|Net Worth:||$100 million|
|Salary:||$5,000 per episode on Star Trek|
|Age/Date of Birth:||March 22, 1931|
|Height:||5' 9½" (1.77 m)|
William Shatner is a Canadian actor, producer, director, and author. Shatner is popularly known for playing the role of USS Enterprise commander, Captain James T. Kirk in the Star Trek franchise. With over seven decades in the entertainment industry, William has earned himself such fame and money that are worth the mention.
Here are Details of How He Built His Net Worth
Born on March 22, 1931, in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, William Alan Shatner began performing as a kid and attended the Montreal Children’s Theater. Although he studied Commerce at the McGill University, Shatner kept his passion for acting burning all through his college days. Even after taking up a business manager job at Mountain Playhouse in Montreal, he would still leave the job to join the National Repertory Theater of Ottawa.
William Shatner however, didn’t make it to the silver screens until much later. In the mid-1950s, he portrayed several roles at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival in Ontario. During the same period, Shatner made his Broadway debut while taking up minor roles in several Canadian films.
William later landed his career breakthrough in the Hollywood film, The Brothers Karamazov (1958) in which he made his debut feature film appearance. He went on to earn critical rave for a Broadway production in the early 1960s while also appearing in episodes of numerous TV shows including Alfred Hitchcock Presents, The Twilight Zone, and The Fugitive.
Career Big Break with Star Trek
William Shatner’s big break eventually came in the mid 1960s when he landed the lead role of USS Enterprise Commander Captain James T. Kirk in the TV series, Star Trek: The Original Series. With a salary of $5,000 per episode for his role, William’s bank account soon began to feel the impact of his career earnings. The actor also received a $500 raise with each season renewal of the series. This would mean that by season 3, he should receive $6000 per episode.
This role would go on to establish William Shatner as a world-class act. However, his success with the NBC series didn’t last. The series began to receive tepid reviews resulting in its cancellation in 1969 after three seasons. Following this, Shatner suffered a period of financial difficulty which forced him to accept various menial roles.
He however, began to see some light when he voiced his Kirk character in Star Trek: Animated Series (1973-1974). Shatner would once again, rise to fame with the 1970’s syndicated rerun of the original Star Trek series which became massively successful and garnered a cult following. The fame opened the doors to multiple movie roles, shooting the Captain back to winning ways.
Financial Breakthrough with Star Trek Films
William Shatner alongside his series co-stars hit an even bigger break in 1979 when they starred in the first Star Trek film, Star Trek: The Motion Picture. The movie recorded tremendous commercial success, grossing $139 million on a $44 million budget. Shatner would go on to reprise his ‘Kirk’ role in six more Star Trek films from 1982 to 1991 with a salary of $2.5 million per movie.
All 7 Star Trek movies involving Shatner recorded massive box office success, grossing a total of $734 million with a combined budget of $189 million.
In addition to starring in the Star Trek films, Shatner later began to boost his income by working as a director and producer on several screen projects including the 5th sequel, Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (1989).
William Shatner also Made Millions from other Movie/TV Roles
Thanks to his Star Trek fame, William Shatner landed numerous other lucrative film and TV series roles. In 1977, he played Rack Hansen in Kingdom of the Spiders from which he pocketed a paycheck of $20,000 plus 7.5% cut of the movie’s gross revenue. While starring in the hit Star Trek film series, William further enriched himself by playing the titular character in the very successful police drama, T. J. Hooker which ran from 1982 to 1985. His next hit show was Rescue 911 which aired seven seasons from 1989 to 1996.
Shatner continued his success into the new millennium with hit movies like Miss Congeniality (2000) and its sequel Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous (2004) alongside Sandra Bullock. Following his acclaimed role in the final season of the ABC legal drama The Practice which won him an Emmy, a spin-off Boston Legal was created in 2004 based on his character. The show ran for 5 seasons and earned him his second Emmy Award.
In 2006, he starred in his most commercially successful movie ever – Over the Hedge which raked in as much as $343 million at the box office.
In addition to acting, Shatner has hosted several successful television shows such as Shatner’s Raw Nerve, Aftermath with William Shatner and $h*! My Dad Says. For the latter, he received roughly $2.7 million from its 18 episodes at $150,000 per episode. Here’s a quick look at William Shatner’s acting salaries through the years:
|1960s||$5,000 per episode|
|1990s||$2,500,000 – $6,000,000|
|2000s –||$150,000 per episode|
His Earnings from Writing and Music
Aside from appearing in films and tv shows, William Shatner has earned some decent bucks from writing. He has co-written several novels in the Star Trek Universe alongside a number of fiction and non-fiction books.
