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A Chat With Shat

Friday night in Gary, Indiana, William Shatner will host the 50th Annual Miss USA Pageant. It's a first for him, and just the latest chapter in a career that has taken some strange turns.

Of course, Shatner will always be remembered as Captain James T. Kirk, a role he's both proud of and a little defensive about, reports CBS News Correspondent Hattie Kauffman.

Shatner says it doesn't bother him to talk about Star Trek but "it's a distant subject for me."

In the movie Miss Congeniality Shatner played "my version of Burt Parks." Now he's going to host the real thing.

"Fifty-one pretty girls -- all ready to show what they can do. It's going to be a fun show to watch," he said. He's enthusiastic about the controversial bathing suit competition.

"Bathing suits, absolutely. They said they didn't want it, and I kept saying, 'You have to have the bathing suits!' So they're going to have the bathing suits."

Shatner has come through a difficult time. His wife Nerine drowned in their swimming pool in 1999.

"The loss of someone you love is horrible enough. But to do it with the public, with the media at your heels is almost unendurable," he wrote in his book, Preserver.

"I was privy to the struggle of a wonderful person who tried to -- with all her heart and soul -- to beat the disease of alcoholism and almost made it," he told Kauffman.

These days, Shatner finds solace in his love for horses. His new wife is a horse trainer.

"Elizabeth is a professional horsewoman who had her own business before she met me, and then made me her business," he said.

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