6 out-of-this-world facts you learn about William Shatner in his new biography

By: H&I Staff    Posted: December 23, 2019, 8:30AM

No matter if you remember him as Captain James T. Kirk, T.J. Hooker, or from his classic Twilight Zone episode, we all love us some Shatner. He's had a long, fascinating life and career and is still going strong.

New York Post writer Michael Starr just came out with a new book on our favorite starship captain, appropriately named Shatner.

Here are six facts courtesy of Starr himself that you may not know.

Watch Star Trek: The Original Series on H&I

Sunday through Friday at 8 PM Eastern/Pacific

As a camp counselor, he influenced future diplomats

As a teenager, he worked as a counselor at a summer camp in the Laurentian Mountains. The campers were mostly Jewish youngsters brought over from war-torn Europe. Over the summer, Bill taught a young Belgian boy named Fred Bild to speak English. Bild later became an important Canadian diplomat.

His father wanted him to be a suit salesman

He graduated with a degree in economics from McGill University, and disappointed his father by not selling men's suits (like he did).

He starred with a future Star Trek coworker in a Shakespeare play

He's a Shakespearian-trained actor and, in the mid-1950s, was a star at the Stratford Festival in Ontario along with future Star Trek VI co-star Christopher Plummer. He understudied Plummer in the Festival's production of Henry V when Plummer was sick.

He was on TV with Leonard Nimoy years before Star Trek

Bill and Leonard Nimoy appeared on the same episode of The Man From U.N.C.L.E in 1964 — two years before Star Trek — and acted in a scene together. They didn't know each other at the time. They became good friends later; Shatner refers to Nimoy as his "brother".

He nearly was the host of Family Feud

"Show me ... Shatner!" He was in the running to host the original Family Feud before producers decided to hire Richard Dawson.

He defended a classic children's book

When the Association for Library Service to Children decided to remove Laura Ingalls Wilder's name from an award, Shatner spoke out and defended the Little House on the Praire author's legacy.

Love Star Trek? Discover where to watch on H&I