William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy began a decades-long friendship working together as the stars of Star Trek: The Original Series. However, in the years leading up to Nimoy’s passing in 2015, the two had stopped communicating. Shatner is now opening up about his attempts to reconnect with his old friend before his death… and he also has some thoughts on George Takei.
Shatner calls Nimoy his “Brother”… says Takei is “not well”
William Shatner released a new memoir this week titled Boldly Go: Reflections on a Life of Awe and Wonder. As the title indicates, at 91 Shatner has become more reflective. According to the official description, Shatner reflects on “the interconnectivity of all things, our fragile bond with nature, and the joy that comes from exploration in this inspiring, revelatory, and exhilarating collection of essays.”
He is also talking about the book and his life in some new interviews. His video interview with Entertainment Tonight (which you can watch below) includes Shatner talking about the recently passed Nichelle Nichols and the difficult time he had in the final years of Leonard Nimoy’s life. Shatner tells ET:
I don’t know what happened. He wouldn’t answer my calls. I wrote him a heartfelt letter saying how much I loved him and wished him well because he was dying. I wanted to see him and I was so – I am so hurt, so devastated.
And speaking to USA Today, Shatner talked more about Nimoy’s passing and why he believed he wasn’t able to connect at the end:
When you get really ill, you don’t want to see anybody. Maybe that was it. And he died, and I thought, “What happened?” Then I thought, “Well, it’s me again, I guess.” But his daughter (Julie) came to me and said, “He loved you.” The universe is sending me messages back that whatever happened, he loved me as I loved him. Like a brother. He was my brother. We shared a lifetime.
One person Shatner has given up on is his TOS co-star George Takei. The two have had a longtime feud, but Takei’s criticism of Shatner’s flight into space last year, calling him “unfit” and a “guinea pig,” seems to be the final straw. Shatner said to USA Today:
Why would George Takei put that in public? After I came down from space – had this experience, talked about global warming – he would say, “Oh, they probably used him because he was the oldest guy that would go up.” He was so mean-spirited. Again, there is no reason. And I don’t give a cup of tea what his opinion is. But that’s a guy who’s not well.
Shatner’s Boldly Go out now
Boldly Go: Reflections on a Life of Awe and Wonder was released Tuesday, October 4. It is available now at Amazon in hardcover, Kindle ebook, and audiobook (narrated by Shatner).
To be fair, Shatner’s an odd person. As I’ve said before on here, the two times I’ve encountered him, he displayed a really remarkable talent for simultaneously being both charming and a jerk.But still, I have to admit, Takei can really be over-the-top and relentless with his Shatner-bashing.
It’s Takei’s pettiness toward him that’s the problem. He bashed him over his appearance and age. Not cool in 2022.
Not cool at any time. At least publicly like he did.
Shatner’s mostly a clueless creature. But I agree with him that Takei’s comments on his space flight were mean-spirited; just so wrong. I was shocked. They should both just say “No comment” when asked about the other.
Clueless? How exactly?
I can understand your viewpoint. If somebody asks a “dumb” question I can understand the “jerk” perspective, Shatner is a unique personality, I too liked Spock as my favorite but Shatner was a very close second.
Takei needs to get over it and move on. He’s become a bitter old man.
If that’s the lesson you take from this, I feel very very sorry for you. Takei is one of the most even keeled, reasonable Trek alum, and a passionate activist for important causes. Shatner is the exact opposite.
You are both wrong.
Both Shatner and Takei are big babies who want things “their way” all the time. And that’s not unusual for famous people who live in Hollywood and are public figures. Of course they come across to the public as “nice,” but behind the scenes can behave in dickish ways at times. And both are millionaires who support causes, as they should.
And is it unreasonable to assume that Nimoy may have not been a saint and played a role in the falling out with Shatner? Sure. My guess is that they were both responsible for that unfortunate blow to their friendship at the end of Nimoy’s life. And who knows, perhaps Nimoy’s wife or family didn’t like Shatner, and they controlled the access to Nimoy as he got really sick. We will likely never know nor do we deserve to know that private info.
None of this is really all that surprising, and I find it amusing how some people get all worked up taking sides on this. These people have lives, egos, money and agendas that most of us in the real world simply can’t relate to.
Well, lion, it’s amusing that you’d insert yourself and claim to be above it. Jokes on you.
Awesome dude! It must’ve been really important to present the “gotcha” to me this given you created a whole new identity just for that purpose.
I’m truly flattered! Lol, congrats! :-))
Personally, I think Shatner and Takei are just human beings with human flaws. Neither is particularly mean spirited in an extreme way and both obviously have egos. Takei has always felt that he’s been slighted by Shatner in the past and Shatner has admitted that he may have been guilty of that but not intentionally. I believe him.
Shatner can be very self-absorbed but he does care for people and that is evident in his grief for Nimoy. For whatever reason, Shatner is now paying the price for any mistakes he’s made in the past. Things he can’t undo with Nimoy personally but can possible attone for in other ways. As for Takei, he should just let things go and try to mend the rift with Shatner or at least accept their differences in a mature respectful way and stop taking pot shots at him in social media.
This is a very reasonable attitude and answer. To all the others…..opinion shminion!
what happened between Nimoy and Shatner is well documented, Shatner was doing a video documentary on Star Trek fandom and wished to use Nimoy in the video, against Nimoy’s wishes. Shatner went ahead and aired the video with Nimoy in it and this caused the rift, and Shatner pretends he doesn’t know what happened. Shatner is a great entertainer but he is also a liar and forgets the things he did when he wronged others. I heard him at this year’s Las Vegas convention, and he always entertains and has something new to say but most of it was a rehash of old news. It was my last convention.
