William Shatner is an Emmy- and Golden Globe-winning Canadian actor best known for his starring role as Captain James T. Kirk of the USS Enterprise in the television show Star Trek from 1966-1969, and in seven of the subsequent movies.
He also starred as attorney Denny Crane on the television comedy-drama series Boston Legal, for which he won two Emmys and a Golden Globe Award.
Additionally, he starred as Dr. Edison Milford Goodson III in the television sitcom $#*! My Dad Says, from 2010-2011.
Born in Montreal, Shatner developed an early interest in acting and started working professionally at the Canadian Broadcasting Company (CBC) before he reached his teens.
He found himself drawn to the theatre and eventually joined the Stratford Shakespeare Festival under Sir Tyrone Guthrie. Tamburlaine, one of the festival's productions, moved to Broadway and Shatner was immediately noticed by the New York critics.
He later returned to Canada and won the Tyrone Guthrie Award. During his time at Stratford, Shatner also wrote plays for the CBC.
He moved to New York and was a part of television's Golden Age, working on programs such as Playhouse 90 and Studio One. He made his film debut in 1957's The Brothers Karamazov, followed by Judgment at Nuremburg and The Intruder. During the same period, he starred on Broadway in The World of Suzie Wong and A Shot in the Dark.
In 1966, Shatner originated the role of Captain James T. Kirk in the television series Star Trek, which rocketed to fame - but only after the show was cancelled and then later re-launched in syndication.
The series spawned a feature film franchise in which Shatner reprised the role of Captain Kirk in seven of the Star Trek motion pictures.
Shatner played the title role in the series T.J. Hooker before hosting one of television's new generation of reality-based series, Rescue 911, which aired on CBS for six seasons. Since the show first aired in 1989, over 300 lives have been saved by people who learned life-saving techniques from the show.
He has since guest-starred in several hundred television programs, including classics such as The Twilight Zone, Alfred Hitchcock Presents and Mission: Impossible.
He also recurred on other staples, including 77 Sunset Strip and Dr. Kildare before garnering an Emmy nomination in 1999 for his appearances in 3rd Rock from the Sun.
He made his feature film directorial debut in 1989 with Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (in which he also starred and helped conceive the story). Since then, he has directed several other features, television movies and series.
He directed (as well as co-wrote, produced and starred in) Groom Lake, a picture about the mysterious area in the southwestern United States. Shatner has also appeared in other movies such as Airplane II: The Sequel, Loaded Weapon 1, Showtime and both installments of the Miss Congeniality franchise.
Since April 1998, Shatner has served as the spokesman for Priceline.com. His enduring appeal has proven to be an integral part of the company's ad campaigns and brand marketing program.
In September 2004, Shatner won an Emmy Award for his recurring role as eccentric lawyer Denny Crane on The Practice, the David E. Kelley-created legal drama that finished its run in 2004. Shatner then reprised the role - this time as a series regular - on Boston Legal.
He won his first Golden Globe Award in January 2005 and another Emmy Award that September. He has since earned four more Emmy nominations, a second Golden Globe nod as well as two SAG Award nominations.
Shatner's Raw Nerve, an edgy and off-beat celebrity interview series, currently airs on the Bio channel. In each episode, Shatner spends a half hour getting to know his guest on an intensely personal level and touching upon subjects not normally visited on other talk shows.
Guests such as Rush Limbaugh, Gene Simmons, Valerie Bertinelli, Tim Allen, Jon Voight, Jenna Jameson, Jimmy Kimmel and Kelsey Grammer have discussed topics such as addiction, grief, childhood, marriage, combat and parenthood.
In 2005, Shatner hosted Weird or What?, a mini-series that explored mysteries and strange phenomena. He traveled to Riverside, Iowa, which proclaimed itself the Future Birthplace of Captain James T. Kirk. Shatner and a crew from Los Angeles filmed Invasion Iowa, a special in which an entire town was punked into believing that a sci-fi film was being shot there.
Locals were hired on as cast and crew only to later discover that their reactions - not a movie - were being filmed.
His love and appreciation of music inspired him to go into the studio and record Has Been, a compilation of songs released in 2004 that he recorded with musical artists such as Ben Folds (who also produced the record), Brad Paisley, Joe Jackson, Aimee Mann and Henry Rollins. The album features Shatner's trademark vocalization and shows off his passion for poetry and lyricism.
In March 2006, he produced and starred in the special, William Shatner in Concert, featuring highlights from concerts that he performed with several of Has Been's guest artists. The music was interwoven into segments that followed Shatner in various everyday activities as well as some very personal moments, such as the birth of one of his granddaughters.
The Milwaukee Ballet performed Common People, a dance presentation set to several numbers from Has Been. The event - as well its preparations - were filmed and can be seen in the documentary, William Shatner's Gonzo Ballet, which has been playing to sold-out houses on the film festival circuit. The picture won Best Documentary at the Marbella Film Festival in October 2009.
In the spring of 2008, Shatner released his recording Exodus, which was written by David Itkin and performed with the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra (including a chorus of 350 and over 70 instruments).
In the spring of 2005, Shatner narrated the story of Exodus to sold out crowds in Little Rock, Ark. He produced and starred in the 2006 cable special, How William Shatner Changed the World, an Emmy-nominated television documentary that was based on his book, I'm Working on That.
The program shows in depth how many of the gadgets used in the original Star Trek television series inspired and foreshadowed some of today's technological staples such as cell phones and PDA devices.
Shatner was also heard in movie theaters throughout the world in the summer of 2006. He starred as the voice of Kazar in the feature, The Wild, a film animated by C.O.R.E. Digital Pictures in Toronto - a company in which Shatner is a partner. He was also one of the lead characters in the animated picture, Over the Hedge, playing Ozzie the Opossum.
Shatner has authored over two dozen best-selling books in both the fiction and non-fiction genres. His TekWar novels were turned into a television series (in which he starred and directed) and have been reborn as a comic book serial.
Some of his other popular novels include Man O' War, Star Trek Avenger and Ashes of Eden. He wrote two books about his Star Trek career in Star Trek Memories and Star Trek Movie Memories before penning Get A Life!, a hilarious but endearing look at the cult of Star Trek Conventions.
Shatner's autobiography, Up Till Now, was released in May 2008 and went on to become a New York Times best-seller. A comic book series - William Shatner Presents - debuted in summer 2009. The series is based on three novels of Shatner's: Tek War, Man O' War and Quest for Tomorrow,along with a brand new title, Chimera.
Shatner has also become a successful horse breeder and competitor. A longtime dedicated breeder of American Quarter horses, he has also had success with the beautiful American Saddlebred, developing and riding two world champions, Sultan's Great Day and Revival.
He has won numerous world championships in several equine events. His passions for horses and philanthropy were united through his involvement with AHEAD With Horses, a therapeutic riding charity that provides physically and mentally challenged children the thrill of riding a horse - and boosts their confidence and self-esteem, often with life-changing results.
He has also worked with the American Tinnitus Association, raising awareness of this debilitating illness through numerous television appearances and interviews. Additionally, he has helped raise awareness of the subpar treatment that many U.S. troops were receiving at Walter Reed Army Hospital.
On an international level, he and his wife started the William & Elizabeth Shatner Therapeutic Riding Consortium Endowment for Israel. This venture is designed to benefit Bedouin, Palestinian, Jordanian and Israeli children so that in addition to healing, war-torn children are brought together to start the first steps toward a lasting peace.
Shatner lives in Los Angeles with his wife; his three married children also live in the city.
William as Denny Crane in Boston Legal