While we may know him as Captain James T. Kirk of the USS Enterprise, William Shatner has proven throughout his prolific life and carrer that he is so much more than just the beloved Star Trek character that he portrayed way back in the 60s and 70s. The Hollywood star celebrated his 90th birthday this year. And is all set to fulfill his lifelong dream of space travel by actually blasting off into space. So having had such an iconic career, and given the fact that he is still pushing to achieve his passions into his 90s. What does Shatner himself think of all this? Join us as we take a closer look at the life and career of William Shatner as we cover everything from r-eal-life space travel to his thoughts on becoming a nonagenarian.
The man, the myth, the Captain!
Born on March 22nd, 1931, William Shatner is a Canadian-born entertainer who boasts a multi-faceted career that’ll make any striving hustler envious. He’s an actor, author, producer, director, screenwriter, and singer. During his seven decades of acting, he became a beloved cultural icon for his powerful depiction of Captain James T. Kirk of the USS Enterprise in the original Star Trek series. His portrayal of Kirk extended television and into multiple films. Which looked to end with 1991’s Star Trek VI The Undiscovered Country. This, however wasn’t the end for Shatner’s turn at being Captain Kirk. He teamed up with Patrick Stewart who played Captain Picard on the Star Trek The Next Generation series. 1994’s Star Trek Generations was the first movie based on the Next Generation characters and proved to be a worthy farewell to the character of Kirk.
With Shatner’s unique life experience of playing Kirk for so many years. He has written a series of books chronicling what it was like playing the beloved character, being a part of the Star Trek franchise, and what his life has been like after Star Trek. He has even co-written multiple novels set in the Star Trek universe as well as a series of sci-fi novels called TekWar, which adapted for television from 1994 to 1996. Shatner went on to play the veteran police sergeant in T. J. Hooker and hosted the reality-based television series Rescue 911.
From 2004 to 2008, Shatner took on the role of lawyer Denny Crane both in the last season of the ABC legal drama The Practice and in its spinoff series Boston Legal. His performance earned him two Emmy Awards. But none of this is enough for Shatner. Who is scheduled to fly on Blue Origin’s second human spaceflight on October 12th, 2021. At the age of 90, Shatner will become the oldest individual to fly into space. The record is currently held by Wally Funk. Who ventured out into the great beyond at age 82.
What does William Shatner think of his age?
At 90 years old, William Shatner is a nonagenarian who is set to become the oldest person to ever travel to space. When Shatner first took on his iconic role of Captain James T. Kirk in the original Star Trek series in 1966, he was 35 years old. By the time he starred in the 80’s movies, Shatner was already in his 50s. But passionate fans of the actor and dedicated trekkies alike wanted more. This undoubtedly led to his reprisal of his most recognizable role in 1994. Shatner would have been in his 60s at that point.
So, how does he feel about turning the big 9-0? Shatner has never been one to hold back his opinions, and in an interview with CBC Radio Q. He was honest in the most brutal fashion. The Star Trek star called turning 90 “disgusting.” He also stated in the interview that he feels like 90 is a disgusting number in general.
He went on to muse that that the last time he recalled encountering the number, he was back in Canada. Shatner then quipped that he didn’t even know that people lived to 90. Needless to say, he’s not that excited about making it to his 10th decade on earth.
Shatner also seemed to express his fear of mortality. He explained that a scary day is the one that someone dies. Where the mystery of what happens after death begins to come in.
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William Shatner will take on the final frontier.
It sounds crazy, but Captain Kirk is actually going to space. Blue Origin, the flashy, modern space travel company owned by billionaire Jeff Bezos. Announced that the legendary actor will take off to the stars for real from West Texas. William Shatner tweeted that he’s going to be a “rocket man”, and that it’s never too late to experience new things.
