On His Birthday, William Shatner Assures Us He’s Very Much Alive And Reflects On Star Trek’s Past And Future

Today is William Shatner’s 87th birthday and he wants the world to know he is very much alive, even if something you saw on Facebook says otherwise. To celebrate the original Captain James T. Kirk we catch up with what this multi-talent is up to, as he talks about the past and future of Star Trek on the eve of his tour of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan screenings.

Bill takes on Facebook over false death report

Yesterday some users on Facebook had a bit of a scare when a sponsored article from “Avocet Retail Sales” announcing William Shatner was “found dead” showed up in their feeds. This can be seen from a tweet sent to Shatner, with a shot of false report, below.

Unsurprisingly, Shatner was not too pleased with this, firing off a Photon tweet to Facebook asking how they could allow this kind of thing, adding “Thought you were doing something about this?” in an acknowledgement that the social media giant has faced a lot of criticism recently over allowing false and misleading information appearing as news.

After being notified in such a public fashion, Facebook did remove the page reporting on Shatner’s death and he thanked them, noting he is “not planning on dying.” Good to know Bill.

Shatner reflects on ‘Star Trek II’ as tour begins this weekend

This weekend Shatner begins his tour of screenings of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan in the Midwest and Northeast with the first stop in in Milwaukee, WI. Speaking to Milwaukee’s Journal Sentinal, the actor reflected on what made Wrath of Khan work. He notes that 1979’s Star Trek: The Motion Picture “didn’t get good notices,” adding “It moves slowly in the beginning, but you’re kind of captivated by the intrigue. … It’s a good story.”

The actor feels that part of the reason the sequel worked better, was that it was more relatable as it showed Captain Kirk dealing with middle age, noting “As time went on, we tried to give [Kirk] more character.”

And speaking to Milwaukee Magazine, he points to actor Ricarco Montalban as a key to the success of Wrath of Khan:

I think Ricardo Montalbán, who was in the original [“Space Seed”] segment in Star Trek and did the movie, was magnificent. I had seen him years before, but I didn’t quite know him more than to nod in his direction. But I got to know him after making the movie. He became a wonderful acquaintance of mine. I was with him close to the end. I wasn’t there when he died but close to it. He was a wonderful dancer in his earlier years and a wonderful actor and leading man. On top of all of that he was a wonderful guy. I appreciated Ricardo Montalbán more than anybody.

Shatner sees Kirk dealing with getting older as key to Star Trek II’s success

Looks back and forward for Star Trek

In the same interview with Milwaukee Magazine, the actor discussed the impact the original Star Trek had on science fiction:

I think it did a lot. I can’t quantify that. I don’t know how specifically. But Star Trek the series and many of the movies were good science fiction stories. The concept that you need a good story to make a good sci-fi movie became prevalent. I read a lot of sci-fi before I became connected with Star Trek and I got to meet some of the wonderful science fiction writers, who I don’t think are alive today. Science fiction before Star Trek and after Star Trek, I think science fiction propelled Star Trek into being and Star Trek enhanced science fiction from then on.

And when asked about the future of the franchise, Bill gave his thoughts on what might come from the (possibly R-rated) Quentin Tarantino Star Trek project in development, saying:

[laughs] God knows what he’s going to do. He’s a madman. He’s been a fan of Star Trek for a long time. I’ll be as interested as everybody else to see what he does.

Shatner thinks ‘Star Trek’ propelled science fiction

Trip to Destination Germany added to Shatner Star Trek Con charity contest

William Shatner recently launched a new charity contest to win a prize package that includes a trip for two to join him at the Star Trek Las Vegas Convention this summer. This week Shatner announced another prize, this time to join him at the Destination Star Trek Convention in Germany. For more information, visit omaze.com/shatner.

Shatner working on Christmas album too

In a recent update we reported that William Shatner is working on a country music album. He has since revealed he is working with Jeff Cook of the band Alabama on that Heartland Records release. But, that is not all on Bill’s musical menu for 2018 as he has revealed to the Journal Sentinel that he is also working on an “an offbeat Christmas album” saying “I’ve got all my tracks down.” Previously Shatner provided his unique rendition of “Good King Wenceslas” to the 2009 compilation album The Sounds of Christmas 2009.

Acknowledging the variety of all of his continuing projects, Shatner said “I have to make people laugh and think,” adding “I’m busy on all fronts.”

