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William Shatner          

Emmy-Award Winning Actor, Known for "Star Trek" & "Boston Legal"

In 1956, William Shatner made his Broadway debut in "Tamburlaine the Great," and he also found work in the emerging medium of television, appearing on such shows as the "Goodyear Television Playhouse," "Studio One" and "Playhouse 90." Playing one of the title characters, Shatner made his film debut in 1958's "The Brothers Karamazov" with Yul Brynner. That same year, he returned to Broadway for a two-year run in "The Secret Life of Suzie Wong." He won the 1959 Theatre World Award for his performance.

The role that made Shatner famous around the world was that of Captain James T. Kirk, commander of the U.S.S. Enterprise, a starship traveling through space in the twenty-third century. In "Star Trek," Kirk encountered all sorts of unusual aliens and challenging situations during his journeys. The series lasted for three seasons. The show, however, continued to live on in syndication and became even more popular.

"Star Trek" became a Saturday morning cartoon that ran during the mid-1970s, and it was resurrected a live action film in 1979. Returning to the role of Kirk, Shatner starred in "Star Trek: The Motion Picture" and in the sequel "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan" in 1982.

He then appeared on "T. J. Hooker" as a veteran police officer who turned in his detective's badge to return to a street beat. Unlike the original "Star Trek" series, this show was immediately popular with television audiences.

Shatner, however, never abandoned the part that made him famous. During the run of T. J. Hooker, Shatner appeared in two more "Star Trek" films, "Star Trek III: The Search for Spock" and "Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home." For "Star Trek V: The Final Frontier," Shatner not only returned as Kirk, but made his debut as a feature film director as well. He remained a fixture on television even after T. J. Hooker went off the air, becoming the host for "Rescue 911" in 1989.

The next installments were "Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country" and then "Star Trek Generations," where the character of Kirk dies. Shatner moved forward in new directions. He appeared as a beauty pageant host on "Miss Congeniality" and its sequel, and in 2003, Shatner made a guest appearance as a talented, but eccentric lawyer on "The Practice." His turn as Denny Crane brought him his first Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series in 2004. He had been previously nominated for his guest appearance on the science fiction sitcom "3rd Rock from the Sun" in 1999.

"The Practice" creator David E. Kelley created a spin-off series, "Boston Legal," featuring Shatner's character Denny Crane in 2004. Shatner won his second Emmy — this time for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series—in 2005. Two nominations in this category followed in 2006 and in 2007.

In 2008, Shatner began work on "Shatner's Raw Nerve," a celebrity interview program on the Biography Channel, and "Aftermath with William Shatner" in 2010.

Shatner has written screenplay "TekWar," a work of science fiction featuring a middle-aged private detective working in the twenty-second century. More Tek titles followed and were later adapted for television. More recently, Shatner has worked with Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens to create a series of Star Trek novels.

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