Perhaps the most notable of them is the science-fiction novel series, TekWar which has since released up to nine books and has also been adapted into numerous television films. He has as well co-written ten novels in the Star Trek series, some of which have also been adapted.
Shatner’s written works have recorded enough commercial success to earn him the New York Times Best-seller author title. His most recent non-fiction release is his memoir titled Live Long and… What I Learned Along the Way (2018).
— William Shatner (@WilliamShatner) September 4, 2018
William Shatner alongside his film career also works as a musician. He launched his music career as far back as 1968 and has since released several works that have recorded moderate success. The actor cum musician has over ten albums to his credit.
Horse Breeding, Endorsements and other Ventures
Starting from 1985, William Shatner owned and operated two horse farms in Kentucky called the Belle Reve Farm. One of the farm’s stallions, Sultan’s Great Day was a two-time world champion. In 1999, Shatner sold the farm for $500,000 but that didn’t bring his horse-breeding business to a close. The actor bought a larger farm, a 360 acre property where he continued saddle-breeding. He later expanded his business to Los Angeles where he breeds quarter horses. Although the actor’s divorces have variously affected his ownership of Belle Reve, it continues to serve as one of his sources of income especially since dwindling acting years.
William Shatner has also pitched for a number of brands. During the early stages of his stardom in the 1970’s, he appeared in commercials for supermarket chains like Loblaws and SuperValu, Promis Margarine, General Motors’ automobile Oldsmobile and home computer Commodore VIC-20.
However, Shatner’s most controversial endorsement deal is with travel website priceline.com which began from the late 90’s. The Star Trek icon received stock options rather than cash for the deal. Unfortunately, the stock price fell to barely $2 per share in 2000. However, in 2011, the travel company was back on their feet and trading a share for $300. This fueled speculations that Shatner who still maintained his stocks had made about $600 million but Shatner has severally debunked the rumors. Priceline CEO, Jeffery Boyd revealed in 2013 that Shatner sold his stock at a relatively lower price. The Star Trek actor has even ranked his Priceline stock deal as his worst business venture ever.
In 2006, William Shatner sold his kidney to Golden Palace for $25,000. He donated the entire amount, alongside $20,000 he raised from the cast and crew of Boston legal to Habitat for Humanity. Let’s have a quick recap of his major sources of income and net worth:
Lesser-known Facts about Shatner’s Marital Life and Kids
Overshadowed by his massive career success, many of William Shatner’s fans may not quite know that the actor has gone the path of marriage a saddening four good times. Three out of the four marriages ended in divorces while one ended with the death of his wife. Let’s have a closer look.
William First Married Canadian Actress, Gloria Rand
Gloria Rand was the first woman William Shatner married. He walked her down the aisle on the 12th of August, 1956 in Canada. The couple however, went their separate years about 13 years later. They precisely signed the divorce papers in California on the 4th of March, 1969. Having ended their marriage during the last season of Star Trek: The Original Series (which is Shatner’s career big break project), it appears the actor’s then-growing popularity had something to do with their separation.
Gloria Rand was a Canadian actress prominent for her roles in films like Goodyear Playhouse (1951), Encounter (1952) and On Camera (1954). She had three daughters with Shatner.
Marcy, Daughter of Famous Producer Lafferty is His Second Ex
About four years after ending his first marriage, William Shatner decided to take another actress down the aisle. This time, it was Marcy Lafferty, the daughter of popular American filmmaker, Perry Lafferty. The duo tied the knot on the 20th of October, 1973.
Although his second marriage lasted much longer then the first, it didn’t last forever as expected. By 1995 (about 22 years after they said “I do”), Shatner and Lafferty had no affection left between them to continue keeping them together as husband and wife. The estranged couple consequently, filed for a divorce which they finalized on December 11, 1996.
Prior to marrying Shatner, Lafferty had a two-year union with Lawrence Hayes Brown.
Death Came Knocking after William Shatner Found True Love with Nerine
With two marriages trashed already, one may think that the Star Trek icon would give love a break but William was completely far from that. The celebrity actor soon fell in love again and this time, it was with the real “bone of his bone”. His third marriage was to yet another actress – Nerine Kidd. Some of her notable movies include Artificial Paradise (1990) and A Twist in the Tale (1999).