Happy Birthday, Bill

That’s it for this Shatner update. We hope you all join us in wishing Bill the happiest of birthdays.

newest oldest
Khan's Chihuahua

I believe his joie de vivre is something we can learn from. This is a guy who embraces being alive. Happy Birthday, Bill!

No doubt! Shatner’s the man! Always has been,cakways will be to me!

Always will be. (Dumb autocorrect)

ML31

Shat still going strong at 87. I find that pretty darn cool.

Dennis C

87. Wow. Happy Birthday, Mr. Shatner!

nasty man

Put him in the next movie ffs

Corylea

He’s amazing! I’m glad Bill is still with us to celebrate his birthday; I just wish Leonard were here to celebrate his own 4 days from now.

Arathorn

It’s also good to see that his ego is alive and well.

Doug

And Tarantino comes up again… I assume (because I haven’t read it here ;)) that there has not been one solid confirmation on his pitch?

Anthony Thompson

There have been plenty of solid confirmations of his pitch, homeboy. Where have you been?

Doug

Do share, please.

Potty

His wig is looking first-rate these days….

Lt. Bailey

Happy Birthday indeed to the one and only Captain of the starship Enterprise (NCC-1701) Jame T. Kirk! At this rate, he will be 100 and still appearing at Conventions.

Danpaine

The one, the only. What an inspiration he is. Happy 87th and Many more.

Kirok

Should I reach 87 I hope I’m half as vibrant as he is.

Happy birthday, Bill.

Cory schmidt

Happy Birthday big guy. Yesterday was my young 58th happy aries 87 the to. Hope we both have many more I have followed your TV Carrier my entire life. It’s been a fun ride. Keep doing what you do.

Gerry Porto

Happy Birthday Bill!
I met you for the first time set the list New York, comicon.
You r awesome!

Steve Gennarelli

I became a “Star Trek” fan sometime in the early 70’swhen I was like 8 or 9 years old. William Shatner as Captain Kirk was always my favorite character. I soon began to follow Bill’s every move as he appeared on Game Shows, guested on new shows like “The Six Million Dollar Man” and eventually had a new show with Doug McClure, “The Barbary Coast”…My fandom for Bill and the new “Star Trek” films continued throughout the 80’s and into the 90’s.
Now that Bill is 87 years old, he has done something that maybe only Betty White has been able to accomplish. He is forever young. He is ageless. He is beloved. What a legend. Thanks for entertaining us till this day and beyond.

P-D Cougar

Speaking of the short-lived “Barbary Coast”, Shatner has done something not even Betty White has done: Have a starring role in a U.S. television series during each of 6 consecutive decades. (Star Trek, Barbary Coast, TJ Hooker, Rescue 911, Boston Legal, and Stuff My Dad Says).

Mirror Galt

I keep waiting for Bill to tell me that Discovery was all a dream … a dreadful, dreadful nightmare! #YourMushroomsAreStupidAndYourLadyIsBoring

Disinvited

Mirror Galt,

“Lucy….in…the…sky…with diamonds…” — William Shatner

TUP

I had the pleasure of seeing his one man show a few years ago. It was tremendous but he made the strong point that he was very much afraid of dying and thats why he is so active. He doesnt even want to think about his age as it relates to most people being dead.

Truly a warrior. And man does he look good. It speaks strongly for staying active. He’s sharp, charismatic, active. Amazing.

His point about WoK is spot on. Because what it did was take the “joke” of the aging cast and wink at it but in a serious way. Because realistically, they werent even that old.

That 2-4 trilogy was also about the resurrection of the soul and age being just a number.

I thought Shatner touched on it pretty well in Trek V but as great as TUC is, they only glazed over the aging aspect and didnt treat it with the same emotional weight as WoK.

Neo

“He’s not dead Jim”

He is AMAZINGLY FINE for 97…!!! Great guy…!! I love him…!! :D

WRONG!!! SORRY…!!! He’s amazingly fine for 87, I mean…!!! And I still love him…!! ;)

He’s 87, and I was thinking about my mom, who is 91…!! And “mixed” them together, making him wrongfully “97”…!! :D

I’m sorry about that…!!!!! :D

JKP

I have been, and always shall be, a giant Shatner fan. Happy BDay, Bill!!

Cygnus-X1

Long live the Shat!