Bezos, who is the founder of Amazon, invited Shatner to fly as its guest. Bezos is a huge fan of Star Trek, which makes us wonder if the series is what inspired the billionaire to reach for the stars in the first place. With the show’s original Captain joining the flight. It’s in a sense come full circle. A pleasant detail that is likely not lost on both Shatner and Bezos.
Shatner will join three others on the flight, two of which are paying customers. A fourth seat on the flight is set aside for Blue Origin’s vice president of mission and flight operations who peviously worked for NASA as a space station flight controller. Shatner will end up being the second actor to fly into space this month. Russia launched a Soyuz MS-19 spacecraft into space with a crew of Russian actors, filmmakers, and legitimate cosmonauts to the International Space Station to begin filming scenes for The Challenge.
The Challenge will the first feature film to shot in outer space. The announcement had Hollywood in an uproar. As it is happening well before superstar Tom Cruise produces his eagerly anticipated yet currently untitled $200 million space-based blockbuster. The Hollywood action-star brokered a deal between NASA and Elon Musk’s SpaceX last year to bring the movie to the big screen. He’s planned to re-team with American Made director, Doug Liman, for the project.
Shatner’s flight will not anywhere near as long as his Russian peers. As his will last just 10 minutes and is planned to reach about 66 miles above the Earth’s surface. After the ten-minute exploration in space, the capsule will parachute back to the desert floor, not far from where it took off.
Space tourism is only getting bigger.
While William Shatner will the oldest person to travel into space, he certainly isn’t the first as a part of the newly coined space tourism industry. Business magnate Sir Richard Branson flown by Virgin Galactic, the company he founded, to the edge of space while accompanied by five others in July. Just nine days later, Bezos took his own trip to space. He was accompanied by Mark Bezos, his brother, Wally Funk, an 82-year-old pioneer and celebutante of the first space race, and an 18-year-old student.
The capsule that they travelled fitted with the biggest windows ever flown in space, offering unparreled, stunning views of Earth. The capsule touched back down after 10-minutes, with Bezos labeling it as the best day ever. Bezos quickly hit with criticism, however, after his insultingly tonedeaf comment, where he thanked every Amazon employee and customer because, according to him, they were the ones that paid for all of this.
Elon Musk’s SpaceX, launched its very own first private crew space mission last month. William Shatner is understandably enthusiastic about following in the footsteps of these space explorers. He explained that he has heard about space for a long time now and is finally taking the opportunity to see it for himself. He then described the opportunity as a miracle.
90 going on 60.
Now in his 90s and still looking no older than 60, William Shatner’s got many people. The more superficial ones that is. Wondering if he’s had plastic surgery to keep up with his good looks. Shatner swears he hasn’t had any cosmetic surgery. rather, he credits his youthful appearance to good genetics.
But it seems his looks aren’t the only signs of his youthful prowess. This year he was promoting his new comedy film called Senior Moment, where he plays Victor, a retired NASA test pilot who loses his driver’s license after drag racing his vintage convertible around Palm Springs. Now forced to take public transportation, he meets Caroline and learns to navigate love and life again while defiantly refusing to show his age. It’s hard to fault the casting. Jean Smart played Caroline, an actress 21 years Shatner’s junior. He described her as beautiful and added that he had the best time with her during production.
But his cornucopia of projects doesn’t stop there. Shatner has also been working on a fresh album. While he will always best known for his acting career, Shatner is also a prolific recording artist who’s finally earning some acclaim for his unique blend of spoken word and song. He worked with Ben Folds on his deeply personal 2004 album, titled Has Been. It’s called everything from confusing to enthralling, sincere, and profound. He also recently dropped William Shatner, The Blues, which to his credit reached No. 1 on the Billboard blues chart. Maybe keeping busy and avoiding retirement is the key to staying youthful and active. All we can say is that we can’t wait to see Kirk himself up in the stars for real.
What do you find most impressive about the legendary William Shatner, the fact that he’s still putting out so much work at 90 as a guy in his twenties, or that Captain Kirk is finally getting his chance to travel space, the final frontier?
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