Seems kind of weird that Nimoy wouldn’t support his friend Shatner on that documentary he was doing. Yeah so human nature of being what it is I could see Shatner then deciding that ‘I’m going to use some public footage of Nimoy because I can’t have this documentary without the actor playing Spock.’
So they both we’re likely being petty and vindictive here.
Yes I did find that weird that Nimoy didn’t want to do it. Shatner even got Chris Pine to do it and that had to be a hard get.
You wrote three paragraphs, which makes it one of the longer replies to this article.
How is Shatner the exact opposite?
then he should probably stop talking shit about people and shows just cause he’s not part of them. after i learned what he said about tng i lost respect for this one. such a large freaking ego.
Your statement could honestly apply to both Shatner and Takei
We might not have Star Trek today, if not for the verve that Shatner gave Kirk. And I say that as someone whose favorite TOS character has always been Spock. Love him or hate him, Shatner is a giant, and he is part of what made Star Trek endure.
Well said, I think it’s a bit much for us to judge Shatner, or any of these people involved, as they’ve lived a very unique life as public figures for several decades. Sure, they chose this profession, but it’s gotta be weird to have people constantly approaching you wherever you go. Shatner’s Kirk is one of the greatest modern icons, and his work is forever woven into this thing that so many of us love. That’s enough for me.
A lot of people say they want to be famous, but being famous sounds AWFUL to me. I can’t imagine not being able to go to the grocery store for a gallon of milk without having to fend off people who want to touch you and talk to you.
When one is famous, they have “their people” get the gallon of milk (and other groceries) while they just hang out by the swimming pool.
That really depends on your status tho. There are many who are famous who can’t afford “people”. Shatner was pretty famous after TOS but was living out of his truck.
And that disconnection from normal life sounds awful to me.
Shatner is one of Hollywoods most infamous blowhard gasbags, it’s rare that any of his costars walk away telling you what a kind and generous actor of person he is, so I find it hard to have any sympathy. He got the fame and money he wanted. Now he has to live with having made people hate him, like Nimoy.
First off, the Shatner you are talking about is the Star Trek and TJ Hooker William Shatner from much earlier in his career. He might have had fame but def not fortune as even after his TOS success he was living out of his truck.
All i’ve heard from people who worked with him on Boston Legal or Priceline or stuff my dad says are nice things in his old age.
Shatner appears to struggle with self awareness. His “brother” wanted nothing to do with him and he can’t fathom what he did. George is bitter so he must be unwell. Seems like lots of folks have issue with him, yet he when they do he finds it must be the other person’s problem.
I think he did or said something that obviously ticked Nimoy off. What that his, Shatner won’t say or doesn’t know. Nimoy’s kids might now.
That said, I do believe, when you’re facing death, regrets come home. My dad said he definitely had done things he wasn’t proud of when his cancer came back, and I understood what he said. We all have things in our past we’re ashamed of, moments when we could’ve been kinder, or more empathetic, or charitable, or intelligent, etc. I dwell on mine all the time.
I bet Nimoy did too, and was sorry that he’d left things badly with Shatner. I wish they would’ve mended fences like Sammy Hagar and Eddie Van Halen did before Eddie died.
I guess what I’m saying is just try to be kind and compassionate to one another and forgive.
Shat used clips of him and nimoy star trek in his stage shows without giving him any recompense.
Same thing that Roddenberry did in the 70’s, which is why it angered Nimoy especially enough to stop talking to shatner.
Did Nimoy pay Paramount and Gene R for using “Spock” in the title of his autobiography?
That’s not something he’d have to pay them for. Using the name Spock in a title is not copyright infringement. Using Star Trek in a title, yes. The name Spock, no.
Legally, I agree with you. However, he’s still cashing in on a creation that also involved others. And Shatner used public video of he and Nimoy together, which is also presumably legal…but Shat is cashing in on something that also involved others. I don’t really see a huge difference?
Just a guess here, but I believe a title like “I Am Not Spock” could be considered fair use because it’s making a critical commentary on his character and the culture around it. Which could just as well be the title for any article, video, song, etc. If you bring commentary or parody into the mix, that tends to change things.
True but I also imagine the convention video that Shatner used that had Nimoy in it also was legal for Shatner to use. So that’s the equivalency here. Gene Roddenberry didn’t whine and complain about I am not Spock being published (which Nimoy made good money on) yet GR created Spock.
It’s not really about legality, though, it’s about that nearly extinct concept of common decency. It’s just good manners to ask someone for permission to take their photo and let them know what you’re going to use it for. Otherwise, you’re in the realm of the paparazzi. And given Nimoy’s past with his likeness being used, Shatner should have known better.
As for Nimoy’s book, do you know he didn’t ask Roddenberry for permission or give him a heads up about it?
I would also say that good manners also means you say yes when a friend asks to do an interview with you for his documentary. Heck, Chris Pine said yes for that doc. That’s what started this falling out. So that Shatner went and got public convention footage of Nimoy because he felt he had to cover Nimoy in some way for his doc.
Both of them seemed to act petty here and not a good friend to the other.
That’s not much of a friendship if you’re required to say yes to everything your friend asks for. Sometimes you’re unavailable and sometimes you just don’t feel like it, especially when you’re quite old.
Sometimes you’re even too ill to cope with friends.
Yet he went to that convention shortly afterwards and got interviewed on stage in front of hundreds of people.
… but then show up to a convention where are you being interviewed on stage anyway,,, after you said no to your friend for essentially an easier gig than that? I’m not buying it
IIRC, it wasn’t the stage shows. It was that Shatner wanted Nimoy to be in his “the Captain” documentary and Nimoy said no. But Shatner showed up on his front door with a camera crew anyways and Nimoy was enraged.
