William Shatner

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William Shatner (2016)

William Shatner , OC (born March 22, 1931 in Montreal ) is a Canadian actor , director , screenwriter , author , singer and voice actor . He is also a two-time Emmy Award winner and a Golden Globe award winner. He is known to a wide audience for his roles as Captain James T. Kirk in Spaceship Enterprise , as TJ Hooker in the series of the same name and as Denny Crane in the Boston Legal series.



William Shatner (2005)

William Shatner grew up as the son of Joseph Shatner and Anna Garmaise in Montreal. His grandfather Wolfgang Shatner (originally Schattner ) was a Jewish emigrant of German descent from the Ukraine . His maternal grandparents were Jewish emigrants from Austria and Vilkaviškis in Lithuania .

Acting has fascinated William Shatner since he was 6 years old when he took part in a theater performance at a summer camp. Two years later he appeared at the Montreal Children's Theater as Tom Sawyer . At the age of ten he already achieved a certain level of awareness as a radio play speaker on the Canadian radio station CBC . After high school, he graduated from McGill University in Montreal with a degree in economics in 1952 . In 1953 Shatner starred in several Shakespeare performances at the Stratford Festival of Canada .

In 1956, he moved to New York City , where he worked for television and on Broadway , where he was noticed by film producers. His first appearance in a movie was in The Brothers Karamazov in 1958 , where he played the role of Alexei Karamazov. Three years later followed a supporting role in The Judgment of Nuremberg and in 1962 the main role in Roger Corman's racism drama White Terror . Shatner made his debut as a leading actor in a television series in For the People , which aired from January to May 1965. He became world famous for his role as Captain Kirk in the television series Starship Enterprise , the three seasons of which ran from September 1966 to September 1969. He did not appear in the series' original pilot episode , The Cage ; in her, Jeffrey Hunter played the role of Captain Pike, who was in command of the Enterprise before Kirk.

Such a pick-up with a simple living area was Shatner's "apartment" for a while

In the early 1970s, Shatner lived in a pickup truck for a while because of financial difficulties . Shatner later played Kirk again in the first seven parts of the Star Trek movie series (1979-1994), the fifth film he also directed.

Other films with William Shatner include The Hound of Baskerville (1972) and The Abduction of the President (1980) with Ava Gardner and Hal Holbrook, as well as two episodes of the US crime series Columbo . From 1982 to 1986 he played another lead role in the crime series TJ Hooker and also directed several episodes. From 1989 to 1996 he presented the TV program Rescue 911, where accidents and rescue operations with the police and fire brigade were re-enacted. In 1993 he took on a supporting role in the comedy Loaded Weapon . Between 1994 and 1996, four television films and 18 series episodes were made by Tek War - Warriors of the Future , based on Shatner's science fiction novels of the same name . Here he played as Walter Bascom in a supporting role and took over the direction of the first film and two episodes of the series.

After the independent comedy Free Enterprise (1998), in which Shatner parodies himself, other roles followed in films such as Miss Undercover (2000), Showtime (2002) and Full on the Nuts (2004). From 2004 to 2008 he starred alongside James Spader in the role of Denny Crane in the justice series Boston Legal , for which he received an Emmy for best supporting actor in a drama series and the Golden Globe for best supporting actor in a television production. In addition, he hosted the weekly game show Show Me the Money on the US television channel ABC from November 2006 , which was discontinued after a few episodes. Shatner was also seen in commercials for the Internet service Priceline and the computer game World of Warcraft .

Since December 2008 he has hosted the talk show Shatner's Raw Nerve for The Biography Channel , where he interviewed celebrities. From September 2010 to February 2011, Shatner starred in the CBS- aired sitcom Shit! My Dad Says the role of the father. In 2011 he was in front of the camera for the documentary UFOs, Sex and Monster - Roger Corman's wild cinema , director Alex Stapleton illuminates the films and life of the B-movie director and producer Roger Corman . In 2014 William Shatner parodied his role as Captain Kirk in a commercial for the Volkswagen Group . With the words "Just like in my spaceship", he invited a little "Star Trek" fan to a ride in his new car. On the way they both met Leonard Nimoy , who greeted them with the word “Fascinating”.

William Shatner's honor on the Hollywood Walk of Fame


Shatner's musical style is characterized by his way of singing, called " Spoken Word ", which is actually more reminiscent of an actor-style lyric recitation with background music than of singing. In 1968 his first album The Transformed Man came out. The version of the Beatles' title Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds contained on it was voted the worst Beatles cover of all time by viewers on the TV channel Music Choice . In 2004 Has Been was released , produced by Ben Folds . As a duet with Joe Jackson , it includes a new recording of the title Common People by the group Pulp . In addition to Ben Folds, Henry Rollins , Aimee Mann and Brad Paisley also appear as guest vocalists on the album .

On the 2011 album Seeking Major Tom , Shatner covered songs related to space, a. a. the eponymous Major Tom ( David Bowie ), Mr. Spaceman ( The Byrds ), Walking on the Moon ( The Police ) and Rocket Man ( Elton John ). Numerous well-known musicians were guests on the album, including a. Ritchie Blackmore , Peter Frampton , Michael Schenker , Johnny Winter and Sheryl Crow . His fourth album Ponder the Mystery was released in 2013 and contains only his own songs. Shatner wrote all the lyrics himself, the music for all 15 pieces was composed by Billy Sherwood , who also played all the instruments and took over the vocals in the background.


William Shatner is also known as an author of books. In addition to his own Star Trek biography and the aforementioned TEK War novels, he has written ten Star Trek novels with the author duo Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens . Except for the books The Ashes of Eden and Collision Course , all of the novels are based on the events in the movie Star Trek: Meeting of Generations . The character of Captain James T. Kirk was brought back to life by Shatner and is now experiencing numerous adventures in the 24th century, along with numerous other characters from the Star Trek universe. Many connections are made to the classic Star Trek series.


