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William Shatner Biography

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William Shatner

Birthdate:   March 22, 1931
Website: http://www.williamshatner.com
Category: Movies

William Shatner Biography

His duty was to go where no man had gone before --- he was Captain James Tiberius Kirk of the U.S.S. Enterprise, and he is Canadian actor William Shatner. Although he his often viewed as an American television icon, Will Shatner in fact hails from Montreal, Quebec. Born on March 22, 1931, he attended Verdun high school and then moved on to McGill University where he studied commerce. In 1956 he moved to New York City to pursue a career in acting.

Shatner made a name for himself on American television, appearing on a myriad of shows. Some were successful while others weren't; however, those that were successes scored big. The first series was the short lived: For the People. The next year saw him appear on a unique new series named Star Trek, which lasted for three years, from 1966 to 1969. At the time the series was deemed a failure and Shatner moved on. He gave Star Trek another try in 1973, this time as a voice on the animated series, but the show survived only one year. Shatner left Star Trek behind and moved on to other exploits. The Barbary Coast was the next television show in line for Will but the program only lasted from 1975 to 1976. In 1979, Shatner once more turned to Star Trek, this time in the form of Star Trek: The Motion Picture. Shortly afterwards he got the starring role on T.J. Hooker, a cop drama from which he achieved great fame. At the same time the Star Trek films were gaining great momentum in the theatres.

Star Trek cartoon series

It was Star Trek that propelled him into the hearts and minds of the world. The science fiction series, created by Gene Roddenberry, revolved around multi-cultural cast of space explorers on a galactic mission to "seek out new world and new civilizations". The show was way ahead of its time with its message of understanding and acceptance that reflected the society of the future. Unfortunately, Gene Roddenberry's vision, was not an immediate success. The series failed to impress the television audience of the time and it was canceled after only three seasons. Looking back at the original Star Trek series now, it is tempting to pass it off as just campy, dated stuff, but this would undermine what it stands for and what it has become around the world. Captain James T. Kirk, and the Star Trek series, have become a sort of ambassador and symbol for peace throughout the world.

TJ Hooker Series

The success of Star Trek obviously is not due solely to the original television series eventual success. Indeed it was not into much later that the series gathered a following. The triumph and Star Trek, and through it Will Shatner, came with a series of movies based on the Roddenberry's creation. Even though it had failed to reach a home audience, Star Trek somehow managed to make it to the silver screen. The first Star Trek film met a lukewarm response, and most people wrote the whole "Star Trek" thing off as finished.

Nevertheless, another film was made, entitled The Wrath of Khan. The second film departed from the peace-loving ST of the past and wowed audiences with stunning action and great visual effects. The movie was a smash. After that the ball was rolling. The Search for Spock followed, a film which managed to recapture the message of ST while still delivering an exciting storyline. The Voyage Home introduced more elements of humour and developed the now legendary chemistry of the cast. The Final Frontier and The Undiscovered Country followed, two classic and thought provoking films that delighted audiences.

While all this was going on, a new ST series had hit the airwaves, Star Trek: The Next Generation was wowing viewers everywhere. In 1995, it was announced that TNG was going off the air but that the new cast would be taking over the theatrical ST releases. In 1996, the transition was made with Generations, a film that Shatner starred in and in which he laid his beloved character of James T. Kirk to rest.

Since leaving his Star Trek days behind Shatner has not been seen an awful lot cinematically. He popped up in National Lampoon's Loaded Weapon, but has not had any starring roles. Whether this is due to typecasting or just the way he wants it, is not known. His most current and most recognisable role, is that of host of Rescue 911. The show has been copied many times but was one of the first to depict real life rescues.

His newest passion is writing. Shatner has become a successful novelist, and has developed his own franchise of sci/fi fiction. He has penned a number of books called the TEK series. He also developed a television series based on the books for Canadian T.V.

Unknown to most, Shatner suffers from Tinnitus, a constant ringing in his ears. He acquired it from a special effects explosion on one of the many sets of Star Trek . Not content with his role as actor, Shatner is also CEO of Core Digital Effects, a Toronto based effects studio that does work for various films including fellow Canadian Anna Pacquin's Fly Away Home.

The future for William Shatner likely does not hold many feature films in it, however Shatner continues to be a force in North American television. He has been given a great degree of trustworthiness by the public, and nothing seems able to shake the esteem in which he is held.

William Shatner


1958 "The Brothers Karamazov"
1961 "The Explosive Generation"
1961 "Judgment at Nuremburg"
1964 "The Outrage"
1967 "White Comanche"
1968 "The Intruder"
1968 "Hour of Vengeance"
1974 "Big Bad Mama"
1974 "Dead of Night"
1975 "Impulse"
1975 "The Devil's Rain"
1977 "Kingdom of the Spiders"
1977 "A Whale of a Tale"
1978 "Challenge to Survive"
1978 "The Third Walker"
1979 "Star Trek: The Motion Picture"
1980 "The Kidnapping of the President"
1982 "Visiting Hours"
1982 "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan"
1982 "Airplane II: The Sequel"
1984 "Star Trek III: The Search for Spock"
1986 "Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home"
1989 "Star Trek V: The Final Frontier" (also directed)
1991 "Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey"
1991 "Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country"
1993 "National Lampoon's Loaded Weapon I"
1994 "Star Trek Generations"
1997 "Trekkies"
1998 "Free Enterprise"
2000 "Miss Congeniality"


Star Trek
T.J. Hooker
Rescue 911
Tek War

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