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The epitome of living life to the fullest! William Shatner holds an iconic place in entertainment history. As Captain James T. Kirk, the commander of the multi-billion dollar Star Trek phenomenon, he and his crew traveled aboard the starship USS Enterprise to unknown galaxies exploring strange, new worlds, seeking out new life and new civilizations, boldly going where no man had ever gone before. Shatner is also known as the tough, veteran L.A. police sergeant T.J. Hooker as well as the brilliant, outrageous, unpredictable, sexist Denny Crane on Boston Legal, a role that earned him two Emmy Awards. And for seven seasons he hosted Rescue 911, a show that helped save more than 350 peoples’ lives. He has acted in hundreds of movies; he does a one-man-show, commercials, documentaries, animated movie voice-overs; he directs, is a talk show host, a lyricist, a horseman, an environmentalist, a spokesman for Priceline. com, and the list goes on. “ ” Live in the moment, life is short, have a sense of humor, get out of bed, stay active. WILLIAM SHATNER William Shatner At Eighty He’s Still Exploring Strange New Worlds Interview by Marsala Rypka 10 NEXT How does it feel to have accomplished so much? Looking back at Star Trek—45th Year Anniversary! Like it never happened. It’s as airy as a misty morning. It has no substance because it happened in the past. The only thing that matters, even more than the future, is the present. Everything that’s happened in my life since then can be traced back to that series. I look at it as the miracle that changed my life and the lives of others. In 1979, I was invited to Iran just before the Shah was deposed, to participate in a photography safari. We drove to a beautiful wilderness preserve several hundred miles outside the capital of Tehran. We stopped at this village along the Caspian Sea where fishermen were still using thousand-year-old techniques to catch Sturgeon. This area had been part of the Ottoman Empire where nomadic tribes had swept down from Russia for centuries. It consisted of a single street with three stories and a kabob house. This was outside any civilization I’d ever seen. I wanted to experience as much of it as possible PREMIERE ISSUE 2011

William Shatner

Marsala Rypka

At Eighty He’s Still Exploring Strange New Worlds

Live in the moment, life is short, have a sense of humor, get out of bed, stay active.

The epitome of living life to the fullest!

William Shatner holds an iconic place in entertainment history. As Captain James T. Kirk, the commander of the multi-billion dollar Star Trek phenomenon, he and his crew traveled aboard the starship USS Enterprise to unknown galaxies exploring strange, new worlds, seeking out new life and new civilizations, boldly going where no man had ever gone before.

Shatner is also known as the tough, veteran L.A. police sergeant T.J. Hooker as well as the brilliant, outrageous, unpredictable, sexist Denny Crane on Boston Legal, a role that earned him two Emmy Awards. And for seven seasons he hosted Rescue 911, a show that helped save more than 350 peoples’ lives.

He has acted in hundreds of movies; he does a one-manshow, commercials, documentaries, animated movie voice-overs; he directs, is a talk show host, a lyricist, a horseman, an environmentalist, a spokesman for Priceline.Com, and the list goes on.

How does it feel to have accomplished so much? Looking back at Star Trek—45th Year Anniversary!

Like it never happened. It’s as airy as a misty morning. It has no substance because it happened in the past. The only thing that matters, even more than the future, is the present.

Everything that’s happened in my life since then can be traced back to that series. I look at it as the miracle that changed my life and the lives of others. In 1979, I was invited to Iran just before the Shah was deposed, to participate in a photography safari. We drove to a beautiful wilderness preserve several hundred miles outside the capital of Tehran. We stopped at this village along the Caspian Sea where fishermen were still using thousand-year-old techniques to catch Sturgeon. This area had been part of the Ottoman Empire where nomadic tribes had swept down from Russia for centuries. It consisted of a single street with three stories and a kabob house. This was outside any civilization I’d ever seen. I wanted to experience as much of it as possible So we walked into this restaurant, which was really a shed with maybe six wooden tables and chairs. Several men were sitting there, one of them a large Turkoman wearing traditional garb - the tall black bear hat, a red jacket with sashes and high black boots. He looked at me, then turned and looked toward the small black-and-white television set that happened to be showing Star Trek and he waved his kabob in the air and declared, as if perfectly normal, “Captain Kirk.”

Another time I was in a limo and the driver said he and some other soldiers had spent several years in a North Vietnamese prison camp, chained in cages, beaten and deprived of food. One of the things that kept their sanity and hope alive was that they mentally played the Star Trek game by constantly changing characters and doing different segments from memory. By the time he finished the story, tears were running down both our faces.

Having turned 80 this year, how do you maintain your vitality?

Good genetics and the fact that my parents didn’t smoke or drink which they now know affects the baby in utero. I’m very active. I started riding horses about 25 years ago at an age when most people quit and I now compete on a world-class level. I’ve won world championships in at least three disciplines including reining horses which is just as fast, but more precise than barreling racing. When I have time I’ll practice hard core for two to three hours a day, three days a week. We exhibit show horses and do harness racing with saddle bred trotting horses. I also do a lot of running in place in the swi ming pool and scuba dive when I can.

Although ill health and limbs that don’t move the way they used to can be somewhat of a limitation, there are lots of things you can do no matter what compensations you have to make. Doing the things you are passionate about keeps you engaged and excited about life.

He was somewhat addled and I’m very addled.