Are you sure about the “showing up at his front door with camera crew” thing? What I read was that he used convention footage that his cameraman shot of him and Nimoy, which is a lot less asinine than showing up at Nimoy’s house.
A quick Google search found 2 articles basically saying the same: Nimoy did not agree to appear in Shatner’s documentary. Shatner did not want to accept that, had his cameraman film Nimoy in secret during a convention appearance and used the footage without Nimoy’s permission. I’m not sure what would be more enraging: Showing up at Nimoy’s front door, where he could still simply not open the door; or going behind Nimoy’s back, shooting him without his knowledge and using that footage without his permission after he had made it clear that he didn’t want to appear in the documentary.
Well, thanks for you all enlightening me. Yeah, I can see Nimoy getting ticked about that. That said, it just seems to me that, when you’re faced with the end, that you’d let bygones be bygones.
It’s just a sad story all around.
Yeah it’s too bad they didn’t get a chance to talk about it as I could see Shatner apologizing for the convention footage and Nimoy apologizing as well for being a dick about not wanting to support his friends documentary, and then they both move on.
Sad story all around says it perfectly.
How do you film secretly at a convention when it’s a public event? Presumably if the convention allowed people to film or gave Shatner permission to film, then I’m not sure what name was complaining about. I mean one could argue was kind of asinine for Nimoy not want to appear in Shatner’s documentary – that seems to be the thing that started this rift that no one wants to talk about.
We don’t know what Nimoy’s reasons were for not wanting to appear in the documentary. It’s certainly not for us to judge whether that decision was asinine. As someone else mentioned in an earlier comment: Being friends with a person does not mean that you must agree to anything they ask of you. That does not make you a bad friend.
What is clear is that Shatner showed a severe lack of respect by ignoring Nimoy’s decision and even actively going behind Nimoy’s back, filming him without his knowledge and using that footage without his permission.
But you’re exaggerating this. He took some video at a public convention were many other fans were also taking photos and videos.
Some of the posts here make it sound like his photographer hid behind a curtain and secretly and illegally got Nimoy to be interviewed…lol
Sure it was a dickish move, but Nimoy refusing to be interviewed for his friends documenting was also probably a dickish move.
There is a difference between fans taking pictures or even video with their phones for personal use and sending in a professional camera person filming for commercial purposes (which is what Shatner did).
By the way: If you look at the rules for the current Las Vegas con they clearly state that photo and video capture are only allowed for personal use, no public dissemination or commercial use allowed. So the organizers also make a clear distinction between the two.
It’s true. Every single cast member except for DeForest Kelley eventually wanted nothing to do with him. It’s clear the problem is Shatner.
Although Shatner did manage to mend the fence with James Doohan before Doohan’s passing as far as I know.
We sometimes forget tho, unlike the rest of the Trek series’. TOS was not an ensemble cast. It starred Shatner, Nimoy, and Kelly. Honestly Shatner may have been a diva on set but it speaks volumes that the 2 people who he got along with in the end were the other 2 stars of the show.
Thing is, from what everyone says – including the supporting cast – he was never ever a diva on set. He was professional and friendly – and, like Nimoy and Kelly, worked his ass off on long, long days (whereas the others might be there a day or two a week)
But supposedly, he occasionally asked for more lines behind the scenes – never in front of the cast (he said later he was worried about losing his job). This eventually pissed everyone off.
But it only gained steam like 25+ years later after years of convention crowds blowing smoke up various cast members’ behinds (ex telling Takei he should have his own show).
But, yeah – it was never an ensemble show – and frankly,, with two or three exceptions. you could cut Sulu out of most episodes and it, arguably, wouldn’t affect the story.
I’m on Shatner’s side – I think Takei has been grandstanding for years (I support his politics, but the “Bill’s big ego” stuff is old) but they should both shut up about it.
Totally agreed with everything you just said. And yes they should just both shut up about it. I get that both men have huge egos but both are also highly intelligent and should realize, esp at their age, that being the bigger man is going to get your a whole lot farther. And Takei poking fun at the HUGE accomplishment of Shatner now being the oldest person to ever become as astronaut is so petty it just wiped out any interest I have in following him. At least for a while.
I think Shatner and/or Takei might be keeping this silly feud alive for their own publicity.
It’s occurred to me before that behind the scenes they’ve orchestrated this whole thing for publicity. Lol
I dunno. It’s just too cut throat and has been going on for so long. if you are going to do a feud like that, you do it the way Ryan reynolds and Hugh Jackman do it lol
Except, Jackman & Reynolds, Like Each Other, BIG DIFFERENCE!
I thought calling George unwell was more than Shatner should say (seriously, how can anyone possibly know what his mental state is) but he’s not off base.. why would George say anything like that? Takei’s very superficial attacks on Shatner are so petty, so beneath him as a person.. why resort to that kind of attack? And he does it over and over. Let it go, George. Go live your life!
Oh, George is clearly bitter, angry and isn’t letting it go. And he’s responsible for his own behavior for sure. Just saying it would be evidence of being unwell if George were the only one. Shat always seems doe-eyed when confronted by so many people in his personal life not being fond of him. Each of those people’s reactions aside, the least common denominator is Shat. It’s the reverse of the Beverly Crusher school of deductive reasoning – if there’s nothing wrong with the universe, there must be something wrong with me.
Taking a shot at Shatner for going into space was seriously the pettiest thing I have ever seen coming out of this feud. Like what’s next? Is Takei going to make fun of Shatner’s 2 emmys too? If your best insult, George, is that Shatner is failing upwards (literally in this case), its time to hang it up.
