William Shatner is best known for his portrayal of Captain James T. Kirk, of the USS Enterprise for the television series Star Trek, Star Trek: The Animated Series, and the Star Trek feature films. William has written several books telling of his experience as Captain Kirk and being a part of Star Trek. He has also co-written many novels that are set in the Star Trek universe.
William was born in Côte Saint-Luc, Canada on March 22, 1931 to Anne and Joseph Shatner. William was raised in Conservative Judaism. He attended three schools while he was in Montreal: Willingdon Elementary School, Baron Byng High School, and West Hill High School. Shatner studied at McGill University in Montreal and graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce degree. McGill later awarded him an honorary doctorate of letters in 2011.
Once Shatner graduated from McGill University, he became a business manager for the Mountain Playhouse, which led to him joining the Canadian National Repertory Theater. He was trained as a classical Shakespearean actor, and began performing at the Shakespearean Stratford Festival. He performed in Henry V, Oedipus Rex, and Tamburlaine the Great. Shatner was cast as Ranger Bob on The Canadian Howdy Doody Show in 1954. His first feature was as Alexei in the film The Brothers Karamazov.
Shatner had many roles in various television episodes and films. He started as Captain Kirk for the second pilot of Star Trek, titles “Where No Man Has Gone Before”. He was then asked to play Kirk for the series and performed the role from 1966-1969. Later in 1973 he took the role of Captain Kirk for the animated Star Trek series.
After the series ended, William started to attend Star Trek conventions organized by Trekkies. Once the demand for more Star Trek built up, Paramount brought the original Star Trek cast to produce a motion picture. He continued on with the role of Captain Kirk for the next six Star Trek films, ending with Kirk’s death in the film Star Trek Generations.
Since Star Trek, William has done many advertisements for many companies and commercials. He is also the spokesman for Priceline, a online travel website. He was the CEO for Toronto, a special effects studio. Shatner published a book, Get a Life!, which described his experience with Trekkie Fans.
He co-stared in the movie Miss Congeniality as Stan Fields, the co-host of the Miss United States Pageant. He later was in the sequel Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous as the kidnapped victim. He has made several guest appearances on The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien. Shatner was the voice of Ozzie in the DreamWorks’ film Over the Hedge.
William has earned several awards and nominations throughout his career. He received five Best Actor nominations for various films, four additional nominations for Star Trek films. He won Best Actor for Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. He received The Life Career Award and won his first Emmy for his role as Denny Crane in The Practice. He won his first Golden Globe and Second Emmy for Best Supporting Actor for his work on Boston Legal.