Did you know that yesterday was Captain Kirk’s 80th birthday? Actually, I don’t think anybody knows how old James T. is because he was born, er, will be born in the year 2233. Yesterday was William Shatner’s 80th birthday, and I’d like to hoist a glass to one of the best survivors and most entertaining actors in Hollywood.
Whatever you might think about the guy’s acting abilities – and I think he’s pretty good – he’s had an astonishing career, ranging from his days as a trained Shakespearean actor at the Stratford Festival in Canada, to his current gig on the sit-com, $#*! My Dad Says. And don’t forget his musical career, although I’m sure some of you would like to.
But Bill Shatner’s enduring legacy, as we all know, will be for helping to create the cultural icon that is Star Trek. As children and teens, we all thrilled to the adventure and cheesiness of the original series, and then were later swept up in the phenomenally successful reboot, STNG. Kirk was a great captain, but most would agree that Picard set the gold standard.
And Worf was pretty damn cool, too.
From there, we had more spinoffs like Deep Space Nine, Voyager, and Star Trek Enterprise. I was a huge fan of Voyager, which included strong female characters like Seven of Nine and the indomitable Captain Janeway.
It was great to see a woman captaining a star ship, although you’ve got to admit that ol’ Kate had some pretty wild hairdos in those first few seasons. Totally in keeping with the ST vibe, of course.
Pop culture owes a huge debt to Star Trek and to William Shatner, aka, James Tiberius Kirk. So on your 80th birthday, Bill, here’s wishing you the best, and many happy returns of the day.