I related to Denny Crane when he talked about his mortality and his recognition that he was older and had lost some of his powers. I’m never far from the fear of old age or senility or being incapacitated by a stroke. The omnipresent fear of death is sort of racing neck and neck with my emotional instability (laugh). There are a lot of theories about heaven and hell and limbo, but there’s no concrete evidence and I haven’t received an email explaining exactly what’s going to happen to me.

I love a good mystery. I love wondering and speculating. I love looking at the stars and imagining what’s out there. I love closing my eyes and trying to visualize a day three thousand years ago. Mysteries simply are a feast for an active mind. And while I’ve seen in my lifetime science make extraordinary inroads into solving the most complex questions of life, after all this time I admit that I am thrilled that there are some things that will forever remain a mystery.

I appreciate the wonderment that exists in every object. It’s in our skin; it’s in our fingers; it’s in everything. All you have to do is pause and contemplate that thing, whatever it is, and allow yourself to be astounded at its existence, and you are on the verge of that Zen feeling of being at one with the universe.

What important life lesson have you learned?

I loved archery and the TV show “American Sportsman” asked me to hunt a brown bear in Alaska with a bow and arrow. It seemed like an exciting adventure. I had no idea what I was getting into. A brown bear is larger and more savage than a grizzly. After living in a shack on the riverbank for ten days we got word that a bear was heading our way. I knew I’d only have one shot. He was 40 yards away and as he stood up on two legs he was the most magnificent and terrifying creature I’d ever seen. He lowered himself onto all fours and began coming toward us. I aimed my bow and launched the arrow. It seemed to drive right into the bear, but he ran back into the woods. We waited in complete silence, our hearts beating. A wounded animal waits to attack. Finally the guide found him dead in the bushes and, of course, it was all caught by the camera crew.

At that moment, I changed from a hunter to someone who would never hurt a fly. Looking at that magnificent animal, the amazing stupidity of what I’d done humbled me. I realized that to destroy life was to destroy part of myself. The vanity of it, the idiocy of it, it had nothing to do with courage.

What three people have most influenced your life?

My father, who came to Montreal from Eastern Europe when he was 14, was the first member of his family to come to North America and he helped all ten of his brothers and sisters leave Europe. He taught me by example the value of education, respect for others, to be on time and prepared to work. I learned about kindness, generosity, and loyalty from him.

Second is my wife Elizabeth, who is extremely intelligent and compassionate. When my wife Nerine died, I thought I’d never love anyone as deeply. So in my mind I created a list of things I wanted in my fantasy woman. She had to be attractive, have a sense of humor, be free to travel and truly love horses.

I knew Elizabeth vaguely from the horse world. Her husband had died two years prior and we reconnected. To meet a woman as young and vital, who had the same interests in movies, literature, poetry, dance, and horses seemed too perfect. But six months after we began dating she agreed to marry me. That was in 2001. We’ve learned the marriage manual together. The most important thing in a relationship is to look at circumstances through the other person’s eyes. It’s difficult, but even tentative steps in that direction are enviable.

And my three beautiful daughters and my grandchildren. I appreciate the extension of family, the way that life is cyclical and the growth of young ones

On strength and weakness:

My greatest strength is FOCUS. My greatest weakness is FEAR.

The Hollywood Charity Horse Show

I’ve been doing it for 25 years and all the money that we raise goes to various charities that help children in need, as well as a charity that has my wife’s name on it, the Nerine Shatner Foundation. Nerine accidently drowned in our swimming pool. She battled alcoholism.

The shock and grief were overwhelming. I don’t think you ever really get over an event like that. You deal with the grief and as that passes you absorb the substance and it becomes part of you. For a while you think about it every day, then a little less. But no matter how awful, we go on. The only good thing that came out of her death was the Nerine Shatner Foundation. I raised several hundred thousand dollars which was used to build the Nerine Shatner Friendly House, a 24-bed facility in Los Angeles where women with addictions can go and try to recover. Over the years many women have come up to me and said it saved their lives.

Love again in the second half of life…

Elizabeth and I both grieve for the people we loved – but we found each other and a wonderful, strong new love. As Elizabeth has taught me every day for all the years we’ve been together, life is for the living. I’m extraordinarily lucky to have met her.

Heart to Heart by Marsala Marsala is a celebrity journalist who lives with her husband in a solar-powered home in Las Vegas. She hopes her writing is entertaining and also offers comfort to those who are hurting, wisdom to those who are seeking, laughter to those need uplifting, insight to those who want clarity and guidance to those who want to take action both personal and globally. Visit Marsala’s website at www.celebrityscribe.com.

WHAT IS NEXT For William Shatner?

On October 4, I have a second autobiography coming out called Shatner Rules. It has new stories, new illuminations, some humor and insight.

Then on October 11, I have a new album being released called Seeking Major Tom, which includes about half a dozen songs that have been written about Major Tom, the fictional astronaut David Bowie created and sings about in the song “Space Oddity.” Major Tom went up into space and they lost him and I speculate on what happened to him through cover songs that people are familiar with like “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “Space Cowboy,” the theme from “Twilight Zone,” and one song I wrote called “Struggle.” Twenty musicians are on the album including Brad Paisley, Lyle Lovett, and Sheryl Crow, who in the most beautiful a cappella voice sings a song I discovered called “Mrs. Major Tom.” This album has become a major piece of work for me.

Then on October 19, I’m going to do a one-man show in six cities across Canada.

Read the full article at http://www.mydigitalpublication.com/article/William+Shatner/870463/86094/article.html.

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