But him being petty only affects himself. And if George were the only person who ever had an issue with Shatner I’d be more inclined to think George was the problem. I mean, George has had a lot worse things happen to him in life than simply working with William Shatner. That said, the pettiness is tiring for sure.
George has had much worse happen to him for sure and what he has had to endure in life is horrible. And of course James Doohan and Nichele Nichols and Walter Koenig all have stated issues in the past as well.
But here’s the thing tho. I mentioned it above, but as harsh as it is to say, TOS was not an ensemble cast. It starred the big three and obv the supporting cast are going to feel less listened too than Kirk or Spock or Bones are. And it’s kind of telling that for so many years it was Nimoy and Kelley that were the ones that didn’t have an issue with Shatner.
I know there were also similar issues on the set of TJ hooker too. From Heather Locklear and the person that played Hooker’s partner and the person that played Admiral Paris who was also on Hooker. But much later in life when Shatner was on Boston Legal no one seemed to have an issue with Shatner.
I’m not 100% sure on that. I met Bill at a con about four years ago and asked him if he and James Spader still talk at all, and he was rather dismissive and said that he and Spader don’t see eye to eye on a lot of things and don’t stay in contact. I brought this up to him last year on Twitter and he said he would never say such a thing, that he and Spader are still great friends. Take that for what you will.
Well you put him on the spot in writing on a public. Did you really expect him to write that publicly? Lol, give me a break
*Kelly was the only one who didn’t publicly have an issue. Nimoy clearly had enough toward his end. And of course it wasn’t an ensemble, but that makes it worse. How you treat your coworkers shouldn’t depend on where they fall on the call sheet.
He’s been obsessed with Shatner for, well, 56= years. I don’t know if he’s unwell or not, but he needs to let it go.
In his book he griped about Shatner not recognizing him on the lot after the filming of the second pilot. Takei had two scenes in it – just one had a line.
Also, did Takei steal “Oh my” from Shatner’s death scene in Generations?
Again, I think George’s late-in-life gay activism has been great (although he could have used more tact when he suggested that making Cho’s Sulu gay was twisting Gene Roddenberry’s creation) – but enough with the Shatner digs already. I know its a big part (all?) of Takei’s schtick, but come on, man.
And Bill can’t take an insult without dishing back.So it just keeps going on and on.
Great look for a show about folks overcoming differences and working together.
I love Captain Kirk. Just not a fan of shatner. I respect his performances, but the man himself is not my cup of tea.
Do you know him?
Yeah, that is what kills me about a lot of the “upset” fans on this topic. None of us really know these people, nor do we know what happened. I suspect they both played a part in their falling out, just like BOTH Shatner and Takei each have responsibility for their silly feud.
“I don’t know the m–f–er”. That sound bite of Shatner saying that about Takei makes me laugh every time I hear. Shatner can be hilarious even when he doesn’t to be. Any one whose seen his reality show weird or what? Knows this
I’ve always heard William Shatner is a naturally hilarious person. Jeri Ryan once said he is much more Denny Crane than he is James T Kirk.
Ok, so…. I don’t know Shatner well, but I have been on set with him several times and have had several conversations with the man. He’s a bit of an enigma. Sometimes, he’s friendly and self-effacing and generous and nice to be around. But when he’s in a bad mode, he’s not a very nice person. I get why his Star Trek costars all eventually turned against him. In my experience, people on set would quietly let each other know which version of Shatner was present on any given day, because otherwise it could get uncomfortable. I didn’t dislike him, though a lot of people did. I should make that clear. In fact, I found him to be an interesting person and a good storyteller, if a bit too egocentric. But he was not an easy guy to get along with. He was quick to anger and was sometimes scathingly sarcastic. It put a lot of people off, kind of like Chevy Chase but without the racism.
Yeah, I can see that. Still, the supporting cast all seemed to have chips on their shoulders about there roles not being big enough, and definitely some jealousy there in terms of the $ they got versus the Big 3.
Some of Takei’s comments seem like bitter old dude comments and he has done nothing to end the silly feud. However, many years ago I ran into Takei at the old Change of Hobbit bookstore in Santa Monica, and we had a great conversation — very nice guy.
Yes, Takei is a very nice and very funny dude. I agree with your assessment about the chips on their shoulders. Back in the ’60s, TV shows were made differently than they are today. Those in the opening credits were considered the main cast. Everyone else was there to support them. That’s how all shows were made. So Shatner, Nimoy and Kelley were the stars, with the others in supporting roles. Some of them resented that, and understandably so since it wasn’t a good atmosphere. But it was definitely not Shatner’s fault that Hollywood worked like that back in the day. What WAS his fault was that he made no effort to smooth out the situation and often was abrasive and dismissive. The other costars adored Nimoy and Kelley, who were supportive, kid, and considerate to the supporting players.
The sad truth is that more times than not if you are going to be a Star Trek actor you are going to be typecasted in hollywood and not get many roles after Trek, so I don’t blame actors for betting bitter that they didn’t get bigger chances in Trek. But honestly turning against each other isn’t helping them esp when Trek and their reputations in that franchise is usually all they have.
Agreed. I had a similar experience. I worked with him, as well as Nimoy. Shatner could be great one moment and impossible the next. I was fortunate to work with Nimoy longer and more extensively. He tended to be much easier to work with and we did some great work together. He did have a temper, which I saw on more than one occasion and I was fortunate to be there with both of them a number of times and saw both a brotherly camaraderie between them as well as a more business-like side. Bottom line – they were both human beings with the graces and the flaws that we all have – they just get amplified because they are public figures and even more so, because they are/were actors. Shatner isn’t Kirk. Nimoy wasn’t Spock. They told us that, repeatedly, and we shouldn’t expect them to be. As for why there was a rift (if there was one), it’s none of our business. Let’s just be thankful to both of them for creating characters we love.
