He has since worked as a writer, producer, director, and best-selling author. Trained as a classical Shakespearean actor, he played at the theater in Stratford, Ontario before going to the United States to work. His movie debut was in the classic MGM film The Brothers Karamazov[?] with Yul Brynner in which Shatner starred as the pious brother Alexei. He also appeared in the Stanley Kramer[?] film Judgment at Nuremberg.
Shatner had a long dry spell, in the decade between Star Trek series and the Star Trek movies, which he attributes to his being typecast as Captain Kirk, and unable to find other work. He says this period was a humbling one, as he would take any odd job, including small party appearances to support his family. The dry spell ended for Shatner, (and the other Star Trek cast) when Paramount produced Star Trek: The Movie in 1979, under pressure from long loyal fans of the series. Its success re-established Shatner as an actor, and Captain Kirk as a cultural icon. While continuing to film the successful series of Star Trek movies, he returned to television in the 1980s, starring as a uniformed police officer in the T.J. Hooker series.
Shatner has three daughters: Leslie, Lisabeth, and Melanie, and a son, Daniel. He currently lives in Southern California. In his spare time, he enjoys breeding and showing American Saddlebreds[?] and Quarter Horses[?]. Shatner also has a 360-acre horse farm in Kentucky named Bellreve. He is also the CEO of the Toronto, Ontario-based Core Digital Effects company which provided the special effects for the 1996 film Fly Away Home.
As the unwilling central public figure of a widespread geek-culture of Trekkies, Shatner is often humorously critical of the often "annoying" fans of Star Trek. He also has found a outlet in spoofing the cavalier, almost superhuman character persona of Captain Kirk, in films such as Airplane II: The Sequel[?] (1982), National Lampoon's Loaded Weapon I[?] (1993) and Saturday Night Live, in which he advised Star Trek fans to "Get a life!", repeating a popular catch-phrase[?]. He appeared in several episodes of the television series Third Rock From the Sun[?] as The Big Giant Head, a fat, womanizing, substance-abusing, higher-ranked officer from the same alien planet.
His musical record, The Transformed Man (1968), has become a camp favorite. It includes spoken-word covers of "Mr. Tambourine Man" by Bob Dylan and "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" by The Beatles. These are widely held to be so bad they are hilarious. Shatner also spoofed them in a series of television commercials delivered in the same style over music. George Clooney chose William Shatner's "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" as one of his Desert Island Discs as an incentive to leave the island. He said, "If you listen to [this song], you will hollow out your own leg and make a canoe out of it to get off this island."
Shatner has recently been noted for his role in the Priceline[?] commercials.
William Shatner has a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6901 Hollywood Blvd.
As an author, William Shatner has enjoyed some success with his Tek series of science fiction novels, the first published in 1990 was entitled TekWar. The sitcom Father Ted pays homage to Shatner by making Father Ted Crilly a Tek fan.