William Shatner, OC (born March 22, 1931), is a Canadian actor, author, producer, director, and singer. He became a cultural icon for his portrayal of James T. Kirk, Captain of the USS Enterprise, in the Star Trek franchise. He has written a series of books chronicling his experiences playing Captain Kirk and being a part of Star Trek, and has co-written several novels set in the Star Trek universe. He has also written a series of science fiction novels called TekWar which was adapted for television.
- Jason [Alexander] says he was inspired by me. Why is everyone who's inspired by me such a fat, fucking loser? You know, I look back on this amazing evening and I can't help but think to myself, "Who the hell are you people?" What right do you have to make fun of me; what have you ever done?"
- Comedy Central Roast of William Shatner (2006)
- You know who I am?! I'm William Tiberius Shatner!
- Comedy Central Roast of William Shatner (2006)
- I'm not a Starfleet commander, or T. J. Hooker. I don't live on Starship NCC-170... [some audience members say "1"], or own a phaser. I don't know anybody named Bones, Sulu, or Spock [picture of Dr. Benjamin Spock is shown on screen behind him]. And no, I've never had green alien sex, but I'm sure it'd be quite an evening. [Pomp and Circumstance begins playing.] I speak English and French, not Klingon! I drink Labatt's, not Romulan Ale! And when someone says to me 'live long and prosper', I seriously mean it when I say, 'get a life'. My doctor's name is not McCoy, it's Ginsberg [nude picture of Dr. Ginsberg shown on screen]. And tribbles were puppets, not real animals. PUPPETS! And when I speak, I never, ever talk like Every. Word. Is. Its. Own. Sentence. I live in California, but I was raised in Montreal. And I believe in Priceline.com, where you never have to pay full price for airline tickets, hotels, and car rentals! I've appeared on stage at Stratford, at Carnegie Hall, Albert Hall, and the Monkland Theatre in NDG. And, yes, I've gone where no man has gone before, but... I was in Mexico and her father gave me permission! My name is William Shatner, and I am Canadian!
- My being Jewish does not inform the things I do, necessarily. 'Exodus' is a wonderful piece, no matter what religion you are. 'The Shiva Club,' which is a movie I am attempting to make sometime soon, is about crashing a shiva, if you will. A couple of comics crash a shiva. I could have, I suppose, made it an Irish wake, but the shiva I was more familiar with.
- Of his album telling the story of the Exodus, "Beam Me Up Moses William Shatner Album Tells Exodus Story In Spoken Word, Song, Jweekly, (18 April, 2008)
- Divorce is simply modern society's version of medieval torture. Except it lasts longer and leaves deeper scars. A divorce releases the most primitive emotions; the ugliest, raw feelings. Emotionally wounded people do their best to inflict pain upon the other party, but rather than using claws they use divorce lawyers.
- William Shatner and David Fisher "Up Till Now: The Autobiography", (13 May 2008), p. 136
- You, HP, promised me a toxic-free COMPUTER by 2009. Now my friends at Greenpeace tell me that I'll have to wait till 2011. What's up with that?"
- Company wide voice mail to Hewlett Packard "Green me up, Scotty: William Shatner targets Hewlett-Packard for toxic waste" Bibi van der Zee, The Guardian, (29 July 2009)
- They said I was this William Shatner character, and I figured I had to be it, pompous, takes himself seriously, hardheaded. So I played it. But I didn’t see it. That character doesn’t seem like me to me. I know the real William Shatner.
- "The Many Iterations of William Shatner" Pat Jordan, Sept. 3, New York Times, (2010)
- Star Trek never really caught on with audiences, ran for three seasons, and was canceled. I wish I had taken notes at the time, because you people sure do have a lot of questions about it.
- Shatner Rules: Your Guide to Understanding the Shatnerverse and the World at large, by William Shatner and Chris Regan (2011), "Shatner Rules Deluxe: Your Guide to Understanding the Shatnerverse and the World at Large" William Shatnerwith Chris Regan
- Captain Kirk was captain of everybody's fate. He was a dictator.
- "William Shatner's 'Armageddon Warning to Prez Candidates" by Karrah Kaplan, CNN, (5 October 2011)
- My big claim to fame during the three years I was at Stratford was understudying Henry V and going on without any rehearsal — and I tell that story in the show. … Tyrone Guthrie, a great English director of that time, said to me — I was understudying Chris Plummer — and they said, "Plummer's ill. Can you go on?" And I had never rehearsed the part, never spoken the part out loud. And I went on.
- "It's Shatner's World and He Wants You to See It", NPR, (18 February 2012)
- Science fiction these days is only half a step ahead of science. Astrophysicists and scientists are working in the same way as science fiction writers. They’re working things out in their imagination based on the slim scientific facts that they know. Hawking imagines a black hole and then discovers the mathematics that support his theory, and new possibilities come to light. That’s the imaginative flair that scientists have to have. For me as a sci-fi writer, spinning those ideas in your mind brings you to the point where you dream in science fiction. Suddenly you think of something in the middle of the night, and it’s so vivid you don’t need to write it down because you know you’ll remember it in the morning. That’s what these books, Zero G, reflect: a vivid imagination.
- "William Shatner on Sci-Fi, Aging and the Environment" as interviewed by Jeanne Wolf, Saturday Evening Post, (September/October 2017)
- A friend of mine suffered from COPD. That's why I wanted to let you know about Inogen, a new way to have oxygen anytime, anywhere. Look into the difference Inogen can make for you.
- What you have given me, is the most profound experience I could imagine. I’m so filled with emotion, about what’s just happened — it’s extraordinary. It’s extraordinary.
I hope I never recover from this. I hope that I can maintain what I feel now — I don’t want to lose it. It’s so … so much larger than me and life and it hasn’t got anything to do with the little green planet and the blue orb — it has to do with the enormity — at the quickness and the suddenness of life and death and then oh my God!
- Speaking to Jeff Bezos, after his return to Earth, after becoming the oldest human to have as yet travelled into space, aboard a New Shepard spacecraft for the Blue Origin NS-18 space mission; quoted in "William Shatner Describes His Experience in Space" by MaryLiz Bender, in Cosmic Perspective (13 October 2021)
Quotes about Shatner
- He so often gets a bad rap for overacting, but I just don’t see that. When I lived in Brooklyn before moving to California in 1951, I used to go out of my way to watch Bill perform on TV in New York in the early part of his career. And he was fascinating to watch...very theatrical. Great actors, in my estimation, are actors as opposed to reactors. Too many of today’s “stars” are reactors. They can’t really act themselves so they let other character actors around them do the acting and then they react to that performance.
- It’s difficult working with someone who is not a team player. The rest of the cast all understand what makes a scene work -- it’s everybody contributing to it. But Bill is a wonderful actor, and he knows it, and he likes to have the camera on him all the time.
- George Takei "George Takei Opens Feud William Shatner" Michael Rothman, ABC News, (16 June 2015)