(photo left: WILLIAM SHATNER records the voice of Ozzie the possum in DreamWorks Animation’s computer-animated comedy OVER THE HEDGE, released May 19, 2006)
WILLIAM SHATNER has cultivated a successful career spanning 50 years and encompassing work as an actor, director, producer, screenwriter, recording artist, author and horseman.
Recently, Shatner won back-to-back Emmy Awards for his portrayal of eccentric lawyer Denny Crane, first on the ABC series “The Practice” and then as one of the stars of the hit series “Boston Legal.”
In addition, Shatner won a Golden Globe Award for his creation of the character on “The Practice.” Earlier this year, he received two Screen Actors Guild Award nominations for his performance as Denny Crane on “Boston Legal,” one for Best Actor in a Comedy Series and another as part of the ensemble cast. In 1999, he garnered his first Emmy nomination for his guest turn on the sci-fi comedy series “3rd Rock From the Sun.”
Shatner first rocketed to fame in 1966 when he originated the now-iconic role of Captain James T. Kirk in the seminal series “Star Trek.” Cancelled after three seasons, the series only grew in popularity in syndication, eventually spawning a blockbuster feature film franchise. Shatner reprised the role of Captain Kirk in seven “Star Trek” movies. He also made his feature film directorial debut on “Star Trek V: The Final Frontier,” for which he also helped conceive the story.
Born in Montreal, Canada, Shatner started working professionally at the Canadian Broadcasting Company even before he reached his teens. Joining the Stratford Shakespeare Festival under Sir Tyrone Guthrie, he appeared in the play “Tamburlaine,” which eventually moved to Broadway, taking the young actor with it. In 1958, he returned to Broadway with a starring role in “The World of Suzie Wong.”
Moving to New York, Shatner was part of television’s Golden Age, working on such programs as “Playhouse 90” and “Studio One.” He went on to appear in more than 100 guest roles, including his two classic episodes of “The Twilight Zone.”
Shatner made his film debut in 1958’s “The Brothers Karamazov,” followed by a co-starring role in Stanley Kramer’s “Judgment at Nuremburg,” and a starring role in “The Intruder.” His later film credits include the comedies “Airplane II: The Sequel” and “Loaded Weapon 1,” as well as both “Miss Congeniality” films. In addition to his role in “Over the Hedge,” Shatner can be heard as the voice of Kazar in “The Wild,” a film that was animated by C.O.R.E. Digital Pictures in Toronto, a company in which Shatner is a partner.
Shatner starred in several series between “Star Trek” and “Boston Legal.” He played the title role in the cop show “T.J. Hooker,” before hosting the CBS series “Rescue 911” for six seasons. In 2004, Shatner traveled to Riverside, Iowa (which boasts of being the “Future Birthplace of Captain James T. Kirk”), to film “Invasion Iowa,” a reality series in which the entire town was duped into believing that it was the location set of a new sci-fi movie. Shatner is also the spokesman for Priceline.com on television and radio, and hosted the History Channel special “How William Shatner Changed the World,” which showcases how the futuristic marvels of “Star Trek” inspired real-life advancements in science and technology.
In addition, Shatner has authored more than 20 best-selling books in both the fiction and non-fiction genres. His novel series TekWar was turned into a television series for The Sci-Fi Network, which he starred in and directed. Some of his other popular books include the novels Man O’ War, Star Trek Avenger and Ashes of Eden, and the autobiographical Star Trek Memories and Star Trek Movie Memories.
Shatner has also enjoyed success as a recording artist. His latest CD, Has Been, is a compilation of songs he recorded with such artists as Ben Folds, Brad Paisley, Joe Jackson, Aimee Mann and Henry Rollins.
Apart from performing, Shatner is a longtime dedicated breeder of champion American quarter horses. His passion for horses led to his involvement with AHEAD With Horses, which gives physically and mentally challenged children the thrill of riding a horse to boost their confidence and self-esteem. For the past 15 years, he has hosted the Hollywood Charity Horse Show at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center. (from Dreamwork Pictures, "Over the Hedge" (5/06)
Shatner's no hasbeen
William Shatner's new CD "Has Been" may not be an apt description of this man's career- unless he is referring to "has been HERE." He has been everywhere.
As one of the two former Star Trek stars on the current Priceline.com commerials (Leonard Nimoy, "Dr Spock," is the other), Shatner keeps himself busy dabbling in a variety of things.
He also has a starring role in the ABC-TV series "Boston Legal."
Shatner, 73, just doesn't stop. His musical collaboration with Ben Fold, "Has Been" has been (ha-ha) released. He's come a long way from his best known musical diaster "The Transformed Man," a 1968 classic. His mundane recital of Beatles and Bob Dylan songs has been held up to be more of a comical release than musical endeavor.
The Star Trek series lasted until 1969. After that Shatner resurfaced when the first of the "Star Trek" series began in 1979. During the 1980s, he had a hit TV series "T.J. Hooker," where he was a police officer.
Through the years, he starred on "3rd Rock from the Sun," a series about aliens living on Earth. Shatner was nominated for an Emmy Award for the role. Shatner also appeared in several "Twighlight Zone" eposides. Shater recently received an Emmy for his appearance in "The Practice" as Denny Crane. Now, the Crane character appears on "Boston Legal."
Capt. Kirk has come a long way. (2005)
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