Page last updated at 09:50 GMT, Tuesday, 1 July 2008 10:50 UK

William Shatner answers your questions

William Shatner
William Shatner has been working as an actor for more than half a century

Actor William Shatner has become one of the world's most well-known entertainers after almost 60 years in showbusiness.

Most famous for his role as Captain James T Kirk in the Star Trek TV series and seven spin-off films, he also starred in police drama TJ Hooker and has released several albums.

Throughout his career he has worked with an extraordinary range of actors, including Spencer Tracy, Burt Lancaster, Marlene Dietrich, Judy Garland, Sandra Bullock, Ben Stiller and Robert DeNiro.

He currently plays bombastic lawyer Denny Crane in Boston Legal - a role which won him an Emmy Award and Golden Globe in 2005.

From his office in Los Angeles, California, he answered some of your questions about his life and career.


When working on Star Trek you had lots of toys to make your life easier (being based in the future). What, if you could, would you like to actually have real today?
James McKee, Horley, Surrey

I think having a transporter would beat the heavy traffic here in Los Angeles. I wonder whether it would work in downtown London…

Why was Captain Kirk such an intergalactic stud? What was his secret with women and how can I replicate his success?
Tim Needham, Bath, UK

Unfortunately, you can't replicate his success. You need to have all my equipment.

Cast of Star Trek
Star Trek was first broadcast in 1966

You're credited as one half of the first inter-racial screen kiss on US TV. Do you think that moment and indeed Star Trek as a series, helped to break taboos and bring down boundaries?
Paul Rickards, London

Yes, I do think Star Trek had influence in that area. It also apparently influenced a lot of people in making serious decisions about their lives.

Womanising, whisky drinking, and cigar smoking, how much of William Shatner is Denny Crane?
Matthew Cherrill, Chatham

All of William Shatner is there - plus there's much more untapped.

The screen chemistry with James Spader in Boston Legal seems very genuine. Are you close friends in real life because you seem to have the natural effortless on-screen presence of some of the all time great double acts?
Simon Weitzman, Luton

James and I are very close. I admire and feel very close to him

Your role in Boston Legal is both humorous and poignant regarding the Alzheimer's storyline. How did you research the character's reaction to the illness and what were your thoughts when the illness was written into the script?
Kevin Holmes, Chelmsford, UK.

Alzheimer's has got to be one of the worst diseases to which man is subject.

You gradually lose yourself and at some point you're alive… and no longer you. It's terrifying to play and terrifying to think about.

William Shatner
Shatner won an Emmy for his role in Boston Legal in 2005

Is that really malt whisky in the glasses at the end of every episode of Boston Legal, and if so how many takes do those scenes usually take?
Mark Powell, Warrington

The malt whiskey isn't real - but the cigars are.

How do you manage to so successfully combine your passion for horses with your intensive work and charity schedule?
Adam McElroy, Chard

I focus on each activity and live in the moment.

Have you ever been offered a role which you regret not accepting?
Sally Mitchell, Skegness Lincolnshire

I can't think of any that I did not accept. There are a few that I accepted that I wish I hadn't.

What is the strangest gift you have been given by a fan?
M.M.Wilmot, Sheffield

I was given a dried head once. Unfortunately, the drying process had been interrupted.

How do you feel life in the public eye and life as a celebrity has changed over the past 60 years?
Liam McKay, Cambridge

I think the paparazzi have become a blight which wasn't so years ago.

You have experienced tremendous loss in your life and have come back (Boston Legal is fantastic). What motivates you to keep going when others might retire and fade away?
James Hanson, Wilmslow, Cheshire

Our lives are a journey and, like any journey, one step at a time.

William Shatner
Shatner breeds and shows American Saddlebred and Quarter Horses

Your appearance at the 1978 sci-fi awards singing Rocket Man is still pretty infamous and legendary. Are you surprised at its legacy in pop culture and its continued reference today by such people as Beck and in shows such as Family Guy?
Joe H, Donegal, Ireland

I'm flabbergasted at its continuity. The sci-fi award show was just a little show - no broadcasting and very few people.

I was kidding around and yet here we are with continued reference every day

Given your roots on the stage, would you consider treading the boards in London's West End? A lot of your British fans would love the chance to see you perform in person - me included!!
Neil Carpenter, Reading, Berkshire

Anything's possible.

Do you have plans to get back in the recording studio for a follow-up to the seminal Has Been LP of 2004?
Steven Knell, London, England by way of Waterloo, Ontario

I would love to do another record. It's a matter of scheduling.

William Shatner's autobiography, Up Till Now, is out now.


SEE ALSO
Shatner sad over Trek movie snub
27 Oct 07 |  Entertainment
Which is the definitive Star Trek?
04 Sep 06 |  Entertainment
Shatner revives Kirk role in game
14 Aug 06 |  Entertainment
Actor Shatner sells kidney stone
18 Jan 06 |  Entertainment
Shatner reveals pain of wife's death
22 Feb 02 |  Entertainment

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