What was your job on the set? You needn’t be too specific, just wondering if you were part of the film crew, the greens dept, makeup, lighting or whatever. I’ve an online friend who was Propmaster on a couple of sitcoms.
The technical side of all that stuff is fascinating.
Please correct me if I’m wrong. Wasn’t it reported that Nimoy stopped talking to Shatner after Shatner filmed Nimoy without approval for one of his documentaries? I’m sure I’ve got this story at least a little bit wrong and I’m hoping someone can clarify.
That was my understanding, as well, and that it was kind of a last straw event. 🤷🏼♀️
That’s my understanding. Might not seem like much, but for the late Mr. Nimoy, it was apparently the last straw.
It’s clear Nimoy did not suffer fools gladly; I remember reading about how much he hated Spock’s tapestry in TWOK — not the idea, which was supposed to be a tapestry, not a Sparklett’s water bottle peg-shimmy — and let everybody know it. He may have had more tolerance for Shatner — as evidenced by that huge interview he gave to M&C for SHATNER: WHERE NO MAN, which was really something — but I don’t think he’d necessarily cut extra slack unless it was for a very good PR reason.
That’s what I heard as well. How Shatner doesn’t realize this could be a problem, even if not THE problem, is beyond me.
There’s a type of Autism that makes it hard/impossible to read social cues and peoples’ faces.
However, Shatner being such a successful actor makes me wonder whether actors who can successfully communicate emotions to an audience could possibly have Autism to any degree. Unless he learned from books, as members of my family must do.
But that was after Nimoy for some reason REFUSED his friend William Shatner’s request to appear in Shatner’s documentary.
I don’t think it’s as simple as Shat’s a dick and Nimoy’s a saint.
He says they’re brothers, but then didn’t go to Nimoy’s funeral because he had a previous engagement? Cancel the damn engagement and go to your friend’s funeral! What’s the matter with this guy?
Nimoy’s family asked Shatner to not attend, according to this article: https://lrmonline.com/news/william-shatner-reveals-real-reason-why-he-did-not-attend-leonard-nimoys-funeral/amp/
He’d made a commitment to a charity event. An event that raised a ton of money. He couldn’t just leave. Well, I guess he could have but I wouldn’t have. Not for a funeral.
IIRC he was specifically asked not to attend by the Nimoy family, at least according to Shatner.
Shatner was in Miami hosting a fundraiser for a charity the night Nimoy died.
He tried to get back in time but the plane was late IIRC. Shatner did say that Leonard Nimoy would’ve wanted him to go on with the fundraiser. I believe that’s valid.
I saw images of him after he landed. He appeared utterly destroyed, shattered by the ordeal of hosting/fundraising/ travel when he knew he’dnever speak to his friend again..
What’s the matter is that, one of the things Shatner does really, really well is take care of Shatner. He wasn’t about to bail out on a paying gig, so if the Nimoy family had privately communicated to Shatner that his presence would be a distraction, that was all the fig leaf he needed. Same thing, now. Bill has a book to sell, and nothing will juice the sales like going out and professing to be shocked, shocked, he’ll say, that he’s clueless as to why Nimoy had had enough of the Shatner s**tshow.
So. Very. Predictable.
When discussing a guy like Shatner I think we need to understand the fact that not all of us as humans are the same and can never be. Almost all of us have our weirdnessess or eccentricities that can rub other people the wrong way. I feel like we need to be more understanding of these weirdnesses as long as it doesn’t personally hurt us. Shatner seems like a really weird guy outside of his acting image and people find it hard to solve him. I feel like that is why he comes off as “not nice”. Some people just don’t want to follow the society’s preconcieved rules and Shatner seems like he wants to make his own rules when it comes to social interaction and yeah from the outside this can definitely come through as egocentric or extremely self-centered.
“You should never meet your heroes”
It’s hard to watch someone growing up, esp in the 60’s or 80’s or 90’s and idealize something. And then all of a sudden this thing called the Internet comes out and you get to see the sides of these people that maybe would have been best left hidden.
I’m not even talking about a particular person but it’s a real problem with social media as a whole in modern society.
Very well put, and agree with you. I’d much rather live with the image of the celebrity I’ve created in my head. But like you said, those days are over unless we were to disconnect.
I used to be WAY more into baseball than I am now. Back in the day I still had the awareness to leave players alone when I saw them. I felt than that I’d rather not give them the chance to disappoint me. It would make it harder to root for them to do well on the field. I even saw Willie Mays once about 20 years ago. He was all alone walking across a public park after an event. I considered breaking my rule but decided to give him something he probably would have preferred. His privacy.
The falling out of Shatner and Nimoy before Nimoy’s passing still makes me sad to this day. It reminds me to try and never hold grudges if I can help it, even if they are deserved.
As for Takei, i’ve heard all the stories over the years. I don’t know who’s right. They both probably are. But saying what he did about Shatner when he became the oldest astronaut ever was a pretty low blow I have to say.
I used to think that the Shatner vs. Takei thing was something they conspired about to keep each other in the headlines. Any publicity is good publicity sort of thing. Sadly, i think it is not the case. Shatner seems like he has been pretty self-centered during parts of his life, but I’d like to think once you hit your mid-80s you could let by gones be by gones. Takei’s comments about the space flight were a pitiful cheap shot. It doesn’t reflect well on him.
Agreed. I mean I can totally see Takei hating Shatner over stuff that happened in the 60’s and during the TOS movies. But sheesh it’s 2022 and lets see him go into space when he is 91. Credit where credit is do for crying out loud.
