William Shatner’s Net Worth: From Starship Captain to Millionaire

William Shatner

William Shatner is a Canadian-born actor best known for playing Captain Kirk in the original Star Trek series. Since starting his career in Hollywood in the 1950s, he’s starred in more than 250 projects and still has new projects in the works.

However, William Shatner’s net worth comes from more than just his acting. His financial success also comes from his work as a producer, writer, and director. Additionally, his convention appearances, work as a musician, and his books also impact his net worth. Read on to discover Shatner’s most successful projects and follow his career from the beginning until now.

Early Life & Career

William Shatner was born on March 22, 1931, in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. He comes from a Jewish family, and his paternal grandfather changed his last name from Schattner to Shatner. His parents were Ann and Joseph Shatner, and he has two sisters.

Shatner attended Willington Elementary School and West Hill High School. He is also an alumnus of the Montreal Children’s Theater. He went on to earn his Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from McGill University in Montreal in 1952.

After graduating college, Shatner became a business manager for a playhouse in Montreal. He then joined the Canadian National Repertory Theater to train as a classical Shakespearean actor.

Star Trek Cast
Nichelle Nichols, Walter Koenig, George Takei, William Shatner, James Doohan, Leonard Nimoy at the James Doohan Farewell Star Trek Tribute / Photo Credit: s_bukley

Acting Career

In 1954, Shatner participated in the Stratford Shakespeare Festival in a number of roles. Shatner was also cast as Ranger Bob on The Canadian Howdy Doody Show in the same year. In 1958, Shatner made his feature film debut in The Brothers Karamazov. He then appeared in an episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents titled The Glass Eye.

Shortly after, Shatner also appeared in two episodes of The Twilight Zone in 1960 and 1963. Shatner appeared in the episodes Nick of Time and the most iconic, Nightmare at 20,000 Feet.

Star Trek

The project to have the largest impact on William Shatner’s net worth would be Star Trek. He would get his big break when he was cast as Captain James T. Kirk in Star Trek from 1966 to 1969. Shatner would reprise the role in 1973 for the animated Star Trek series.

Star Trek would get a cult following in the 1970s because of its syndicated reruns. And, Captain Kirk would become a pop culture icon. Shatner soon became a regular at Star Trek conventions, with his autographs and photo opportunities fetching top dollar.

Additional Projects

In 1977, Shatner starred in Kingdom of the Spiders. He made $20,000 from the project, in addition to 7.5% of gross profits. The horror sci-fi flick was produced for a budget of $500,000.

From 1982 to 1986, Shatner starred in TJ Hooker and even directed several episodes of the show. In the same decade, he also returned as Captain Kirk in five film adaptations of Star Trek. Shatner also started directing films and television throughout this time, including Star Trek V: The Final Frontier. In May 1983, Shatner received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Shatner also has a star on Canada’s Walk of Fame. He also hosted the reality-based series Rescue 911 from 1989 to 1996.

In 2000, Shatner starred in Miss Congeniality as pageant emcee Stanley Fields. In the 2004 sequel, Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous, Shatner reprised the role. He then starred in the final season of The Practice as Denny Crane. Shatner would reprise the role in Boston Legal until its final season in 2008.

William Shatner at Comic Con
William Shatner at his handprints in cement ceremony at the Theatre Box in San Diego during the annual Comic Con / Photo Credit: CarlaVanWagoner

Recent Projects

In April 2010, William Shatner started hosting the Discovery Channel series Weird or What. The series aired until August 2012. The show explored topics like UFOs and cryptozoology. In that same year, Shatner appeared in the CBS sitcom $#*! My Dad Says, which was canceled in May 2011. The show’s cancellation came three months after its season finale.

Also in 2011, Shatner guest starred in an episode of the series Psych, titled In for a Penny as the estranged father of Juliet O’Hara. He would reprise the role in the 2012 season of the show. Shatner returned as Captain Kirk in another Star Trek film he directed, The Captains, which was also done as a feature-length documentary. He interviewed all five actors who played the lead roles in the Star Trek sequels.

From 2018 to 2018, Shatner starred in both seasons of the NBC series Better Late Than Never.

In 2021, Shatner starred in Senior Moment alongside Jean Smart and Christopher Lloyd. In 2022, he competed in Season 8 of The Masked Singer and was eliminated in the first episode.

From 2019 to 2023, Shatner hosted and executive produced the series The UnXplained.

Other Ventures

Aside from acting, William Shatner’s net worth has also been impacted by his work as a recording artist. Shatner released his first album in 1968, titled “The Transformed Man.” In 2011, Shatner released what would be his most successful album, “Seeking Major Tom.” The album included covers of David Bowie’s “Space Oddity,” Pink Floyd’s “Learning to Fly,” and Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.” Shatner also became a commercial pitchman for Priceline.com.

Shatner has also ventured into real estate. His longtime residence is in Studio City, California. The 4,106-square-foot property has four bedrooms and four bathrooms.

William Shatner
Photo Credit: s_bukley

Personal Life

William Shatner has been married four times. His first marriage was to Canadian actress Gloria Rand in August 1956. They share three daughters: Leslie, Lisabeth, and Melanie, who were all born in 1958, 1960, and 1964 respectively. Shatner left Rand while filming the Star Trek series, and they divorced in March 1969.

Shatner married his second wife, Marcy Lafferty. They were married from 1973 to 1996. He then married his third wife Nerine Kidd Shatner, who was 28 years younger than him. They married in 1997.

Less than two years later, on August 9, 1999, Shatner arrived home late one night and found Nerine’s body at the bottom of their swimming pool. According to an autopsy, there was valium and alcohol in her system, and the coroner ruled the death as accidental drowning.

In 2001, Shatner married Elizabeth Anderson Martin. The actor then filed for divorce in 2019. It was finalized in January 2020.

McGill University awarded Shatner an honorary Doctorate of Letters in June 2011. In May 2018, Shatner was also awarded an honorary Doctorate of Letters from the New England Institute of Technology. In 2021, Shatner became the oldest person to fly into space at 90 years old when he boarded the Blue Origin sub-orbital capsule.

William Shatner in 2023
William Shatner Makes Space-Related Press Announcement held at the TCL Chinese Theater / Photo Credit: Tinseltown

William Shatner’s Net Worth in 2023

As of 2023, William Shatner has an estimated net worth of $100 million. It’s reported that for the television shows Shatner films now, he makes $150,000 per episode. Adding to his net worth was his tenure as the commercial pitchman for Priceline.com. While the exact amount that he made is unknown, the rumors circulating that he made $600 million from the deal are false.

The actor signed on as a “Priceline Negotiator” in the commercials for the upstart travel company in 1997. At a time when the internet was growing in popularity, companies like Priceline were receiving stock market valuations from their IPOs. It was rumored that Shatner insisted on getting stock as compensation instead of cash.

It seemed like a good move at the time, but as the internet bubble burst, Priceline shares lost almost all its value. The stock eventually fell to $1.80 per share in 2000. Over 10 years later, Shatner still did commercials with Priceline, making a revival and trading at over $3,000 per share.

Rumors circulated that Shatner didn’t sell any of his stock during the decade after the internet bubble burst. This resulted in the speculation that Shatner’s shares were now supposedly worth more than $600 million. Shatner has publicly denied the rumors publicly on several occasions, especially during an interview with Howard Stern and a post on X/Twitter.

“Someone stupid said a stupid thing about me making $600M. It ain’t so. Relatives are coming out of the woodwork. Too bad it never happened,” said Shatner.


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