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The Many Iterations of William Shatner
NY Times ^ | 9/5/10 | Pat Jordan

Posted on 09/05/2010 10:29:32 AM PDT by Nachum

He’s late. He calls to explain. “A mix-up,” he says, and then, “I read all your stories.” Pause. “You. Are. A. Grrreat. Writer.” Another pause. “What’s your name?” I tell him. He says, “Of course it is.” I ask what his name is. “MY NAME? I. Am. William. Shatner!”

Well, yes, but which William Shatner? The child actor from Canada, descended from Eastern European rabbis? The 23-year-old Shakespearean whom Sir Tyrone Guthrie called the Stratford Shakespeare Festival’s most promising actor? The young actor who made his debut on Broadway two years later, in 1956, in “Tamburlaine the Great,” then appeared in his first Hollywood film, “The Brothers Karamazov,” with Yul Brynner in 1958 and starred on Broadway in “The World of Suzie Wong” that same year and “A Shot in the Dark” in 1961? That actor was mentioned in the same breath as his contemporaries Steve McQueen, Paul Newman, Robert Redford — until, without explanation, his career faded before it bloomed.

(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: iterations; shatner; william
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Thar. Be. An. Actor.
1 posted on 09/05/2010 10:29:34 AM PDT by Nachum
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To: Nachum

Beam me up, Scotty!


2 posted on 09/05/2010 10:30:42 AM PDT by mort56
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To: Nachum
Q: Why does William Shatner have tungsten carbide teeth?
A: It's easier to chew the scenery.
3 posted on 09/05/2010 10:33:10 AM PDT by reg45
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To: Nachum
Shatner attacked Pictures, Images and Photos
4 posted on 09/05/2010 10:33:57 AM PDT by Snickering Hound
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To: Nachum
Truly a master thespian
5 posted on 09/05/2010 10:35:09 AM PDT by Errant
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To: Nachum

There is always a place for a guy that at least always knows his lines.


6 posted on 09/05/2010 10:38:23 AM PDT by MrEdd (Heck? Geewhiz Cripes, thats the place where people who don't believe in Gosh think they aint going.)
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To: Nachum

I hate the politics of the show, but I can’t help but laugh when I stop for a few minutes of a “Boston Legal” rerun on late nite TV. The character Shatner plays on that show, to me, epitomizes “vintage Shatner”.


7 posted on 09/05/2010 10:39:18 AM PDT by Wuli
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To: Nachum
Shatner must've set a record for relevancy in TV Land - he's been a fixture on television almost my entire life.

He was on early episodes of The Twilight Zone - '60 or '61? - fer cryin out loud.

8 posted on 09/05/2010 10:43:59 AM PDT by skeeter
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To: Nachum

Got to admire an aging actor who has managed to stay employed all these years.


9 posted on 09/05/2010 10:45:35 AM PDT by Huskrrrr
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To: Nachum

Ya gotta respect the Shatner—he has spirit, guts, and (dare I say) talent. The guy is a living TV legend and still (arguably) in his prime. I’ll take him over a self-important flake like Robert Redford any day.


10 posted on 09/05/2010 10:47:48 AM PDT by rbg81 (When you see Obama, shout: "DO YOUR JOB!!")
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To: Huskrrrr
Shatner is one of those actors who simply cannot convince me to turn the channel. Now does that mean he's good, or does that mean he's a lot like FOX News ~ frankly, I prefer to be marginally entertained than to be insulted.

You don't even have to agree with me.

11 posted on 09/05/2010 10:50:04 AM PDT by muawiyah
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To: MrEdd
There is always a place for a guy that at least always knows his lines.

Even in Esperanto?

Flashes of brilliance, followed by monumental idiocy. Remember Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds, the winner of the title "Worse Remake of All Time"?

Typecast as Kirk, he couldn't work until he reprised his role in the Movie Series. This time he played Kirk as parody of himself, which allowed him to break out and find other roles. Brilliant and then idiotic again. Remember T.J. Hooker?

12 posted on 09/05/2010 10:50:25 AM PDT by ZOOKER ( Exploring the fine line between cynicism and outright depression)
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To: Snickering Hound

Because it’s Shatner, that scene makes total sense.


