William Shatner Then and Now

By / July 1, 2024

William Shatner Then

William Shatner, born on March 22, 1931, in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, embarked on a lifelong journey in acting that began during his youth.

Starting as a child performer on radio programs for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Shatner showed early promise and passion for the art form. 

This early exposure laid the foundation for his future career in entertainment.

During his academic years at McGill University, Shatner continued to hone his acting skills. 

He immersed himself in theatrical pursuits and performed with dedication. 

william shatner young
via william shatner instagram

His summers were spent with the Royal Mount Theater Company, where he gained valuable experience and further developed his craft. 

After graduating from McGill in 1952, Shatner’s commitment to acting led him to join the National Repertory Theatre of Ottawa, marking the beginning of his professional acting career.

Related Article: Christopher Lloyd Then and Now

Shatner’s career trajectory took a significant turn when he collaborated with Sir Tyrone Guthrie and appeared in productions at the prestigious Stratford Shakespeare Festival in Ontario. 

This period was pivotal for Shatner, providing him with opportunities to showcase his versatility and talent in classical theater. 

His experiences at Stratford laid a strong artistic foundation and cemented his reputation as a skilled actor capable of handling diverse roles.

Related Article: Maggie Smith Then and Now

Overall, William Shatner’s journey from a child performer on Canadian radio to a respected actor at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival exemplifies his dedication to the craft of acting. 

His early years of training and immersion in theater set the stage for a prolific career that would span decades and encompass a wide range of roles, ultimately establishing him as a cultural icon in film and television.

Related Article: Judi Dench Then and Now

William Shatner Acting Career

William Shatner’s career is a testament to his versatility and enduring presence in the entertainment industry. 

After college, he initially worked as a business manager for a playhouse in Montreal, where he gained practical experience in theater management. 

His passion for acting led him to join the Canadian National Repertory Theatre to train as a classical Shakespearean actor.

Related Article: Helen Mirren Then and Now

This training laid a solid foundation for Shatner’s future roles and prepared him for the demanding world of stage and screen.

In 1954, Shatner’s career took a significant turn when he began playing various roles at the prestigious Stratford Shakespeare Festival. 

Related Article: Ian McKellen Then and Now

william shatner career
via william shatner instagram

This marked his introduction to classical theater and showcased his talent for dramatic performances. 

Concurrently, he also ventured into television, landing roles such as Ranger Bob on The Canadian “Howdy Doody Show” and appearing in an episode of “Alfred Hitchcock Presents,” demonstrating his versatility across different media.

Related Article: Michael Caine Then and Now

However, Shatner’s defining role came in 1966 when he was cast as Captain James T. Kirk in the groundbreaking science fiction series “Star Trek.” 

Running from 1966 to 1969, “Star Trek” initially garnered a dedicated fan base and later achieved cult status through syndicated reruns in the 1970s. 

Captain Kirk, portrayed with Shatner’s trademark charisma and presence, became a cultural icon and solidified Shatner’s place in television history.

Related Article: Geena Davis Then and Now

Beyond “Star Trek,” Shatner continued to expand his acting repertoire. He starred in the police drama “T. J. Hooker” from 1982 to 1986, showcasing his action-hero persona. 

Concurrently, he reprised his role as Captain Kirk in five “Star Trek” movies during the 1980s, further cementing his association with the beloved character.

Related Article: Joe Pesci Then and Now 

Notably, Shatner also ventured into directing, helming episodes of “T. J. Hooker” and directing the feature film “Star Trek V: The Final Frontier.”

In the 2000s, Shatner’s career saw a resurgence with notable roles in popular films such as “Miss Congeniality” (2000) and its sequel “Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous” (2004). 

He also made a significant impact on television with his portrayal of Denny Crane in David E. 

Related Article: Kevin Kline Then and Now 

Kelley’s legal drama “The Practice” and its spin-off “Boston Legal,” earned critical acclaim and multiple awards, including an Emmy.

Aside from acting, Shatner has explored other creative avenues, including a career as a recording artist. 

His albums, notably “The Transformed Man” (1968) and “Seeking Major Tom” (2011), showcase his distinctive spoken-word style and interpretations of iconic songs. 

Throughout his career, William Shatner has exemplified resilience, creativity, and an unwavering commitment to his craft, leaving an indelible mark on multiple facets of the entertainment industry.

