"It is now Bill Shatner's universe---we just live in it."---New York Daily News
After almost sixty years as an actor, William Shatner has become one of the most beloved entertainers in the world. And it seems as if Shatner is everywhere. Winning an Emmy for his role on Boston Legal. Doing commercials for Priceline.com. In the movie theaters. Singing with Ben Folds. He's sitting next to Jay Leno and Jimmy Kimmel, and he's practically a regular on Howard Stern's show. He was recently honored with election to the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Hall of Fame. He was a target on a Comedy Central's Celebrity Roast entitled "The Shat Hits the Fan." In Up Till Now, Shatner sits down with readers and offers the remarkable, full story of his life and explains how he got to be, well, everywhere.
It was the original Star Trek series, and later its films, that made Shatner instantly recognizable, called by name---or at least by Captain Kirk's name---across the globe. But Shatner neither began nor has ended his career with that role. From the very start, he took his skills as an actor and put them to use wherever he could. He straddled the classic world of the theater and the new world of television, whether stepping in for Christopher Plummer in Shakespeare's Henry V or staring at "something on the wing" in a classic episode of The Twilight Zone. And since then, he's gone on to star in numerous successful shows, such as T.J. Hooker, Rescue 911, and most recently Boston Legal.
William Shatner has always been willing to take risks for his art. What other actor would star in history's first---and probably only---all-Esperanto-language film? Who else would share the screen with thousands of tarantulas, release an album called Has Been, or film a racially incendiary film in the Deep South during the height of the civil rights era? And who else would willingly paramotor into a field of waiting fans armed with paintball guns, all waiting for a chance to stun Captain...er, Shatner?
In this touching and very funny autobiography, William Shatner reveals the man behind these unforgettable moments, and how he's become the worldwide star and experienced actor he is today.
Working with various collaborators, Shatner has previously written science fiction (the TekWar series) and science fact (I'm Working on That ), and ventured into memoir with Star Trek Memories . Embarking on a full-scale autobiography, he begins with his Montreal childhood doing children's theater, then covers comedies with the Canadian National Repertory Theatre, lead roles with the Stratford Shakespeare Festival and live TV in New York City in 1956: "I became one of the busiest actors in the city." At that point Shatner opens a Pandora's box of self-deprecating humor and fascinating anecdotes about the hilarious goofs, on-camera accidents and stage fright during the live TV era. Obsessed with work, Shatner took any job that came his way, from dog shows to reality TV. Some of his tales are quite funny, such as doing an entire feature film, Incubus (1965), in Esperanto: "No one understood their lines." Covering his multiple careers of acting, writing and directing, he never pulls his punches, describing humiliations as well as triumphs. Shatner's sincerity, honesty and heightened sense of humor all come across at warp speed in this entertaining memoir. (May 13)
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Thomas Dunne Books
May 12, 2008
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