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 7 decades in the entertainment industry, there are lots of interesting things to learn about him. Read on to discover his wiki, spouse, daughter, children, whether he is still alive or dead and the popularly searched William Shatner salary.
William Shatner Bio
William Alan Shatner was born on March 22, 1931, in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Like most actors, Shatner began performing as a kid and attended the Montreal Children’s Theater. He continued to pursue his acting passion in college at McGill University from where he graduated with a degree in Commerce in 1952. Shatner had a brief stint as a business manager at Mountain Playhouse, Montreal and afterward, joined the National Repertory Theater of Ottawa. In the mid-1950’s, 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. He made his debut feature film appearance in Hollywood film “The Brothers Karamazov” (1958).
In the early 60’s Shatner earned critical rave for a Broadway production and continued appearing in episodes of numerous TV shows.
Breakthrough With Star Trek
In 1966, Shatner was called to play the role of USS Enterprise commander Captain James T. Kirk in TV series “Star Trek: The Original Series”. This role would go on to establish him as a world class act. However, his success with the NBC series wasn’t immediate. The series was met with tepid reviews and subsequently canceled in 1969 after three seasons. Following the show’s cancellation, Shatner suffered a period of financial difficulty and was forced to accept various menial roles.
However, he soon rose to fame and became a cultural icon thanks to 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 and the Captain was back to winning ways. Shatner and his series co-stars then starred in the first Star Wars film. Released in 1979 it grossed $139 million on a $46 million budget. Shatner went on to star in 6 more Star Wars films ending in the 1994 version “Star Trek Generations” where his character was killed.
In addition to starring in the Star Wars films, Shatner has co-written several novels in the Star Trek Universe and directed the 5th sequel “Star Trek V: The Final Frontier” (1989). All 7 Star Trek movies involving Shatner have grossed $734 million with a combined budget of $189 million.
Other TV And Movie Endeavors
Thanks to his Star Trek fame, Shatner’s next TV endeavor “T. J. Hooker” of which he played the titular character enjoyed immediate success. The ABC/CBS show ran successfully for 5 seasons between 1982 and 1986. His next hit show was “Rescue 911” which ran for 7 seasons from 1989 to 1996.
Shatner continued his success into the new millennium with hit movies like “Miss Congeniality” (2000) and its sequel “Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous” (2004) alongside Sandra Bullock. Following his acclaimed role in the final season of “The Practice” which won him an Emmy, a spin-off “Boston Legal” was created in 2004 based on his character. The show ran for 5 seasons and won him his second Emmy Award.
In addition to acting, Shatner has hosted successful shows such as celeb interview program “Shatner’s Raw Nerve”, “Aftermath with William Shatner” and “$h*! My Dad Says”. For the latter, he received roughly $2.7 million from its 18 episodes at $150,000 per episode.
TekWar And Other Books
Shatner has also written a number of fiction and non-fiction books. Perhaps the most notable of them is the science fiction novel series TekWar which has been adapted into 4 TV movies. He has also penned numerous non-fiction novels chronicling his experiences on the Star Trek franchise.
William Shatner’s Income and Endorsements
Like every other popular celebrity, William Shatner has pitched for a number of brands. At the early stages of 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. William Shatner has an estimated net worth put at $100 million.
William Shatner’s Spouse, Daughter, Children
William Shatner has gone the path of marriage four times. Three out of the four ended in divorces while one ended with the tragic death of his last wife. William was first married to Gloria Rand a Canadian actress from August 12, 1956, to March 1969. Their marriage produced three girls named Leslie Shatner born in 1958, Lisabeth Shatner born in 1960 and Melanie Shatner born in 1964.
By 1973, Shatner was again married to Marcy Lafferty the daughter of famous movie producer Perry Lafferty. Their marriage only lasted a decade and three other years, as by 1996 they had no affection for each other to keep living and behaving as lovebirds. Thus William Shatner recorded his second divorce.
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 Nerine Kidd Shatner in 1977 until her tragic demise in 1999. The two lived together happily with each other and had everything going fine between them.
Tragedy, however, struck on the night of August 9, 1999, by 10.00 p.m. when William Shatner returned home 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. She probably drowned while swimming as a result of the large concentration of the substances in her body. William mourned her greatly and by 2004, his album included a spoken-word piece titled “What Have You Done” which described his untold anguish when he discovered his wife’s lifeless body in the pool.
From 2001 to date, Willian Shatner has been married to Elizabeth Anderson Martin.
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.