William Shatner Turns 83, Launching New Series

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Cultural icon William Shatner turned 83 yesterday, and has yet to show any sign of slowing down - He's set to star in his own home renovation series on the DIY network, entitled The Shatner Project. Best known for his role as Captain James Tiberius Kirk on Star Trek: The Original Series, Shatner also gained notoriety for the title role on police drama T.J. Hooker, as attorney Denny Crane on the legal seriocomedy Boston Legal and was also the host of the popular reenactment series Rescue 911.

Shatner was born on March 22, 1931, in the Côte Saint-Luc neighborhood of Montreal, Quebec, Canada. He began his silver screen acting career in the 1951 Canadian film The Butler's Night Off, though his first feature role came in the 1958 MGM film The Brothers Karamazov with part-time robotic cowboy Yul Brynner.

Aside from acting gigs, Shatner also co-wrote several novels set in the Star Trek universe, and authored a series of science fiction novels called TekWar that were adapted for television. The auteur also began music and spoken-word projects, beginning in 1968, with the release of The Transformed Man, in which he'd delivered disjointed, disproportionately intense renditions of Mr. Tambourine Man and Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds. Shatner has also collaborated with Ben Folds on numerous occasions, and the duo co-wrote the album Has Been in 2004.

Shatner's interpretation of Pulp's Common People:


Here Shatner loses, and then regains control, in a profound display of his mastery of his craft:

Interestingly, Shatner has ties to central Kentucky, and owns a 360 acre farm near Versailles called Belle Reve. He enjoys breeding and showing American Saddlebreds and Quarter Horses.

The Shatner Project is set to premiere some time this year, and will be a five-episode series in which Shatner and wife Liz will gut their 1970's-era California home, and remodel it. Commenting on the new series, Shatner states, "I am embracing change. Our home will be unfamiliar territory for a while but I am excited by all of it."

Image via YouTube.

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