William Shatner says he ‘doesn't have long to live’ while reflecting on legacy
Legendary actor William Shatner is living each day like it’s his last.
The 91-year-old "Star Trek" captain spoke out about his mortality, as he prepares to release his documentary "You Can Call Me Bill."
"I’ve turned down a lot of offers to do documentaries before. But I don’t have long to live," Shatner revealed during an interview with Variety.
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"Whether I keel over as I’m speaking to you or 10 years from now, my time is limited, so that’s very much a factor. I’ve got grandchildren. This documentary is a way of reaching out after I die."
"You Can Call Me Bill" gives fans an inside look at Shatner’s personal journey over nine decades, including highlights of his successful career.
When asked whether he learned something about himself in the film, he replied, "I’m trying to discover something I’ve never said before or to find a way to say something I’ve said before in a different way so I can explore that truth further."
"The sad thing is that the older a person gets the wiser they become and then they die with all that knowledge," he told the media outlet.
The Canadian actor also revealed that "there is no legacy," and he doesn’t regret some decisions he’s made in life, including not attending his "Star Trek" co-star Leonard Nimoy’s funeral.
Shatner suggested that people are eventually forgotten after death, but noted "good deeds" live on.
"When Leonard Nimoy died a few years ago, his funeral was on a Sunday. His death was very sudden, and I had obligated myself to go to Mar-a-Lago for a Red Cross fundraiser. I was one of the celebrities raising money . . . I chose to keep my promise and go to Mar-a-Lago instead of the funeral," Shatner shared.
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He went on to explain the reason behind his decision to skip out on Nimoy’s funeral and what inspired him to create his documentary.
"People ask about a legacy. There’s no legacy. Statues are torn down. Graveyards are ransacked. Headstones are knocked over. No one remembers anyone. Who remembers Danny Kaye or Cary Grant? They were great stars. But they’re gone and no one cares. But what does live on, are good deeds. If you do a good deed, it reverberates to the end of time. It’s the butterfly effect thing."
Shatner, who’s best known for his role as James T. Kirk in the "Star Trek" franchise, received backlash at the time for not attending his co-star's funeral.
"The Defenders" actor doesn’t regret his decision and added that he tries to avoid negative headlines.
"Who cares? I know what I did was right. So it doesn’t matter. We’re criticized when we lift a finger. I don’t read that stuff. I try to not . . . indulge in the evil that’s out there."
Ahead of his documentary release, Shatner additionally wrote a book, "Boldly Go: Reflections on a life of Awe and Wonder," published last year.
Shatner detailed his life stories and the connection between earth and life’s fragility. He also penned his experience traveling to space aboard Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin New Shepard vehicle in October 2021.
The "Star Trek" alum made history as he was the oldest person to travel to space.
However, after embarking on the adventure of a lifetime, Shatner confessed that the experience had brought him to tears.
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"When I came out of the spaceship I was crying, just sobbing, and I thought ‘why am I crying?’ . . . I’m in grief . . . I’m grieving about the world because I now know so much about what’s happening. I saw the Earth and its beauty and its destruction," he continued.
"It’s going extinct. Billions of years of evolution may vanish. It’s sacred, it’s holy, it’s life, and it’s gone. It’s beyond tragic. We stupid f---ing animals are destroying this gorgeous thing called the Earth. Doesn’t that make you angry? Don’t you want to do something about it?"
Shatner has had a decades-long career with hit shows, such as "T.J. Hooker" and "Boston Legal," along with the original "Star Trek" series and films.