As so.eone who has spent his life working around entertainers like Mr Shatner all I can say is their unique gift of being great performance artists is often offset by an acute lack of self awareness, and not just Shatner this goes for a lot of people in the industry, it’s a mostly toxic place to be and it changes people emotionally and mentally often for the worse.
Yeah, I am sure that environment and other things like fan worship feeds and empowers big egos who have an elevated view of themselves.
I remember listening to an interview with Tom Selleck who was up here in Toronto a few years ago for the film festival. He mentioned that he didnt really want to encourage the fan adulation of movie and tv stars, simply because it wasnt warranted – and that those health care workers down on University Ave in the hospital district who were busy saving lives were people who were far more worthy.
Seemed like a pretty grounded approach which some actors should probably try to adopt.
It takes a whole lot of self-confidence to become an actor, so I don’t doubt that actors can seem to lack self-awareness. At some level, it has to be all about them.
If only Nimoy had lived for the 50 anniversary and more, could see him being involved in (Orci) ST3 with Shatner , any fences would’ve been mended, and maybe not even happened in the first place . Maybe Nimoys passing was a reason the original version of ST3 didn’t go ahead :(
Sad to see but let’s focus on Nimoy, who seemed to be universely reverred. After his passing, even those who worked with him just once like Kim Cattrall (ST Undiscovered Country) went out of their way to speak glowingly about Nimoy and how he helped their careers. The fact that those who don’t get along with others, seem to have nothing but good things to say about Leonard says a lot.
Being a senior and huge fan of Star Trek and being a human being… We all make mistakes in our lives. We all wish we were smarter when we were younger. And there are Soo many things we wish we could change. Or atone for. But something’s you can not fix. And those who hold grudges never forgiving are also at fault. Constant anger or hatred is destructive. As far as the friendship of Lenard Nimoy and William Shatter. It was deep and real. They faught, who doesn’t? Jealous? Who hasn’t been. The humor, the friendship, the telling looks at conventions the stories, the good times, and the very sad times. And finally the loss of someone as close as a brother. It hurts! You see someone you care deeply about suffering and you are lost because you do not know how to fix it. You are scared ,angry, frustrated. And so sometimes you are cold. Or appear to not care. Because you hurt too. I have been there many times. As a caregiver a friend a daughter, even as a wife and mother. Death is something we all must face. And when great suffering and pain is a part of it. It is that much harder to face. But we do carry the love ,loyalty and respect,with us. As long as we remember our loved ones are never really gone. Mr. Shattner has tried very hard to live his life the best he can. We must never forget that being human means making mistakes. And we hope to learn from them not to make them again. Love, compassion, loyalty, faith, kindness should always go before greed, violence, prejudice,jealousy, blind hatred, and intolerance. Please try sugar,instead of vinegar. Be kind. No one is perfect. Be at Peace Bill.
…having dealt closely with my best friend’s terminal cancer for the past two years, and his subsequent passing a couple of months ago, your heartfully-written words above are absolutely spot-on. Thank you for that.
Condolences to the loss of your friend. I can sympathize as mine passed last year. It truly sucks. To this day stuff happens and I still think, “I need to tell him about that”, or, “I need to ask him about that.” Not sure how long that will last.
Truth. I do recall that life long friends who are very close do fight like actual brothers do, I suspect. My best friend in the world who passed on last year and I did from time to time. So such things are pretty normal. I guess the part that sucks is Shat and Nimoy had one at what appeared to be one of those times in their friendship. I can relate some.
Please correct spelling phone slipped.
The “crew of the USS Enterprise” worked in a legendary way as a team. Nothing will ever change or replace that for me. Do I wish the actors worked in the same way? Sure—but each off-screen personality is their REAL personality. As Spock would say, I’m “fascinated” by the biographies and press stories, sorry the “crew” isn’t the same on and off screen, but nothing changes the five year mission for me.
Well said. I feel the same.
I do find it odd that comparing the TOS cast to the TNG one while the TNG cast seemed to get along swimmingly their ensemble never felt as familiar as they do when they appear as themselves. Whereas their TOS counterparts on screen totally felt like a family like they were good friends yet the actors who portrayed them were not as close. Perhaps they were just better actors?
So from what people have answered me here, he didn’t go to Nimoy’s funeral because the family asked him not to. This has to have been a request from Nimoy. Shatner must have been an even bigger dick than we thought, for Nimoy to have banned him from his funeral. Nobody gets along with this guy. At 91 he should already have done, decades ago, some serious introspection and figure out he’s a jerk. So now he needs to stop with this whining about being brothers and he doesn’t understand… All this is from his own doing and he needs to be a big boy and deal with the consequences of his own behavior.
As far as Takei, I’m sure he has legitimate gripes against Shatner, and Shatner saying he doesn’t know what his problem is, he didn’t even know the guy when they were doing TOS… just justifies Takei’s frustration at this guy being so into himself that nobody else mattered… This being said, Takei should let it go, he just comes across as a vindictive little biatch.
Shatner is who he is. I’ve known my share of jerks in my life, and they don’t ever completely reform. They’re just jerks. To a great extent, we are who we are. So I don’t expect that Shatner’s jerkiness (to the extent he is a jerk) will ever go away.
I have no doubt George has some legitimate beef with Shatner, but I don’t know what it is. George has just become so petty and belittling toward Shatner, and I just don’t see what could justify that kind of childish behavior at his age. I’m not saying Takei has to like him.. but to make fun of his appearance and age seems shallow and awash in jealousy over the attention Shatner gets. It’s devalued whatever legitimate issue George may have with Bill.
