseph Shatner

mother: Anna

siblings: Farla, Joy a

children: Leslie Carol Shatner, Lisabeth Shatner, Melanie Shatner

City: Montreal, Canada, Quebec, Canada

More Facts

education: Westhill High School, McGill University

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William Shatner is a Canadian actor, singer, comedian. Shatner initially started off as a stage actor before graduating into television and only got roles in some little known films for some time. However, his career changed completely when he got the role of the iconic Captain James T. Kirk in the cult television series ‘Star Trek’ and Shatner went on to portray the character in the films that followed over the years to become one of the most loved films stars of his generation. Shatner worked in television throughout his life and also wrote some episodes of the TV series titled ‘T. J. Hooker’ that started in 1982. As a television star, Shatner’s most famous role was that of the character Denny Crane in the series ‘The Practice’ and later on in the series ‘Boston Legal’. His performance was widely appreciated and also brought plenty of accolades. He has also appeared in a number of plays at Broadway at different points in his career and his training as a Shakespearean actor has been evident in all those performances.

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William Shatner
Childhood & Early Life
  • William Shatner was born in Notre-Dame-De-Grace, Montreal, Quebec, Canada on 22 March, 1931 in a Jewish family to Joseph Shatner and Anne Shatner. His father Joseph had a cloth manufacturing business and his mother worked as an elocutionist. Shatner had two sisters.
  • He studied at West Hill High School and later at Baron Byng High School. He showed a talent for acting as early as eight when he captivated audiences as a member of the Montreal Children’s Theatre. Shatner was also active on radio programmes on Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.
  • He became quite popular as a young performer but instead of continuing with it he pursued commerce programme at the prestigious McGill University in Montreal. Shatner was awarded his bachelors’ degree in 1952.
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Career
  • In 1954 William Shatner started off as a performer at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival after having trained in the nuances of Shakespearean acting at the Canadian National Repertory Theatre. Two years later Shatner acted in the play ‘Tamburlaine the Great’ at Broadway.
  • Shatner acted in plays as well as television programmes for some years before he got his first break in films in the year 1958 when he was cast in the film ‘The Brothers Karamazov’ produced by MGM. The same year, Shatner’s performance in the play ‘The World of Suzie Wong’ was well received.
  • Throughout the 1960s William Shatner worked in movies and television simultaneously, along with a bit of theatre. He starred in films like ‘Explosive Generation’, ‘Intruder’ and ‘Judgement at Nuremberg among others while on television he was a part of the cast of ‘Thriller’, ‘Twilight Zone’ and ‘The Outer Limits’.
  • In 1966, Gene Roddenberry decided to cast William Shatner in the role of Capt. James T. Kirk in the famous TV show ‘Star Trek’ and he starred in the show for its entire duration of three years. It was one of the most important roles in Shatner’s career and he went on to star in the Star Trek films that were made later.
  • In 1968, Shatner began his career in music with the album ‘The Transformed Man’ and went on to produce three more albums in his career. The three albums were ‘Has Been’, ‘Seeking Major Tom’ and ‘Ponder the Mystery’. The last one was released 45 years after his first album was released.
  • After ‘Star Trek’ was discontinued in 1969, William Shatner’s career went through a bit of a lull as he could not get the sort of roles that he was looking for having become too identifiable with his ‘Star Trek’ character. Around this time Shatner worked mainly in television shows like ‘The Andersonville Trial’, ‘Barbary Coast’ and ‘The Hollywood Squares’ among others.
  • In 1979, his career took a positive turn with the release of the film ‘Star Trek: The Motion Picture’ where Shatner played the iconic role of Capt. Kirk. Shatner went on to play the role in the subsequent six Star Trek films. He played the role of Captain Kirk in other movies like ‘Airplane: The Sequel’ and ‘National Lampoon’s Loaded Weapon 1’ as well.
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  • He started working in the TV series ‘T.J. Hooker’ in the year 1982 and he also directed some episodes of the series. Seven years later Shatner hosted the popular crime show ‘Rescue 911’ which ran for seven years. He also wrote some science fiction novels at the time and the first published book was ‘TekWar’.
  • He appeared in the show ‘The Practice’ in the role of the lawyer Denny Crane and the character became so popular that in 2004 he was cast as the same character in the show ‘Boston Legal’. His performances in the latter show earned him rave reviews. Four years later his autobiography ‘Up Till Now- The Autobiography’ was released. He has appeared in a number of TV shows, documentaries and films over the latter part of his career.
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Major Works
  • He has had a long career in television, films and the stage and he has produced excellent work across mediums. However, the most important work of his career was his portrayal of Capt. James T. Kirk in the Star Trek films.
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Awards & Achievements
  • In 2005, William Shatner was awarded both the Golden Globe and the Emmy award for best supporting actor for his portrayal of Denny Crane in the show ‘Boston Legal’.
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Personal Life & Legacy
  • He got married to actress Gloria on 12 August, 1956. The couple had three daughters. The marriage ended in divorce after 13 years.
  • In 1973, he got married to Marcy Lafferty but this marriage too ended 23 years later in 1996. They had no children.
  • In 1997, he got married to actress Nerine Kidd but two years after their marriage, Kidd died as a result of drowning in a swimming pool due to the effects of alcohol and Valium.
  • Shatner got married for the fourth time to Elizabeth Anderson Martin in 2001.
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Net Worth
  • William Shatner has a net worth of $100 million.
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1. Judgment at Nuremberg (1961)

  (War, Drama)

2. Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan (1982)

  (Action, Sci-Fi, Adventure)


3. The Intruder (1962)

  (Drama)

4. A Whale of a Tale (1976)

  (Family, Drama, Comedy)



5. Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986)

  (Adventure, Comedy, Sci-Fi)

6. Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984)

  (Sci-Fi, Adventure, Action)




7. Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991)

  (Thriller, Adventure, Action, Sci-Fi)

8. The Brothers Karamazov (1958)

  (Romance, Drama)





Awards

Golden Globe Awards
2005 Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television Boston Legal (2004)
Primetime Emmy Awards
2005 Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series Boston Legal (2004)
2004 Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series The Practice (1997)

See the events in life of William Shatner in Chronological Order

How To Cite

Article Title
- William Shatner Biography
Author
- Editors, TheFamousPeople.com
Website
- TheFamousPeople.com
URL
https://www.thefamouspeople.com/profiles/william-alan-shatner-3220.php
Last Updated
- May 30, 2019

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