William Shatner

When most men are hanging up their spurs, the man who gave us Capt. Kirk, T.J. Hooker, and Denny Crane plays the role of a lifetime: horseman philanthropist.

by Jordan Rane

Idaho William Shatner. Just when you thought you'd gotten a handle on all the characters that this one name has conjured up over the last half-century of filmed, televised, recorded, stage-produced, and published entertainment (yes, the man's an author of science fiction novels, too), along comes an interview like this to unveil an entirely different side of the guy.

We all know the jauntily uniformed Capt. James T. Kirk of the Starship Enterprise, the coiffed police sergeant T.J. Hooker, and the staccato-speaking host of Rescue 911. Lately we've been spending hilarious quality time with the half-nuts lawyer Denny Crane, a role that earned an Emmy when the character debuted on The Practice, and another when Crane became an outrageous mainstay on Boston Legal. You might even know him as the crooning voice behind a CD with Ben Folds entitled Has Been or the guy who keeps showing up in Brad Paisley videos. And let's not forget those Priceline.com commercials and Shatner's Raw Nerve, a recently launched celebrity interview show on the BIO Channel. As ubiquitous as ever, William Shatner is, you may also recall, the only entertainer ever to raise $25,000 for charity by auctioning off his own kidney stone to an online casino. "This takes organ donors to a new height," the actor quipped after the sale. "To a new low, maybe." But the equine aficionado you're looking at right now? This is no performance. "Horses have played an essential role in my life," writes the 78-year-old Shatner in his recent autobiography, Up Till Now. "I have ridden horses, owned horses, and admired horses for as long as I can remember." His devotion includes producing the annual Hollywood Charity Horse Show, presented by Priceline.com and sponsored by Wells Fargo (see sidebar page 80). On a Thursday morning in Los Angeles, we finally caught up with one of the busiest, most tireless men in Hollywood to talk about what really rocks his universe these days. Hint: It's not commanding a platter-shaped spacecraft.

Read the complete story in the pages of Cowboys & Indians magazine at your local newsstand or call (800) 982-5370.

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