It’s pretty simple. Takei doesn’t like Shatner. I mean really doesn’t like Shatner. And to see him shot into (more or less) outer space and garner a great deal of attention and even accolates have must really stuck in Takei’s craw. And he lashed out. That’s all it was.
Which is extremely petty of him and despite the respect I do have for Takei, it shows lack of character. I’m being judgemental but I’m calling a spade a spade.
Back in the 1970’s, Shatner’s Kirk literally played a big part in shaping the morals and values that would inform the future of this once very lonely, shy, withdrawn only-child in a single-parent home. The importance the character played in my life cannot be overstated. Because of or perhaps in spite of that, I’ve never had much of an interest in Shatner’s personal life. He’s human and far from perfect, like all of us. And like others have said here, success tends to bring out the worst in people.
Good point. Kirk is the hero, not Shatner.
The Spock character was a huge deal for me growing up. There was no one ana.ytical or logical in my family. They were all people who acted out their emotions. As an Autistic I grew up a wolf, raised by sheep.
Nimoy’s Spock was the first person I ever saw anywhere who thought like me. I became a fan the first episode I ever saw, which was “Miri.” I was hooked.
I remember hearing George Takei interviewed on the Mission Log podcast years ago. At one point, one of the hosts made a fairly benign joke about LA’s public transportation system, and Takei lashed out at him for it. It was still (mostly) in good fun, of course, but I got the feeling Takei might be a tad quick to anger.
It’s like, take it easy, George. You’re famous. People love you. You made it.
BTW, reading that USA today interview, they were clearly goading Shatner to continue the feud with Takei. If you are going to ask someone if they are interesting in burying the hatchet with someone, you don’t start the question with essentially, “So, Mr. so and so called you a complete jdbvlkbfkvbskbvkfb, might you make amends?”
Yes, thank you, the leeches in the media play a big part in these “feuds.”
God bless Nimoy & Shatner. But you also need to be aware Nimoy was a very complex person. Stories did the rounds during ST3 that Nimoy & Bennett clashed & on ST4 had a major falling out as Nimoy felt he could & should do whatever he wanted when Bennett was the ultimate voice on those TOS movies & Nimoy was just the star. So behind the scenes power clashes, egos whatever you want to call them but for sure Nimoy clashed in an unpleasant way with several people over his many years in entertainment. Shatner is Shatner he does not really deserve this either as he is who he is an alpha male with a lack of awareness around others.
In fairness, Nimoy was the *director* of both III and IV.
I’ve heard that he actually had Bennett barred from the set on IV. But everything I’ve read about Nimoy indicated that on the business side of “show business” he could be very tenacious and aggressive (if you haven’t, read Solow’s Inside Star Trek where he discusses Nimoy’s demands once Nimoy realized how popular Spock became during season 1. It got bad enough that they made sure Nimoy knew he could be replaced.).
I worked as an entertainment producer about 25 years ago, and I had to meeting both William Shatner and George Takei on several occasions. I found Shatner to be very interesting. He loved to tell stories regarding his career. Very polite and engaging. I guess the fact that we are both from Montreal added to the bond. I met Takei during the 25th anniversary Star Trek event in Toronto. He even signed a Star Trek baseball card for me. He was very over the top in his stories. I was asking him about the rumours of a Sulu series after his appearance on Voyager. He had told me that it would be nice, but he didn’t hold out hope. Then he said something I found very odd. He brought up Shatner in the conversation without me even asking. He said,
“You know, Bill Shatner would have done anything he could for a chance to get his fat face on the screen again if the price was right. But for me, I would do it for the love of my art.”
I found that comment to be a little petty and uncalled-for.
If you’re from Montreal, maybe you know the French expression “il le voit dans sa soupe”… Meaning Takei seems obsessed with Shatner… Shatner never spontaneously talks about Takei, but Takei seems to take any occasion to do so. Well, Shatner has his faults but like most Montrealers, he has class!
(Guess where I’m from?)
Exactly this. Takei brings up Shatner all the time. Takei is about to star in a Netflix series. I haven’t heard Shatner bring up word one about it.
I agree. Takei is incredibly obsessed with Shatner. He talks about him constantly. Shatner doesn’t talk about Takei unless someone asks about the feud and Shatner’s response is always the same. But he will never bring it up unless someone asks about it. Yes, Shatner has an ego – but so do most actors. Shatner received top billing in TOS – he (as well as Nimoy) were the stars of the show. As much as Takei won’t admit it, he was just part of the ensemble cast at the time. I honestly don’t get the beef he has with Shatner. I do know that the rest of the cast were crazy about him because of his ego – but none of them hold so much hate as George does for the man.
Just my $0.02, if I cared about my art and character, I would have never done that ep of VOY. It totally bashed Kirk, Spock, and Sulu.
How did it Bash Kirk, Spock and Sulu?? I thought it was a great episode.
Yep. Takei was the first cast member I ever saw…. at a mall appearance in Columbus, OH in the late 80s. And kind of out of the blue, he bashed Shatner’s hair/toupee, bashed his appearance, his performance in ST4, and bashed ST5 which was either being made or about to be made.
It was very odd and seemed petty. Since then of course it seems always part of whatever he wants to talk about. Clearly Shatner is living rent free in Takei’s head.
While I think there might be some Canadian to it that Shatner doesn’t bring up Takei without being asked, I think some of it is that Shatner is a promoter and a professional – and he would rather not be negative. I also do think there is an aspect that he (as Takei says) isn’t thinking about Takei or the others, more about himself. I also certainly think that if his daughters or Elizabeth told him at some point to steer clear of spontaneous Takei comments because it does seem petty, that he would likely do just that.
