Who is William Shatner?

William Shatner OC is a Canadian actor, author, producer, director, screenwriter, commercial astronaut, and musician. In a career spanning seven decades, he is best known for his portrayal of Captain James T. Kirk in the Star Trek franchise.

William Shatner had taken minor roles in a radio series of children’s fairytales, he had been planning to join his father’s firm. However, his love and talent for acting led him to where he is now.

William Shatner Biography
William Shatner Biography

So, today in this article, we will provide you with all the information regarding William Shatner, which will make you admire this 90-year-old talent even more. So, please keep on scrolling to know more about Shatner’s life and career!

Quick Facts

Full nameWilliam Shatner
NicknameCaptain Kirk
BirthdayMarch 22, 1931
Age91 years old
SunsignAries
TraitsPositive: Versatile, Courageous, and Spontaneous
Negative: Impetuous, Selfish, and Vain
BirthplaceNotre-Dame-de-Grace, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Currently residingLos Angeles, California, USA
NationalityCanadian
Height5ft 9 inch
EducationBachelor’s degree in Commerce
ParentsJoseph Shatner (Father)
Anne Garmaise (Mother)
SiblingsJoy Shatner (sister)
Farla Shatner (sister)
Marital StatusDivorced
ChildrenMelanie Shatner
Leslie Carol Shatner
Lisabeth Shatner
ProfessionActor, Singer, Writer
Social mediaInstagram
Twitter
Net Worth$100 million
Quick Facts

Interesting Facts

  • William Shatner is the oldest person to fly into space.

William was one of the few passengers who flew to space on October 12, 2021. He also became the oldest person above the Kármán line, the boundary to outer space, at 90. “I hope I never recover from this,” Shatner said after returning from the four-minute sojourn into space aboard a Blue Origin rocket. He also reported having experienced the overview effect

  • William Shatner made TV history with one of the earliest onscreen interracial kisses.

Shatner participated in one of the earliest onscreen interracial kisses on television in the 1968 Star Trek episode “Plato’s Stepchildren.” In the show, Shatner’s Kirk and Lieutenant Uhura (Nichelle Nicholas) kiss while under the power of a vicious alien race.

  • William Shatner’s dad was not thrilled about his son’s chosen profession.

Shatner’s career path was not endorsed by his father, Joseph, who wanted his son to join him in the men’s clothing industry. Instead, Shatner attended McGill University and received a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in anticipation of doing just that before he decided to pursue acting instead.

  • He’s an unlikely social media star — with no plans to retire!

While many people half his age have trouble keeping up with the latest technology, William Shatner dominates social media. His status as an “influencer” has helped keep Bill relevant for a generation that wasn’t even born when he played his most famous characters! 

  • William Shatner was once an understudy for Christopher Plummer.

Shatner had been acting in various theatrical productions before moving to Toronto, joining the Stratford Festival troupe, and putting on a display of Henry V in 1956. One night, when Plummer was suffering from a kidney stone, Shatner was called to stage and performed the title role flawlessly, receiving a standing ovation. Shatner recalled, “that was the night I knew I was an actor.”

  • One of William Shatner’s earliest financial investments was in uranium.

In the early 1950s, Shatner sank $500—his entire savings—into uranium stocks. A day later, the Canadian government announced they were no longer purchasing uranium. The financial loss delayed Shatner’s move to New York to pursue his acting career.

William Shatner Early Life and Family

On March 22, 1931, William Shatner was born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, to Joseph and Anne Shatner. His father was a Jewish emigrant from Bukovina in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, while his maternal grandparents were Lithuanian Jews.

Shatner came from a lower-class family where his father owned a small company making men’s clothing in Montreal. As for his mother Anne, she kept the house and worked as an actress.

William lived in the west end of Montreal in a “sort of clean, English conservative manner rather than in the French section of Montreal where there was a great deal of life and ferment.” Shatner was raised Jewish, went to the synagogue, and was barmitzvahed in Jewish tradition. However, he says he never entirely understood or got it.

The Star-Trek star attended two schools in Notre Dame, Willingdon Elementary School, and West Hill High School. Later, he studied Economics at the McGill University Faculty of Management in Montreal.

Though he was the middle child and had grown up with two sisters, he was mostly alone. Similarly, he also suffered from shyness and a fear of loneliness, which has been a huge motivator for him all his life.

William Shatner Siblings

William is the middle child of his family. He has two sisters. Joy Rutenberg is the elder sister of William, who is four years older than him.

Farla Cohen is the younger sister of William, who is eight years younger than him. She owns a textile industry. William often says the thing he misses the most about Montreal is his sisters.

Love Affairs and Relationship

William Shatner has been married four times. He had a somewhat turbulent relationship.

Gloria Rand

Gloria is a Canadian actress who starred in four TV shows in the fifties. William and Gloria tied the knot in 1956 and had three daughters.

The actor left her while filming the final season of Star Trek: The Original Series, and they divorced by the time the show ended in 1969. Little is known about what Gloria is doing now, as she is highly private.

Marcy Lafferty

Marcy is a prominent American TV producer who tied the knot with William four years after his first divorce. The New York-born actress appeared in several TV series and the 1979 film Star Trek: The Motion Picture.

