William Shatner (born March 22, 1931) is an Emmy-winning Canadian actor, singer, director and comedian best known for his role as Captain James T. Kirk on Star Trek, which ran from 1966 to 1969, and its various movie spin-offs that followed.
Shatner has had other TV roles such as Paul De Vinger on 77 Sunset Strip, Dr. Carl Noyes on Dr. Kildare, as well as notable guest roles on The Twilight Zone and The Man from UNCLE.
Shatner later starred as the title character on T.J. Hooker, and the host of Rescue 911. He played Walter H. Bascom on the various Tekwar telefilms (and its short-lived TV series spin-off, all of which were based on the series of novels that Shatner had written, see below). He had a recurring role as The Big Giant Head on Third Rock from the Sun and as lawyer Denny Crane on The Practice which segued into a co-starring role on Boston Legal. He followed that as the star of the sitcom Sh*t My Dad Says. He later appeared as himself on the reality series Better Late Than Never.
Shatner has also appeared on shows including The Defenders, Mission: Impossible, The Virginian, Ironside and Columbo.
In addition to his television work, Shatner has appeared in movies such as White Comanche, The Terror at 37,000 Feet, The Devil's Rain (with Ernest Borgnine), Disaster on the Coastliner, Visiting Hours, and The Kidnapping of the President.
Mr. Shatner has written and co-written several books, both fiction and memoirs, often employing ghostwriters to flesh out his ideas. Shatner's novel Tekwar is one of the books analyzed on the podcast 372 Pages We'll Never Get Back.
In recent years, Shatner has appeared in various movies in either comedic roles or cameos where he was featured as himself, including National Lampoon's Loaded Weapon 1, Miss Congeniality (with Michael Caine), Showtime and Horrorween (directed by and co-starring Joe Estevez).
MST3K alum Kevin Murphy is a self-admitted fan of Shatner. Shatner's signature Trek role is mentioned during one of the host segments in Experiment 320 The Unearthly where Joel Robinson is playing the Capt. Kirk Monopoly Game. In Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie one of the earliest riffs in This Island Earth is Tom Servo looking for Shatner's name in the initial credits and, when he isn't located, declares they're safe. He is also referenced by Michael J. Nelson during his solo treatment of 1987's Predator and by both Mike and Kevin during treatment for 1978's Halloween where they both note that Michael Myers' mask isn't all that scary and that it's likely just some guy wearing a "Bill Shatner mask."