The lovebirds tied the knot on the 15th of November 1997 and lived happily with each other until tragedy struck on the night of August 9, 1999. William Shatner returned home around 10:00 pm on the fateful day to discover the lifeless body of Nerine at the bottom of their recreational backyard swimming pool.
Autopsy reports of the dead 40-year-old Nerine revealed she had a large concentration of alcohol and Valium diazepam in her blood. William later revealed that Nerine was an extreme alcohol addict and the ugly incident occurred days after he told her he was going to divorce her because of her addiction.
Inside William Shatner’s Latest Divorce – with Elizabeth Anderson
Two years after the tragic death of Nerine Kidd, William Shatner gave marriage a shot for the fourth time! Already in his showbiz waning years, William didn’t marry an actress this time. He rather landed someone in a business that was already taking his time more than acting – Elizabeth Anderson Martin, a horse trainer. The duo tied the knot on the 13th of February, 2001.
Elizabeth and William’s common interest in horse-breeding and of course, other factors we may mot know about helped to keep them together for the next 18 years. For undisclosed reasons, the couple went their separate ways in February 2019. Shatner who is no newcomer to divorce, filed the papers once again in December of same year and by January 2020, he was single again!
With his fourth divorce taking place after 90, it turns out William Shatner would have no one to warm his bosom in his twilight days; or would the actor go ahead and marry once more? Who knows?q
Meet His Kids
Out of Shatner’s four marriages, only his first (that is, with Gloria Rand) produced children; three daughters, namely:
Leslie is William Shatner’s oldest child whom he had with first wife Gloria Rand, two years after they tied the knot. She is an actress and is married to Gordon Walker with whom she has two children.
Lizabeth is William’s second daughter. He welcomed her in 1961 with Gloria. Lizabeth is an actress and former Miss Golden Globe. She won the title in 1985. She has been married to Andy Clement since 2005.
Melanie is Shatner’s youngest child. Just like her two older sisters, she also took the career path of her parents in becoming an actress. Melanie has two daughters with actor Joel Gretsch whom she married on September 5, 1999. Following her marriage, Melanie quit acting.
The Truth Behind William Shatner’s Alleged Love Son
In 2016, news broke that a love child of William Shatner had just surfaced. The man from Florida named Peter Sloan who was at the time aged 59, had filed a $170 million suit against the Star Trek actor, claiming that he is his biological father and demanding a DNA for proof. That was after the actor rejected his claims. The suit was however, later dismissed.
According to Peter, his mother (now late) Canadian actress, Kathy McNeil had a brief affair with William Shatner and the former gave him up for adoption at five days old. After a rigorous search for his roots that took him almost four decades, Peter legally adopted Shatner as his last name in 2019. However, all efforts to get the movie legend to take part in a paternity test nor to admit fathering him proved abortive.
In December 2020, while the rumors were still making rounds on the media, the truth emerged. William Shatner was actually not the only man Peter’s mother pointed at as possible father candidates. The actress told him back in 1984 that she had also slept with another man, one Benjamin Freedman (also late) around the same time she went to bed with William Shatner. Fortunately, Peter was able to get the DNA of Freedman’s daughter and it matched his, finally putting the allegations to rest.
Fact Check: Is William Shatner Dead or Alive?
William Shatner has died heroically as Captain James T. Kirk to save his work and family from a plunging spaceship in a movie scene. But he resurrected out of the movie and is still very much alive today. Currently, he jogs and keeps up with his sports and athletic interest which ultimately rewards him with a healthy old age.
|Estimated Net Worth:||$100 million|
|Salary:||$5,000 per episode on Star Trek|
|Source of Wealth:||Showbiz|
|Also Known As:||Captain James T. Kirk|
|Profession:||Actor, author, producer, director, screenwriter, and singer|
|Famous For:||Star Trek franchise|
|Colleges/Universities Attended:||McGill University|
|Educational Qualifications:||Bachelor of Commerce degree|
|Birthday & Zodiac
|Age/Date of Birth:||March 22, 1931|
|Birth Place:||Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, Montreal, Quebec, Canada|
|Country of Residence: ||Southern California|
|Height:||5' 9½" (1.77 m)|
|Hair Color:||Light brown|
|Other Body Measurements:||Not Availble|
(m. 1956; div. 1969)
(m. 1973; div. 1996)
(m. 1997; d. 1999)
(m. 2001; div. 2020)
|Family and Relatives
|Children:||3 daughters: Melanie Shatner
Leslie Carol Shatner
|Other Relatives:||Grand children: Kaya Gretsch, Willow Gretsch, Grant Walker, Eric Walker|