Captain Kirk is going to be 85 years old in March.
OK, William Shatner, the actor who played the beloved “Star Trek” commanding officer, is the one having the birthday. And he is one active octogenarian.
He’s still on TV; he’s written a book about his friend Leonard Nimoy; and on Wednesday, his one-man show, “Shatner’s World,” will play the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg.
Even though it’s been almost a year since the death of his “Star Trek” co-star, Shatner spent several minutes discussing Nimoy in a phone call from Los Angeles.
“I admired Leonard very much,” he said. “I’ve never met anyone like him. I wrote a book about our friendship.”
“Leonard: My Fifty-Year Friendship with a Remarkable Man” will hit book shelves Feb. 16. “The book was written from a unique perspective,” he said. “It’s my perspective working with Leonard and being his friend. I have so many stories about him.”
Shatner is full of stories, which makes his one-man show, which ranges from poignant to hilarious, such a treat for his audience. His 2012 jaunt was a winner, rivaling Burt Reynolds’ inspired spoken-word tour, which hit the country a decade ago. Shatner’s 2012 show started chronologically, touching on his childhood in Montreal, when he was expected to toil in his father’s clothing business.
“I was not meant to follow in his footsteps,” Shatner said.
Indeed. Shatner became a cultural icon courtesy of his time on the legendary ’60s series, which was followed by a succession of “Star Trek” films.
“ ‘Star Trek’ changed my life,” he said. “But there was much more to come.”
After having some trouble finding his footing when the series was canceled in 1969, Shatner kicked it back into gear with “T.J. Hooker,” “Rescue 911” and “Boston Legal,” in which he played eccentric lawyer Denny Crane.
“I’ve done so many things over my career,” Shatner said. “I’ve had great roles in television. I’ve enjoyed the theatrical productions I’ve done. It’s been a very eclectic career.”
And Shatner gets to look back with this show, which was not his idea.
“I was contacted by someone in Australia. They said they would like me to do a one-man show. I went down and worked on the visuals. It went over very well,” he said.
The show was such a success, he said, he was asked to do it in Canada, and then it went on to Broadway.
“It’s great to take this everywhere. It’s a show unlike anything you’ve seen before. It’s my life. It’s about things that have happened to me. I just try to make it as entertaining as possible. You’ll be surprised how moved you will be by this show. You’ll also have great big belly laughs. I guarantee a memorable evening.”