Five Things You Didn’t Know About William Shatner

Captain Kirk celebrates a half century of Star Trek at Boston Comic Con.

william shatner

Courtesy Photo

Before William Shatner was a Priceline spokesman, he commanded a starship. For the 50th anniversary of Star Trek, the original Captain Kirk is beaming up to Boston to celebrate—not only as a featured guest at Boston Comic Con (August 12–14), but also to throw out the first pitch at Fenway Park before the convention. We caught up with the legendary actor to talk about his career, his ties to the city, and his friendship with West End native Leonard Nimoy.

1. He may be coming to Fenway, but he first honed his sports chops on the gridiron.

“I played football in high school and early college, but I wasn’t fast enough. But I am associated with Terry Bradshaw [they’re doing reality TV together], and that qualifies me for a great deal of stuff, including some insanity.”

2. He based his award-winning Boston Legal performance as eccentric lawyer Denny Crane on aging athletes who refuse to retire.

“Most of them reluctantly and slowly give it up, and that’s what was happening with the character I played.”

3. He considers Leonard Nimoy’s Boston side to have rubbed off on him.

“He would regale me with stories of Boston. In a way, I’m a Bostonian by osmosis.”

4. He had to miss Nimoy’s funeral for a Red Cross fundraiser, but he was still able to pay tribute to his friend.

“I went to the Red Cross fundraiser, and I said to them: We can honor Leonard Nimoy’s name right now, and we should remember it. But our names—Leonard’s, mine, yours—will be ashes in the flicker of an eyelid in terms of eternity. What won’t be forgotten, but maybe not remembered—hmm, I hadn’t thought of that phrase—are the good deeds that we do.”

5. He takes living long and prospering quite literally.

“I’m filled with the life force. I’ve still got the sexuality, the energy, the health—pretty much—as a young man. I’m at the height of my acting powers.”