Canada’s Captain Kirk, William Shatner, turns 86 today. From Star Trek to TJ Hooker to Rescue 911 to, it seems like The Shat has been a staple in pop culture for eons and eons and over those years he’s lived quite the life. Let’s take a look at 9 William Shatner facts you might not have known and hope this Canadian Icon continues to live long and prosper!


1. A store bought Halloween mask in Shatner’s likeness was painted white and used as the mask of Michael Myers in the original Halloween film.
William Shatner Mike Myers mask


2. Shatner is trained as a classical Shakespearean actor and his first big acting job was in 1954 performing at the world famous Stratford Shakespeare Festival in Stratford, Ontario.

Young William Shatner


3. After the cancellation of Star Trek in early 1969, Shatner experienced difficulty finding work into the early ’70s. With little money and few acting prospects, Shatner lost his home and lived in a truck bed camper while he slowly rebuilt his acting career by taking almost any job he was offered.

Shatner on Match Game


4. He has a “musical career” as well. His recorded version of “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” was voted as the worst massacre of a Beatles song ever in May 2003 and while his musical career has been mostly panned, he has released some unique gems.


5. William Shatner has been a pitchman for everything including Commodore-64, Oldsmobile, Promise margarine and You might remember some of his first celebrity endorsements, which include this commercial for SuperValu that aired in BC during the late ’70s!


6. He loves Dobermans and at one point he even had one named Kirk after his Star Trek character.
William Shatner and his Doberman


7. Shatner claims he cannot do the hand gesture for the Vulcan salute (“Live long and prosper”). When he had to do the salute on the show, his fingers needed to be taped or wired in place.
Vulcan Salute


8. He isn’t fluent in Esperanto but he did film the 1966 movie Incubus in the artificial language. The film was considered lost but a copy was found in France in 1996 and now thanks to YouTube we can re-watch it all its cheesy and super confusing glory!


9. Futurama‘s Zapp Brannigan is based on a 40/60 mixture of Captain Kirk and William Shatner.
Zapp Brannigan & William Shatner


Have any other Shatner facts you want to share with us? Let us know on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter!


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