13 posted on 09/05/2010 10:52:51 AM PDT by Yardstick
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To: Nachum

14 posted on 09/05/2010 10:53:00 AM PDT by matt1234 (The only crisis 0bama can manage is one he intentionally created.)
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To: Nachum
Shatner on gun control:

Linky Thing: Shatner on Gun Control

15 posted on 09/05/2010 10:53:23 AM PDT by tx_eggman (Liberalism is only possible in that moment when a man chooses Barabas over Christ.)
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To: Nachum

William Shatner is a genius: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2muxt9uihdI


16 posted on 09/05/2010 11:00:01 AM PDT by vladimir998 (Part of the Vast Catholic Conspiracy (hat tip to Kells))
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To: ZOOKER

quote—Flashes of brilliance, followed by monumental idiocy. Remember Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds, the winner of the title “Worse Remake of All Time”?-—end quote

How could anyone ever forget The Shat’s version of “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds”?? His cover of “Rocket Man” is truly amazing, also. Highly recommended!

I always felt The Shat is a true superstar. He is constantly re-inventing himself (I hate that phrase, but it does apply here, IMHO).

He tried to do his own versions of classic rock songs,which were laughed at mercilessly, but he made a whole new (and very lucrative) career out of parodying his own interpretations in the early “Priceline” commercials.

God Bless The Shat!!


17 posted on 09/05/2010 11:02:22 AM PDT by Radagast the Fool ("Mexico-Beirut with tacos!"--Dr. Zoidberg)
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To: Nachum

What a great piece. I like Shatner even more now.


18 posted on 09/05/2010 11:03:02 AM PDT by ElkGroveDan (Now can we forget about that old rum-runner Joe Kennedy and his progeny of philandering drunks?)
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To: Nachum

Quite frankly I’m all Shatner’d out.


19 posted on 09/05/2010 11:03:14 AM PDT by tflabo
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To: Nachum

I could barely get thru the first page of this interview. The reporter is a typical NY Times metro-tulip. I don’tknow why Shatner (who really is a great actor) would subject himself to the snipes he gets from this reporter.


20 posted on 09/05/2010 11:05:00 AM PDT by vbmoneyspender
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To: Nachum
He's managed to do what the majority of actor cannot, he makes a living at acting and a good one at that.
21 posted on 09/05/2010 11:09:33 AM PDT by count-your-change (You don't have be brilliant, not being stupid is enough.)
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To: skeeter

Terror at 20000 Feet... Great Episode.. John Lithgow reprised it in The Twilight Zone Movie “ (RIP Vic Morrow)
As I flipped through the rerun channels one night - On Third Rock From The Sun, Here is Shatner as the Alien Boss .. “The Big Head” being met by Jon Lithgow as he gets off an airplane.. Shatner - “Flying gives me the Willies”... Lithgow, “I know what you mean”... He’s always willing to show acting for what it is, Grownups playing make believe.


22 posted on 09/05/2010 11:11:43 AM PDT by Waverunner
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To: Nachum

You have to respect someone that works as hard as he does.

He’s the essence of a true capitalist, whether he realizes it or approves of it or not.


23 posted on 09/05/2010 11:13:09 AM PDT by I still care (I believe in the universality of freedom -George Bush, asked if he regrets going to war.)
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To: KevinDavis; SunkenCiv
Read’m and weep!

Shatner: The Mute Marine, SNL 12-20-86

Somewhere, we have a VHS with this episode on it...same episode that had him speaking a convention telling the Trekkies, "get a life!"

full show transcript

24 posted on 09/05/2010 11:17:08 AM PDT by ApplegateRanch (Islam: A Satanically Transmitted Disease spread by unprotected intimate contact with the Koranus)
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To: Nachum

He makes so much fun of himself in Free Enterprise it is hard not to like the guy. The one man rap musical iteration of Julie Cesar at the end performed by Shatner is worth watching all by itself.


25 posted on 09/05/2010 11:21:34 AM PDT by ScottinSacto (W.W.M.R.D.? - What Would Mitch Rapp Do?)
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To: Nachum
He actually displayed talent, I think, in his early film The Intruder, directed by Roger Corman and written by Charles Beaumont. I saw the DVD just a few weeks ago.
26 posted on 09/05/2010 11:25:10 AM PDT by Rocko
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To: ApplegateRanch

Video: http://s263.photobucket.com/albums/ii137/Alembic-/Videos/?action=view&current=SNL-WilliamShatner-GetALife.mp4


27 posted on 09/05/2010 11:42:49 AM PDT by Huntress (Who the hell are you to tell me what's in my best interests?)
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To: Nachum

I think he’s a great guy - he’s never taken himself too seriously while living in a galaxy of people who’ve made a career of it. He’s also a wise-ass Jew like me, so: what’s not to like?


