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William Shatner’s four marriages – from Star Trek extra to tragic swimming pool death

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Actor William Shatner

made history yesterday as he came the oldest person ever to go to space.

At 90-years-old the Star Wars actor completed the journey in Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin rocket, named ‘New Shepard’.

Shatner is most famous for playing Captain Kirk in the hit and beloved series Star Trek, where first appeared in 1966, and boasts an astonishing net worth due to his impressive career.

At a panel discussion at Comic-Con in New York last week, Shatner said: “I’m terrified. I’m Captain Kirk and I’m terrified. I’m not really terrified – yes I am. It comes and goes like a summer cold.

“I’m planning on putting my nose against the window [once I’m in space], and my only hope is I won’t see someone else looking back.”

Thankfully, the mission went without a hitch and Shatner has returned safely to Earth.

The event has thrust the already famous Shatner back into the limelight. So what of his personal life and past relationships?

William Shatner’s four marriages

90-year-old William Shatner became the oldest ever person in space
(
Blue Origin)

Shatner has been married four times in his long life, and first married fellow Canadian actor Gloria Rand.

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The two were married for 13 years from 1956, up until March 1969.

Shatner and Rand had three children together – Leslie, born in 1958, Lisabeth, born in 1961 and Melanie, born in 1964.

Melanie Shatner went in to acting herself and had a minor role in Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, as well as an uncredited appearance as a jogger in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home.

After his divorce from Rand, Shatner married Marcy Lafferty. The two were together for 23 years, from 1973 up until 1996.

Tragedy struck his third marriage with Nerine Kidd in 1997. The two were only married until Kidd’s death in 1999.

Kidd was an alcoholic and the autopsy found both Valium and alcohol at three times the legal driving limit for the state of California was in her blood at time of death.

She was found dead after Shatner returned home late in the evening to discover her body at the bottom of their swimming pool.

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Shatner wrote the following lyrics for the song ‘What Have You Done’, on his 2004 album ‘Has Been’, about finding his partner.

The water was still and so was she
I dove in with so little breath
In truth I knew
I was too late for death
I had one chance
I grasped her arm and floated upwards
Wanting to stay below in the warm forgiving waters
What have you done
I screamed to the stars

Writing in his memories, Shatner said: “This was the type of pain that makes you think either I’m simply going to die or I’m going to kill myself.”

After her death, the Star Trek star set up the Nerine Shatner Friendly House, which is dedicated to ‘assisting women recovering from chemical dependency’.

In 2001, he married again in the form of horse trainer Elizabeth Anderson Martin. Their divorce was finalised in 2020.

Who is William Shatner?

Shatner has been marries four times
(
Blue Origin)

Shatner was born in Montreal, Canada in 1931.

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He trained as a Shakespearean actor and eventually became an understudy to Christopher Plummer.

He had a steady career and featured in the Stanley Kramer film Judgment at Nuremberg in 1961.

His career took a dive after Star Trek and he ended up living in a truck-bed camper until a resurgence in the mid to late 1970s.

Though Star Trek went some way to typecasting the Canadian, Shatner has won numerous awards in his career.

In 2005, he won Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series at the Emmy Awards, as well as a Golden Globe for best supporting actor, both for his role in the comedy-drama show Boston Legal.

Shatner has also written several books and released 5 studio albums.

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