Related Article: Eddie Murphy Then and Now

William Shatner Movies

william shatner movies list
via william shatner instagram
  • The Brothers Karamazov (1958) 
  • Judgment at Nuremberg (1961) 
  • Incubus (1966)
  • White Comanche (1968) 
  • Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979)
  • Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982) 
  • Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984) 
  • Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986) 
  • Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (1989) 
  • Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991)
  • Miss Congeniality (2000) 
  • Showtime (2002) 
  • DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story (2004) 
  • Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous (2005)
  • Over the Hedge (2006) – Ozzie (voice)
  • Fanboys (2009) 
  • The Wild (2006) – Kazar (voice)
  • Incubus (2006) 
  • Exodus Fall (2011) 
  • Escape from Planet Earth (2013) – General Shanker (voice)
  • The Captains (2011) 
  • William Shatner’s Gonzo Ballet (2009)
  • To Be Takei (2014)
  • A Christmas Horror Story (2015)
  • Batman vs. Two-Face (2017) – Harvey Dent / Two-Face (voice)
  • Senior Moment (2021)
  • Fireheart (2022)
  • William Shatner: You Can Call Me Bill (2023)

William Shatner’s Wife and Children

William Shatner’s personal life has been marked by both joy and tragedy, reflecting his resilience and commitment to various passions beyond acting. 

His first marriage to Canadian actress Gloria Rand lasted from 1956 to 1969 and was fruitful, resulting in the birth of three children. 

Following this, Shatner married actress Marcy Lafferty in 1973, though the marriage ended in divorce in 1996.

Related Article: Dan Aykroyd Then and Now

Tragedy struck in 1999 when Shatner’s third wife, Nerine Kidd, accidentally drowned in their home’s pool in Studio City, California. 

Despite this devastating loss, Shatner eventually found love again and married Elizabeth J. Martin in 2001. 

Martin, a horse breeder, brought renewed happiness into Shatner’s life, although their marriage also saw its conclusion when Shatner filed for divorce in late 2019.

Related Article: Bill Murray Then and Now

Beyond his personal trials, Shatner has been deeply involved in philanthropy, particularly through his creation of the Hollywood Charity Horse Show in 1990. 

This annual event has raised funds for various children’s charities, showcasing Shatner’s commitment to giving back to the community.

Related Article: Chevy Chase Then and Now

In recognition of his extensive contributions to popular culture and charitable endeavors, Canadian Governor General Julie Payette appointed Shatner as an Officer of the Order of Canada in late 2017. 

This prestigious honor underscored Shatner’s lasting impact as an actor and philanthropist, solidifying his legacy both in Canada and internationally.

Related Article: Martin Short Then and Now

William Shatner Now

william shatner age
via william shatner instagram

William Shatner, at 93 years old, remains a prominent figure in the entertainment industry and beyond. 

Born in Montreal, Canada, Shatner has built a multifaceted career spanning decades.

He is widely recognized for his iconic portrayal of Captain James T. Kirk in the original “Star Trek” series, a role that catapulted him to international fame and earned him a dedicated fan base.

Related Article: Christine Baranski Then and Now

Beyond his acting career, Shatner has ventured into various creative pursuits.

He has authored several books, produced and directed numerous films and television shows, written screenplays, and even pursued a career as a singer. 

His diverse talents and entrepreneurial spirit have contributed to his substantial net worth, estimated at $100 million, making him one of the wealthiest figures in the entertainment industry.

Related Article: Alan Alda Then and Now

In 2023, Shatner added to his extensive filmography with the release of “William Shatner: You Can Call Me Bill.” 

This documentary likely provides insights into his life, career, and enduring legacy, offering fans a closer look at the man behind the iconic roles.

Related Article: Henry Winkler Then and Now 

Throughout his life, Shatner has also been dedicated to philanthropy, notably through initiatives like the Hollywood Charity Horse Show, which he founded in 1990 to support children’s charities. 

His contributions to popular culture and charitable causes have been recognized globally, including his appointment as an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2017, highlighting his significant impact on Canadian society and beyond.

Related Article: Ron Howard Then and Now

As William Shatner continues to inspire and entertain audiences worldwide, his legacy as a versatile entertainer and humanitarian remains a testament to his enduring influence and passion for the arts.

Related Article: Sigourney Weaver Then and Now

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top