28 posted on 09/05/2010 11:44:53 AM PDT by andy58-in-nh (America does not need to be organized: it needs to be liberated.)
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To: ApplegateRanch; Huntress

Here’s the complete SNL skit: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x930vt_william-shatner-snl-skit-get-a-life_fun


29 posted on 09/05/2010 11:51:59 AM PDT by Huntress (Who the hell are you to tell me what's in my best interests?)
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To: Nachum

I know that he’s been a pompous a$$ in the past, but I’ve always liked Shatner, and my 4 year old son is currently soaking up old Star Trek episodes like I did when I was his age. Heck, my boy is even going trick-or-treating as Captain Kirk this year! So, cudos to Shatner for his endurance and ability to keep working at 79.


30 posted on 09/05/2010 11:59:16 AM PDT by Virginia Ridgerunner (Sarah Palin has crossed the Rubicon!)
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To: ApplegateRanch

The Mute Marine: http://www.livevideo.com/video/C93A8D9330364F168225777EF64888FA/host-of-saturday-night-live.aspx


31 posted on 09/05/2010 12:00:18 PM PDT by Huntress (Who the hell are you to tell me what's in my best interests?)
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To: skeeter

That Twilight Zone episode was awesome. A number of actors got their start on that show. Someone here mentioned Robert Redford. He also did an episode...as Mr. Death. He was a good looking guy back then. He hasn’t aged well, which would be all right, except his constant yapping about his politics and penchant for left leaning films annoy me.


32 posted on 09/05/2010 12:03:40 PM PDT by fatnotlazy
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To: Waverunner

It’s actually better than that:

Shatner as the Big Giant Head meets Lithgow as Dick Solomon at the airport
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bMUX_f0hyn0


33 posted on 09/05/2010 12:06:14 PM PDT by edge10 (Obama lied, babies died!)
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To: tx_eggman

Cool!


34 posted on 09/05/2010 12:25:58 PM PDT by Anti-Bubba182
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To: reg45
"DID SOMEONE ORDER A LARGE HAM?"
35 posted on 09/05/2010 12:28:01 PM PDT by Oztrich Boy (Pardon him...he is a barbarian, and thinks that the customs of his tribe ... are the laws of nature)
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To: Nachum

“...so in the ’60s, waiting for stardom, he took parts in forgettable movies like “The Outrage” and “Incubus” “

???

The Outrage was admittedly underwhelming, especially given its cast (Paul Newman, Edward G. Robinson, etc.), but Incubus was excellent. Shatner’s performance is quite good.


36 posted on 09/05/2010 12:44:04 PM PDT by DemforBush (You might think that, *I* could not possibly comment.)
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To: MrEdd

A young actor once asked Jimmy Cagney how to become a good actor. Cagney replied, “Know your lines and don’t bump into the furniture.”


37 posted on 09/05/2010 12:45:50 PM PDT by pabianice
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To: Rocko

The Intruder is an amazing movie. Made in 1962. It is filled with so much vile language that it rings perfectly true. It could NEVER be shown today.


38 posted on 09/05/2010 12:49:43 PM PDT by pabianice
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To: tx_eggman

Too bad there isn’t a like button ! Hilarious !


39 posted on 09/05/2010 12:50:54 PM PDT by CORedneck
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To: DemforBush

BTW, for those who’ve never seen it, here’s a rare gem. William Shatner as Alexander the Great (tv pilot).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eR14SH5tby4

Yes, that is Batman with Kirk er, Alexander.

No, the series was not picked up.


40 posted on 09/05/2010 12:53:31 PM PDT by DemforBush (You might think that, *I* could not possibly comment.)
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To: Nachum

I hate the Times. But that was a fantastic profile.


