BOSTON LEGAL William Shatner

William Shatner : Denny Crane

Date Of Birth: March 22nd, 1931   Hometown: Montreal, Canada

Shatner has cultivated a career that has spanned 50 years as a professional actor, director, producer, screenwriter, recording artist, author and horseman. He is one of pop culture’s most recognizable figures and has also established himself as a major Hollywood philanthropist.

In September 2004, Shatner won his first Emmy Award for his recurring role as eccentric law firm partner “Denny Crane” on “The Practice,” the David E. Kelley-created legal drama that finished its impressive eight-year run on ABC in 2004. Shatner is currently reprising the role as a series regular on “Boston Legal;” the portrayal garnered him his first Golden Globe Award in January 2005, and he won a second Emmy in 2005 for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series. He also received an Emmy nomination for the role in 2006.

In March 2006, he produced and starred in a TV Land special entitled “William Shatner in Concert,” featuring highlights from concerts that he performed with Ben Folds, Brad Paisley, Joe Jackson and Henry Rollins. The music from those exciting nights was interwoven into segments depicting Shatner in various everyday activities as well as some very special moments, such as the birth of one of his granddaughters.

Also in March, he produced and starred in another cable special, “How William Shatner Changed the World,” a documentary that aired on the History Channel and is based on his book, I’m Working on That. This special received a 2006 Emmy nomination for Outstanding Nonfiction Special.

Shatner was recently heard in movie theaters throughout the world, starring as the voice of “Kazar” in the Walt Disney feature “The Wild,” a film animated by C.O.R.E. Digital Pictures in Toronto — a company in which he is a partner. He also is one of the lead characters in the DreamWorks animated picture “Over the Hedge,” playing “Ozzie the Opossum.”

Born in Montreal, Shatner developed an early interest in acting and started working professionally at the Canadian Broadcasting Company (CBC) even before he reached his teens. He found himself drawn to the theater and eventually joined the Stratford Shakespeare Festival under Sir Tyrone Guthrie. When “Tamburlaine,” one of the festival’s productions, moved to Broadway, Shatner was immediately noticed by the New York critics. He later returned to Canada, winning the Tyrone Guthrie Award soon thereafter.

Shatner later moved to New York City 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 the 1957 film, “The Brothers Karamazov,” followed by “Judgment at Nuremberg” and “The Intruder.” During the same period, he starred on Broadway in “The World of Suzie Wong” and “A Shot in the Dark.”

He has since guest starred in over 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 for his appearances as ‘the big giant head’ in “3rd Rock from the Sun.”

In 1966 Shatner originated the role of Captain James T. Kirk in television series “Star Trek,” which rocketed into fame only after the show was cancelled and re-launched in syndication. The series spawned a feature film franchise, and Shatner reprised the role of Captain Kirk in seven of the “Stark Trek” motion pictures. He has since appeared in other movies such as “Airplane II: The Sequel,” “Loaded Weapon 1,” as well as both installments of the “Miss Congeniality” franchise.

Shatner played the title role in the network television series hit “T.J. Hooker” before hosting the CBS series “Rescue 911” for six seasons. Since the show first aired, over 300 lives have been saved by people who learned a life-saving technique from the show.

He made his feature film directorial debut in 1989 with “Star Trek V: The Final Frontier” (in which he also starred, as well as helped conceive the story). Since then he has directed several other features, television movies and episodics. Most recently he directed (as well as produced and starred in) “Groom Lake,” a picture about the mysterious area surrounding Roswell, New Mexico.

Since April 1998, Shatner has served as the spokesman for He was one of the first celebrities in Hollywood to recognize the importance of the Internet and his enduring appeal has proven to be an integral part of the company’s ad campaigns and brand marketing program.

Shatner’s love and appreciation of music inspired him to go into the studio and record “Has Been,” a compilation of songs he recorded with such musical artists 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. “Has Been” was released through Shout! Factory in October 2004.

Off the screen and broadcast waves, Shatner has authored over 20 bestselling books in both the fiction and non-fiction genres. His novel series, TekWar, was turned into a television series for The Sci-Fi Network (in which he starred and directed). Some of his other popular novels include Man O’ War, Star Trek Avenger, Ashes of Eden and the recently released Captain’s Glory. He wrote two books on his Star Trek career entitled Star Trek Memories and Star Trek Movie Memories, before penning Get A Life!, a hilarious and endearing look at the cult of Star Trek conventions.

Shatner has also become a success at yet another career — horse breeding. A longtime dedicated breeder of American Quarter horses, he has had smashing success with the beautiful American Saddlebred, developing and owning the world champion “Sultan’s Great Day.” In August 1997, he won the World Harness Championship at Louisville, Kentucky, with his Saddlebred, “Revival.”

AHEAD With Horses and other child-oriented charities in the Los Angeles area. On an international level, he and his wife have started the William & Elizabeth Shatner/Jewish National Fund Therapeutic Riding Consortium Endowment for Israel. This very special venture is designed to benefit Bedouin, Palestinian, Jordanian, and Israeli children so that in addition to healing, there will be an effort to bring the war-torn children together and to start the first steps towards a lasting peace. Additionally, he has worked with the American Tinnitus Association, raising awareness of this debilitating illness.

Shatner and his wife, Elizabeth, and his three married children and five grandchildren live in Los Angeles.

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