So what do Takei and Shatner share in common? They both think about William Shatner all the time.
Completely agree with you on all points!
Actors ain’t like the rest of us. Ego and drama are part of the job.
Shatner shat on 11 year old me when I asked him a question at a con back in 1995, I don’t care for the guy and sounds like others felt the same way.
I have met most of the cast of TOS and TNG. The worst person I have ever met was Brent Spiner. He was incredibly rude and had an ego bigger than Shatner’s
May I ask what happened with you and Brent? I’ve heard the same from other people, and I’m just curious to hear experiences
Ego, no self awareness, narcissism, bouts of rage….met many fans at cons like this too lol so let’s not assume it’s unique to Shatner, nimoy and takei (who have and had many demons to contend with in their lives). Many fans associate them with their tv characters (leaders, intelligent, thoughtful) and then the experience when meeting in reality becomes jarring when they are broken and twisted like the rest of us.
Incidentally best example of Shatner making it all about Shatner was when he guested on Mike Tyson’s Hotboxin podcast, where he pretty much took over the podcast and started interviewing mike Tyson than the other way around lol.
It’s sad that Shatner is such an awful person that his best friend no longer had time for him.
Shatner is a malignant narcissist and had and has problems with everyone.
To quote Gene Roddenberry” William Shatner is an ass”
Maybe true, but so was Roddenberry.
Takie was jealous…he never had the star power, fans interest or pull from Trek that Bill did.
I can’t stand the guy at all.
Shatter on the other hand amazes me,,,he always reinvents himself and he has poked fun at himself over the years.
George is a joke.
Shatner comes across to me as a genuine guy. Of course, I don’t see his personal side. Only his public one. But Takei always came across to me as harsh and even a little bitter. Unfortunate about the lack of communication between Nimoy and him. But I honestly get the idea that a friend didn’t want a friend to come see them in their sick condition. I had a very very good friend who was close enough to be the brother I never had pass last year. We spoke before he went in the hospital but I only found out he was there after texting. In this case he actively asked me to come out only if he was going to be discharged but at that time he didn’t feel like talking as he said things looked bad. I wanted to come out anyway but decided to honor his request. He was gone a few days later. I still question if I made the right choice or not. Regardless, Shatners “hope” for the reason Nimoy didn’t return is calls sounds reasonable to me.
These types of threads will always stir the “love him or hate him” debate. To the broader point – one of the things Shatner does really, really well is take care of Shatner. He wasn’t about to bail out on a paying gig, so if the Nimoy family had privately communicated to Shatner that his presence would be a distraction, that was all the fig leaf he needed. Recall, his reasoning for missing the service evolved. Initally, he’d also floated the idea of the memorial being held in Miami, where he was at the time.
Fast forward a few years. Now. Bill has a book to sell, and nothing will juice the sales like going out and professing to be shocked, shocked, that he’s clueless as to why Nimoy had had enough of the Shatner s**tshow. Shatner wouldn’t gin up this controversy to sell a few book,would he? Sure he would. He took a paying gig a few years after Nimoy died shilling for some medical oxygen device, because “a dear friend died from COPD”. Turn on a few tears, and take the check to the bank on the grave of your dead “brother”.
So. Very. Predictable.
Anyone notice his office didn’t seem to have any Trek stuff?
Pretty sure that’s a Kirk figurine behind his right shoulder….
No one here knows William Shatner. No one knows what happened between Shatner and Nimoy, Shatner has said a number of times since Nimoy’s passing that he loved the man and that how things ended between them will haunt him for the rest of his life.
It reminds me of what happened between Bill Murray and Harold Ramis. They had a major falling out that lasted from 1993 until just before Ramis’ death two decades later. When shooting “Groundhog’s Day”, Ramis slammed Murray against a wall after a creative dispute, an act which effectively ended their friendship. Not a word was exchanged between the two in those intervening years, with Ramis making some unflattering comments about Murray when interviewed in the years that followed. When learning that Ramis was in very poor health, Murray dropped by unannounced for a visit shortly before he passed away. It would be the last time that they would see each other but, in the end, they were able to reconcile without discussing the incident that had ended their friendship.
Despite attempting to do so, Shatner never got a chance to reconcile with Nimoy, a sad ending to a friendship that had endured for decades. Whatever was at the root of their falling out, it was ultimately meaningless in the end.
That being said, many of the comments in this thread were petty and to see so many from people I’ve come to respect over the years was disheartening. Even moreso was the lack of empathy for a 91 year old man who still hasn’t come to terms with the loss of his closest friend and who feels responsible for what transpired between them.
That was very thoughtful and kind Denny. I appreciate your take. Hopefully if there’s an afterlife then when Shatner passes they can both bury the hatchet and renew their friendship as floaty spirit fellows. Seems pointless to hold grudges in heaven (or whatever is out there).
I can only posit that the one reason Takei still, all these DECADES (!) later, won’t seemingly stop taking any excuse for a cheap dig at Shatner, is because he was deeply in love with him at some point. The more I think about it, the more it makes sense… Perhaps this stretches back to the time of the original series. Yes Shatner has a huge ego, but I’ve never pegged him as a nasty person. He makes an effort at least to try to understand why some cast members didn’t like him. But Takei’s comments are often far below the belt (really bitchy, school playground level stuff), and seem very incongruous with the good aspects of his personality and the things he does othewise. Yes, I think he loved Shatner, and Shatner not paying much attention to him off-set likely started this obsession, and is why he keeps bashing him at every opportunity. I’m sure if he offered a genuine olive branch, Shatner would be only too glad to accept and put this behind them both. But Takei just won’t move on…