William Shatner Biography

(Famous for His Portrayal of Captain James T. Kirk in the 'Star Trek' Franchise)

Birthday: March 22, 1931 (Aries)

Born In: Montreal, Canada

William Shatner is a Canadian actor, singer, comedian. Shatner initially started off as a stage actor before graduating into television. His career changed completely when he got the role of the iconic Captain James T. Kirk in the cult television series ‘Star Trek.' Shatner went on to portray the character in the films that followed over the years to become one of the most loved film 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 he also earned various awards and accolades for the same. He has also appeared in a number of plays at Broadway and his training as a Shakespearean actor has been evident in all those performances.

Quick Facts

Canadian Celebrities Born In March

Also Known As: William Alan Shatner

Age: 93 Years, 93 Year Old Males


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

Born Country: Canada

Jewish Actors Actors

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

Ancestry: Canadian American, Polish Canadian, Ukrainian Canadian, Austrian Canadian, Hungarian Canadian

Notable Alumni: Montreal Children's Theatre, McGill University Faculty Of Management, New England Institute Of Technology

City: Montreal, Canada

More Facts

education: Montreal Children's Theatre, McGill University Faculty Of Management, New England Institute Of Technology

  • 1

    Is William Shatner still alive?

    Yes, William Shatner is still alive. He was born on March 22, 1931.

  • 2

    What is William Shatner's best-known role?

    William Shatner is best known for his role as Captain James T. Kirk in the original Star Trek television series.
  • 3

    Has William Shatner written any books?

    Yes, William Shatner has written several books, including science fiction novels, memoirs, and self-help books.
  • 4

    Does William Shatner have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame?

    Yes, William Shatner was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1983 for his contributions to television.
  • 5

    What is William Shatner's involvement with horses?

    William Shatner is known for his love of horses and equestrian activities. He has been involved in horse breeding and showing, particularly in the world of American Saddlebreds.
Childhood & Early Life

William Shatner was born in Notre-Dame-De-Grace, Montreal, Quebec, Canada on March 22, 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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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.

He started working in the TV series ‘T.J. Hooker’ in 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

William Shatner 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.

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’.
Personal Life & Legacy

He got married to actress Gloria Rand on August 12, 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. He did not have any children from this marriage.

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 Joyce Martin in 2001. However, they parted ways in 2020. 

Facts About William Shatner
William Shatner is an accomplished equestrian and has won several horse-riding competitions.
He is a published author and has written numerous books, including science fiction novels and autobiographies.
Shatner is a talented musician and has released several albums showcasing his singing abilities.
Shatner is known for his philanthropic efforts, supporting various charities and causes throughout his career.

William Shatner Movies

1. Judgment at Nuremberg (1961)

  (War, Drama)

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

  (Action, Sci-Fi, Adventure)

3. The Intruder (1962)


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

  (Adventure, Comedy, Sci-Fi)

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

  (Sci-Fi, Adventure, Action)

6. A Whale of a Tale (1976)

  (Family, Drama, Comedy)

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

  (Thriller, Adventure, Action, Sci-Fi)

8. Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979)

  (Mystery, Adventure, Sci-Fi)

9. The Brothers Karamazov (1958)

  (Romance, Drama)

10. Oedipus Rex (1957)



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

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