Marcy was married to William for 23 years- the longest of his marriages- before they split in 1996. As per the divorce settlement, Marcy would receive horse semen from three prize stallions every year. But in 2013, Marcy took the actor to court for breaching the divorce agreement by not sending samples that were in a “fresh, cooled format.”

Nerine Kidd

William was married to the ex-model Nerine in 1997. Sadly, she was an alcoholic who lost her life to accidental drowning after taking a cocktail of alcohol and valium in 1999. Shatner lamented the loss of his “beautiful soulmate” and also called her “the love of my life.”

Elizabeth Martin

William was married for the fourth time with horse trainer Elizabeth Martin, who was 27 years his junior, in 2001. However, the couple split in 2019, and they divorced a year later. Martin won ownership of their homes in Versailles, Kentucky, and Malibu, California.

William Shatner with Elizabeth Shatner
William Shatner with Elizabeth Shatner

Click here to read the full biography of Elizabeth Martin Shatner.

William Shatner Children

Shatner is the father of three daughters from his first wife, Gloria.

William Shatner with his daughters
William Shatner with his daughters

Leslie Shatner

William’s eldest daughter was born on August 31, 1958. She once portrayed an Only girl in an episode of Star Trek: The Original Series, titled Miri.

Lisabeth Shatner

She is William’s middle daughter, born on June 6, 1961. She, too, followed in her parent’s footsteps, venturing into the world of acting when she was younger.

Melanie Shatner

Melanie was born on August 1, 1964, and she is the youngest daughter of William. Like her parents and elder siblings, she also pursued a career in the film industry.

William Shatner Career

William Shatner has a successful career as an actor, TV show host, musician, and writer. Shatner initially started as a stage actor before graduating into television and only got roles in little-known films for some time. However, his career changed completely when he got the role of Captain Kirk in the Star-Trek series.

In 1968, Shatner began his career in music with the album The Transformed Man and produced three more albums, namely, Has Been, Seeking Major Tom, and Ponder the Mystery.

William Shatner movies, roles, and awards

YearMovie TitleRoleAwards
2022FireheartVoice 
2021My Life is MurderBarton Wallwork 
2019Devil’s RevengeHayes 
2019To Your Last Death Northeast Film Festival Prize
2019Creators: The PastLord OgmhaMarsh Award for Best Actor
2018The Steam Engines of OzOscar ‘Oz’ Diggs 
2016A Sunday HorseKenneth Roubidaux 
2016God Woke IFS Award winner
2015Baby, Baby, BabyJean-Pierre 
2015A Christmas Horror StoryDangerous Dan 
2012Escape From Planet EarthGen. Shanker (Voice) 
2010Haven Saturn Award for the Best Guest Performance in a Television Series
2009FanboysWilliam Shatner 
2009Gonzo BalletWilliam ShatnerPresident’s Award
2004-2008Boston LegalDenny CranePrimetime Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series Golden Globe Award for the Best Performance by an Actor in Supporting Role OFTA TV Hall of Fame Prism Award
2004Dodgeball: A True Underdog StoryDodgeball Chancellor 
2002Groom LakeJohn Goosner 
2002Shoot or be ShotHarvey Wilkes 
2000Miss CongenialityStan FieldsNominee for Canadian Comedy Award
19963rd Rock From the SunThe Big Giant HeadOFTA Television Award for the Best Guest Actor in a Comedy Series
1994Star Trek: GenerationsKirk 
1994TekWar: TekLabWalter H. BascomNominee for Gemini Awards
1993Family of StrangersEarl 
1980The Kidnapping of the PresidentJerry O’ Connor 
1973Pioneer WomanJohn SergeantBronze Wrangler Award

Health Issues

William Shatner had received a prostate cancer diagnosis that later was proved to be a false positive. However, the star suffers from a condition called tinnitus. According to him, this began while he was filming the Star Trek episode “Arena.” He was standing too close to a special effects explosion, resulting in tinnitus.

He said,

“There were days when I didn’t know how I would survive the agony. I was so tormented by the screeching in my head I really thought I would not be able to go on.”

William Shatner Controversies

Despite all his success, William has a reputation among some circles as not one of the nicest people. However, the feud between him and his Star-Trek co-actor George Taki is pretty much talked about.

Shatner commented about Taki’s wedding who is a gay man that married his partner in 2008. Not that Shatner was opposed to Takei marrying a man but the simple fact that he wasn’t invited. Takei responded by saying he did invite Shatner, but Shatner never responded to the invite.

Later, Takei referred to William as a “90-year-old guinea pig to see space’s impact on an unfit specimen” after Shatner’s space journey. To this, William responded,

“There’s psychosis there….there must be something else inside George that is festering, and it makes him unhappy that he takes it out on me.”

William Shatner Net Worth

William Shatner’s net worth as of 2022 is $100 million. Additionally, he lives a relatively comfortable life. Shatner’s longtime residence is a four-bedroom, four-bathroom, 4016-square-foot home in Studio City, California. Similarly, he also owns Porsche Panamera 2002 & Aston Martin DB7 Vantage.

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