William Shatner has been a steadily working actor for more than 50 years. He has maintained a strong cult following largely as a result of his memorable portrayal of Capt. James T. Kirk, erstwhile commander of the starship USS Enterprise. Shatner's Kirk is prone to dramatic soliloquies, pregnant pauses, and staccato diatribes that infuse the brainy show with a healthy dose of masculinity.
Shatner spent many years honing his craft in TV and live theater before his debut alongside Yul Brynner in The Brothers Karamazov. In the 1960s, he starred in films such as The Intruder and Judgment at Nuremberg. He had numerous TV guest-starring roles such as Alfred Hitchcock Presents, The Defenders, The Outer Limits and The Twilight Zone. In 1966 he was cast in Star Trek, the series eventually became a bona-fide cult classic.
After Star Trek ended, Shatner spent most of the 1970s guest-starring on many primetime TV shows, including Hawaii Five-O, Marcus Welby, M.D. and Ironside. The 1980s saw a major resurgence in Shatner's career with a series of big-budget Star Trek feature films. In addition, he starred in the cop series T.J. Hooker, as well as in the films Airplane II: The Sequel, Loaded Weapon 1 and Miss Congeniality. He also starred on ABC's Boston Legal from 2004 to 2008 in the role of Denny Crane. Shatner is the spokesperson for Priceline and participated in a series of commercials with fellow Star Trek alum Leonard Nimoy. In 2008, he began hosting a talk show called Shatner's Raw Nerve on the Biography Channel.
James Tiberius Kirk was born and raised in Riverside, Iowa. He is the Captain of the USS Enterprise, and became the youngest captain ever of the Starfleet at age 31. He and his crew have embarked on a five-year mission to explore the galaxy and "to boldly go where no man has gone before." He is constantly fascinated by what he encounters in space. Steadfast and strong, Kirk is a born leader - though he is not afraid to break the Starfleet's rules when he feels they're unjust. The consummate ladies' man, Kirk is involved with a slew of women on the show; however, he always put the ship's needs first so his relationships don't last. Kirk has a complex friendship with Mr. Spock. Though they can be at odds sometimes they usually find common ground.