41 posted on 09/05/2010 12:58:55 PM PDT by warpsmith (Nauthannem i ned ol renainnen.)
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To: Nachum
Iron Chef USA Chairman Shatner!
42 posted on 09/05/2010 1:01:34 PM PDT by Ozone34 ("There are only two philosophies: Thomism and bullshitism!" -Leon Bloy)
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To: Nachum
The Shat Sings:

Rocket Man!

http://www.ubu.com/outsiders/365/2003/055.shtml

[PS this is a great site with lots of, uh, unique songs and artists (Van Morrison singing you've got ringworm!)]

43 posted on 09/05/2010 1:05:51 PM PDT by Leo Farnsworth (I'm really not Leo Farnsworth.)
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To: tx_eggman

One of my favorites.

The best reason to watch Boston Legal was to see if Denny was going to pull one of his guns out again.

8^)


44 posted on 09/05/2010 1:28:17 PM PDT by Mrs.Z
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To: Nachum
Shatner's rendition of Common People is a real tour de force (but you have to be familiar with the original by Pulp, which is itself a pop music classic, to appreciate his true genius - see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_People_(song))...
45 posted on 09/05/2010 1:41:03 PM PDT by Zeppo ("Happy Pony is on - and I'm NOT missing Happy Pony")
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To: vbmoneyspender
I don’tknow why Shatner (who really is a great actor) would subject himself to the snipes he gets from this reporter.

I think it's because Shatner really doesn't give a rusty rat's ass whether the reporter likes him or not. He strikes me as a very confident person who likes himself and who figures if somebody doesn't like him, so what?

46 posted on 09/05/2010 1:43:39 PM PDT by Finny ("Raise hell. Vote smart." -- Ted Nugent)
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To: Nachum; All
Read one of the funniest, best, and on-target assessments of Shatner right here. An exerpt: "Most stars are lucky to have a three-phase career: young heartthrob; blowsy superstar; Austin Powers cameo. Or some careers play out this way: heartthrob; handshakes; U.S. President. By that yardstick, Shatner's had ten careers. He's had twenty. He's had entire careers before breakfast. You could tell your life story twice in the time it would take him to tell the story about that one time he pantsed DeForrest Kelley. "
47 posted on 09/05/2010 1:50:48 PM PDT by Finny ("Raise hell. Vote smart." -- Ted Nugent)
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To: Finny
Here's a Shatner story for you. He's one of the only guests I've ever heard shut Howard Stern up (Seinfeld's the other one). In Shatner's case, Stern started asking him uncomfortable questions about the various women he had dated. This was during the time the FCC was starting to go after Stern, so Stern was very sensitive to guests using obscenities on the air.

Shatner's response to the questioning was to let loose an obscenity. So Stern and Robyn jumped on Shatner and told him he couldn't cuss on the air. Shatner said he was sorry and Stern started in on the girlfriends again.

Shatner then let out another obscenity. This time Stern explained to Shatner all of the trouble he was in with the FCC and he asked Shatner pretty forcefully to cut it out with the obscenities.

Shatner then said to Stern (paraphrasing here): "So Howard, let me see if I understand this. If you ask me questions I don't like and I then let out a string of cuss words, you'll get fined? Hmmmm." At that point, Stern knew he was in trouble and told Shatner he would stop asking the uncomfortable questions. Bottom line, Shatner is a pretty clever guy.

48 posted on 09/05/2010 2:28:32 PM PDT by vbmoneyspender
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To: Huntress

VERY FUNNY!


49 posted on 09/05/2010 2:38:27 PM PDT by Yaelle
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To: vbmoneyspender; ScottinSacto
That's a GREAT story!

Have you ever watched "Free Enterprise"? The DVD I rented had edited scenes in the "special features." There was one where he's talking about what it's like to be so famous, how he was going down the street one day and saw a burning house and heard people outside crying that kids were still inside, so he braved the flames and went inside to try to find them. Onlookers oohed and ahhwed, "Captain Kirk!," as if they were looking to him for a solution, for leadership. He goes inside and nearly kills himself looking for the kids, can't find them, and finally comes back out. Turns out somebody else had retreived the kids in the meantime, and he ended up feeling like a first class idiot. It's an interesting and moving scene, and I wonder if it actually happened or if it was just in the script of the very excellent "Free Enterprise." I thought it had a strong ring of truth. Then again, maybe it was just Shatner being a good actor.

50 posted on 09/05/2010 2:43:34 PM PDT by Finny ("Raise hell. Vote smart." -- Ted Nugent)
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