June 20 2024


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Shatner: Aging and Work

2 min read


The eighty-three-year-old William Shatner explained why he keeps working while his age contemporaries are sunning themselves on a beach somewhere in Florida.

Part of the trick is not feeling old. “I feel…it’s a toss-up between adolescences and the maturity of my middle thirties,” said Shatner. “That means I’m not dealing with reality at all. I’m delusional.”

The truth is the actor enjoys his work and can’t seem to bear to be idle. “Well, every time I kick back, I kick myself in the ass,” he said. “And it’s not compulsion. It’s just that it’s there and I’m ready to do it. I have the lifeforce to do it, so I do it.

“Work is part of what human beings do, but what I do doesn’t seem like work.”

Shatner is fortunate to have work, often older people run into difficulties finding jobs as they age. The actor is penning a book, Hire Yourself, which “addresses the large proportion of people over the age of fifty-five who are unemployed.”

“The fact that people over fifty are being rehired at a much slower rate because they want more,” said Shatner. “They want more, but they have more to offer. And in many cases, they’re failing to be rehired. Corporations are hiring younger people with less experience and less knowledge and paying them less. So I’m advocating…hire yourself.”

His book “tells readers how they should use the skills that they’ve spent a lifetime honing. In essence,” said Shatner, “they should hire themselves out to businesses promoting the strong skills they have. My introduction to the book is [that] you don’t have to talk to me about being unemployed. Every time an actor finishes a job, he’s unemployed.”

Shatner’s current projects include Shatner’s World, his one-man show currently touring; Wacky Doodle, a The Next Generation documentary; his annual Hollywood Charity Horse Show on April 26, several television projects, and the Hire Yourself book.

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3 thoughts on “Shatner: Aging and Work

  1. Good for him. I always thought he (or almost any TOS actors) would be natural at showing how being “older” should not limit opportunity. I distinctly remember being a teenager when TMP came out and feeling good about Shatner and Nimoy particularly (because they were starring, nothing against Kelley, Doohan, et. al.), pushing fifty and starring in this huge movie — conventional wisdom would have had them (and Star Trek) out to pasture.

  2. I was watching a scene in The Captains, when he is walking up a street in San Francisco, when I thought, “He’s kind of a tubby bastard.” Then something smacked me in the back of the head and I heard Yoda say, “When 80 years old, look as good you will not.” William Shatner rides and breeds horses, appears on about 300 hours of television a week and makes about 17 personal appearances a day. When I am his age, my goal is to still be breathing and not crapping in my pants. He’s absolutely right, and not just about age. When I moved to where I lived now, I could not find a job that would do more than pay day care, and what is the point of working just so you could afford to work? So, I started my own business. I’m glad I have a working spouse, but I can supervise the kids and take care of my business and the house and net more than I would if I worked for someone else. There is always something we can do.

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