Shatner married Gloria Rand in 1956 and divorced in 1969. From 1973 until the divorce in 1994 he was married to the actress Marcy Lafferty . In 1997 he married Nerine Kidd. She drowned in her home swimming pool in 1999. Alcohol and Valium were found in her blood, and the police ruled out any third-party fault. Shatner has been married to Elizabeth Anderson Martin since 2001. Towards the end of 2019, he filed for divorce for this marriage, giving February 1, 2019 as the separation date.

Shatner's daughter, actress Melanie Shatner (* 1964), appeared as a secretary in Star Trek V: On the Edge of the Universe in 1989 . Today she is married to the actor Joel Gretsch . Another daughter, Lisabeth Shatner (* 1961), also had an appearance in 1966 when she was five years old in the television series Raumschiff Enterprise . In addition to his artistic activities, William Shatner is also a successful horse breeder, Doberman breeder and organizer of the annual Hollywood Charity Horse Show , the proceeds of which benefit mentally and physically disabled children as well as veterans. He supports at least 24 organizations.

In April 2014, Shatner was awarded the "Distinguished Public Service" medal by NASA , the space agency's highest honor for a non-member of the government. The reason given was that he had inspired new generations of researchers around the world and relentlessly supported NASA and its missions.


The German dubbing was mainly done by Gert Günther Hoffmann , especially in the Star Trek series, with the exception of the second and third films, in which he is spoken by Klaus Sonnenschein . After Hoffmann's death, Shatner was also dubbed by Otto Mellies in addition to Sonnenschein . Hartmut Neugebauer lent him his voice in the television series Boston Legal .

Audio books

Filmography (selection)


TV Shows


  • 1968: The Transformed Man (Decca)
  • 1977: William Shatner Live (Lemli)
  • 1997: Spaced Out: The Very Best of Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner (Universal International)
  • 2004: Has Been (Shout! Factory)
  • 2011: Seeking Major Tom (Cleopatra Records)
  • 2013: Ponder the Mystery (Cleopatra Records)


Jake cardigan

Star Trek

(with Judith & Garfield Reeves-Stevens)

The Star Fighters - Quest for Tomorrow

  • The Delta-Code Heyne, Munich 2002, ISBN 3-453-21365-3 , Delta Search , 1997
  • Die Gen-Kriege Heyne, Munich 2002, ISBN 3-453-21364-5 , In Alien Hands , 1997
  • Step into Chaos , 1997
  • Beyond the Stars , 1997
  • Shadowplanet , 2002

Single novels

  • Good ol 'guy. Cannibals, 1986
  • Believe, 1992 (with Michael Tobias )
  • Man O'War, 1996
  • The Law of War, 1998
  • Zero-G: Book 1, 2016 (with Jeff Rovin )


  • Shatner, Where No Man , 1979
  • Captain's Log: William Shatner's Personal Account of the Making of Star Trek V the Final Frontier , 1989 (with Lisabeth Shatner)
  • Get a Life! , 1993
  • Star Trek Memories Heyne, Munich 1994, ISBN 3-453-07957-4 , Star Trek Memories , 1993 (with Chris Kreski)
  • Star Trek memories. The films Heyne, Munich 1996, ISBN 3-453-09474-3 , Star Trek Movie Memories , 1994 (with Chris Kreski)
  • The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction Movies , 2001 (with CJ Henderson)
  • I'm Working on That: A Trek from Science Fiction to Science Fact , 2002 (with Chip Walter)
  • Through the universe to this point: The autobiography Schwarzkopf + Schwarzkopf, Berlin 2009, ISBN 3-89602-879-0 , Up Till Now. The Autobiography , 2008 (with David Fisher)
  • With David Fisher: Spock and me. My friend Leonard Nimoy . Wilhelm Heyne, Munich 2016, ISBN 978-3-453-20143-9 . (With 17 photos; American original edition: Leonard - My Fifty-Year Friendship with a Remarkable Man. Thomas Dunne Books, New York 2016)
  • With David Fisher: Live Long ... and what I learned on my way: The autobiography Hannibal Verlag, Innsbruck 2019, ISBN 978-3-85445-664-3


  • Dennis William Hauck: William Shatner: A Bio-Bibliography , 1994
  • Dennis William Hauck: William Shatner. Der Captain Heyne, Munich 1997, ISBN 3-453-11706-9
  • Ralph Sander : Star Trek Classic - William Shatner Heyne, Munich 1996
  • Robert E. Schnakenberg: The Encyclopedia Shatnerica , 1998
  • Robert Schnakenberg: William Shatner. The man. The movies. The legend. Ubooks, Diedorf 2011, ISBN 978-3-86608-152-9 . (Lexicon from A to Z)

Web links

Commons : William Shatner  - Collection of Images, Videos and Audio Files

Individual evidence

  1. [1]
  2. William Shatner lived out of a truck after Star Trek @ metro.co.uk, 2014, accessed November 5, 2017
  3. Exclusive Interview: Producer Stone Douglass on Corman's World: Exploits of a Hollywood Rebel
  4. Seeking Major Tom at Allmusic (English)
  5. ^ "Captain Kirk" actor William Shatner - divorce at 88. In: Spiegel Online.de. December 11, 2019, accessed December 12, 2019 .
  6. NASA Honors William Shatner With Distinguished Public Service Medal on NASA.gov (English); Retrieved April 29, 2014
  7. ^ William Shatner's 'Searching For Major Tom' Track List . In: Huff Post . April 13, 2011.
  8. Cleopatra Records ( Memento from March 30, 2012 in the Internet Archive )