William Shatner: Actor, Singer and Pitchman

William Shatner looked a lot different in this publcity shot early in his career and made his first television appearance in 1954 on Canadian television when he portrayed Ranger Bob in a Canadian version of Howdy Doody in 1954.

William Alan Shatner was born on March 22, 1931 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Shatner made his movie debut in 1951 in The Butler’s Night Off portraying a crook in a Canadian movie that grossed $35,000.

Shatner now has been in show business for 50 years and has seldom gone more than a year without being in a movie or television show.

He was in live stage productions when television presented live plays. He has one of the most extensive resumes ever since he has appeared in several different television shows as a guest star and he appeared in the Defenders from 1961 to 1965 acting in one episode in each season portraying a different character in each season.

William Shatner as he appeared portraying Capt. James T. Kirk on Star Trek which has been the most significant role in his career.

His big break came when got the role of Capt. James Kirk in Star Trek in which he appeared in 79 episodes during the 1966-1969 run.

Star Trek returned to television in 1973-1974 and Shatner starred in 22 of those episodes. He starred in Star Trek the Motion Picture in 1979. He appeared in five more Star Trek movies with his last Star Trek movie appearance being in 1991 in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.

Shatner was seen in either a Star Trek television series or movie intermittently from 1966 to 1991 spanning 25 years.

Heather Locklear and William Shatner as they looked during the five year run of T.J. Hooker.

Shatner’s next long running TV series was T.J. Hooker in which he co-starred with Heather Locklear from 1982 -1986. Shatner appeared in 90 episodes of the show.

Adrian Zmed and the singer James Darren also were in the cast.

The shows can be seen on the Universal HD channel presently since he has been on the channel since September of 2010.

Both Shatner and Locklear have been seen on television for many years and should be seen for many years to come with Shatner now 79 and Locklear who is 30 years younger than Shatner is now 49.

James Spader and William Shatner in a scene from Boston Legal television series.

William Shatner would have another long running series in Boston Legal which ran from 2004-2008. He has a series being shown today on CBS network but the name is one of the worst names ever for a television series so won’t even name it.

William Shatner has reportedly been paid well for his appearances in Priceline.com commercials seen on television.

The great singer William Shatner singing Rocketman one his biggest hits. One of his albums at Amazon.com is ranked 414,000th in sales. At least he will never have to worry about making an acceptance speech at the Grammy Awards show. He still may be a shade better of a singer than the immortal William Hung of American Idol fame.


Author: Andrew Godfrey

Retired from newspaper work after 38 years. Had served in the Army in Hawaii and Vietnam in the 60's. Am now retired and living in Sulphur, Louisiana.

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