Born and raised in Montreal, Shatner was trained as a Shakespearean actor and performed at the renowned Stratford Festival of Canada.
His work on television began in 1954, playing Ranger Bill on the children's program "The Howdy Doody Show" and in film in 1958 opposite Yul Brunner in "The Brothers Karamazov."
Shatner guest-starred on several shows in the 1960s including "The Twilight Zone," "Outer Limits," "The Defenders" and "77 Sunset Strip," as well as several episodes of "Dr. Kildare."
Shatner continued to appear as a guest on series television throughout the 1970s, including "Ironside," "Kojak," "The Six Million Dollar Man" and "Kung Fu."
In 1979, Shatner starred in "Star Trek: The Motion Picture," the first of six films based on the television series.
In 1982, Shatner returned to series television as a cop in "T.J. Hooker" which aired for five seasons. He hosted "Rescue 911" from 1989 to 1996.
More recently, Shatner has focused on comedy, appearing in an Emmy-nominated role in several episodes of "3rd Rock From The Sun" and in commercials for Priceline.com.
He won an Emmy in 2004 for his work as lawyer Denny Crane in "The Practice," and won another in 2005 for playing the same character on the show's spin-off, "Boston Legal." He is currently nominated for outstanding lead actor in a comedy.
Shatner has written or co-written several books, including a science-fiction series called TekWar, a series of books based on "Star Trek" and behind-the-scenes accounts of making the "Star Trek" TV series and movies.