‘Star Trek’ Alum William Shatner Once Starred in a Reality TV Show Alongside George Foreman and Other Big Names

William Shatner is an iconic television star, best known for his role as Captain Kirk in Star Trek. Now in his late eighties, Shatner has been in the entertainment industry for over half a century and has worked in television, film, stage, and music.

While Shatner’s most famous role is undoubtedly the one that he played for years on Star Trek, he has appeared in dozens of different genres and types of movies. One of Shatner‘s most bizarre parts was one on a short-lived reality show that fans still talk about to this day.

How did William Shatner become famous?

Shatner was born in Canada in 1931. In the late forties and early fifties, Shatner began his study of acting. He trained as a Shakespearean actor in the early days of his career and appeared in many stage productions based on William Shakespeare’s works.

Beginning in the mid-fifties, Shatner began working in television, with early appearances on shows like The Canadian Howdy Doody Show. Shatner’s big film debut was in 1958, in the movie The Brothers Karamazov, opposite Yul Brynner.

Although Shatner’s mild-mannered performance sat well with critics, he didn’t exactly make the splash that he might have hoped for. Still, he went on to land many more movie roles in the years that followed, including For the People, Incubus, and White Comanche.

Shatner also enjoyed a healthy career on television all throughout the early to mid-sixties and appeared in shows such as Gunsmoke, The Big Valley, and The Twilight Zone

William Shatner is most popular for ‘Star Trek’

In 1966, Shatner began appearing in the brand-new, futuristic series Star Trek. Nothing like it had ever premiered on television before, and the series quickly achieved cult status.

Over the years, Star Trek has gone on to spawn hundreds of spinoff materials, including comic books, novels, blockbuster films, and massive fan conventions. Shatner became closely associated with his role as James T. Kirk and went on to portray the character in a variety of other mediums.

Star Trek made Shatner a huge star and gave him a wealth of other opportunities. In the eighties, Shatner earned acclaim for his work in the series T. J. Hooker.

He has also explored a career in music and has released several albums over the years, including a Christmas album in 2018 called Shatner Claus. While his personal life has frequently made headlines, and he has experienced a lot of tragedy in his life, Shatner has remained a vital presence in the entertainment industry.

Even today, at the age of eighty-nine, he is still working hard on various projects, from commercials to movies. 

William Shatner’s stint on reality television

William Shatner
William Shatner | Santiago Felipe/Getty Images

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While there have been many unusual chapters in Shatner’s career in entertainment, one of the strangest was in 2016, when he began appearing in a reality television series called Better Late Than Never.

The show ran for two years and featured an intriguing premise: Shatner and several other well-known celebrities, including George Foreman and Henry Winkler, traveled around Asia, experiencing other cultures and enjoying extraordinary adventures.

The show was generally well-received by fans, who loved the novelty of seeing such big-name stars put in crazy situations. Although the show was canceled in 2018, both seasons are still available for fans to watch on the NBC website.

Shatner has never spoken about a possible return to a similar reality format, but one thing is certain when it comes to William Shatner — fans are always up for anything involving the over-the-top television icon.