Wednesday, March 24, 2010

79 Facts About William Shatner

Update: Shatner's birthday was Monday , just wasn't able to post this till now, Happy belated birthday William Shatner!

Today is William Shatner’s 79th birthday. In his honor of Captain James T. Kirk, we’ve boldly collected 79 facts about the Star Trek legend that have never been collected before — at least not all in one place. Enjoy!

1. William Alan Shatner was born on March 22, 1931 in Montreal.

2. His father Joseph was a clothing manufacturer.

3. Shatner was raised as a Conservative Jew.

4. His paternal grandfather Wolf Schattner changed the family named after immigrating to Canada.

5. Shatner graduated from McGill University in 1952 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Commerce.

6. He classically trained as a Shakespearean actor and performed at the Shakespearean Stratford Festival of Canada.

7. Shatner had his Broadway debut in a production of Marlowe’s Tamburlaine the Great which was directed by Sir Tyrone Guthrie.

8. Shatner’s first big on-screen break was a Canadian film titled, The Butler’s Night Off.

9. In 1954 Shatner played the part of Ranger Bill on the first season of the Canadian Howdy Doody Show.

10. Shatner landed his first American film role in 1958 as Alexi, the youngest brother in The Brothers Karamazov.

11. He appeared on Alfred Hitchcock Presents twice. First, in an episode entitled “The Glass Eye,” and then, a few years later in “Mother, may I go out to swim?”

12. Shatner’s best-known role pre-Star Trek was a classic episode of The Twilight Zone, “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet.”

13. He played the part of Captain James T. Kirk on the television series Star Trek from 1966 to 1969. The show was canceled, but became much more popular in reruns post-moon landing.

14. In a Star Trek episode entitled “Operation: Annihilate!,” Shatner played the body of Kirk’s dead brother, George.

15. He also starred as Kirk in Star Trek: The Animated Series and in the first seven Star Trek movies.

16. He portrayed Captain Kirk in film for the final time in 1994 Star Trek Generations; in 2006 he reprized his role for a DirecTV advertisement.

17. Although he claims not to remember meeting him then, Shatner first appeared on screen with Leonard Nimoy when he guest-starred in an episode of The Man from U.N.C.L.E.

18. Thanks to a deal he made with Nimoy, Shatner directed the fifth Star Trek movie, 1989’s Star Trek V: The Final Frontier. He also co-wrote it.

19. Shatner was not given a role in J.J. Abram’s 2009 film Star Trek. He then refused to see it in theaters.

19. His favorite episode of Star Trek was entitled “The Devil in the Dark.”