William Shatner Says “I Don’t Have Long To Live”

Actor William Shatner is probably best known for portraying Captain Kirk in the original Star Trek series. He later went on to reprise the role in several Star Trek movies.

Shatner doesn’t often do interviews, but at the age of 91, he agreed to do an interview via Zoom for Variety. During the interview, he talked about his career as well as his upcoming documentary, “You Can Call Me Bill,” and his memoir which was published last year, “Boldly Go: Reflections on a life of Awe and Wonder.”

Why is Shatner all of a sudden writing a book, making a documentary about his life and agreeing to interviews? In his words, “I don’t have long to live.”

Shatner didn’t add any imminent threat to his life. He didn’t share an illness. Perhaps he’s simply referring to his age, because, honestly, 91 isn’t exactly young. Shatner explained, “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.”

The documentary in particular was primarily a way for Shatner to share his life with his grandchildren after he’s gone. He explained, “I’ve got grandchildren. This documentary is a way of reaching out after I die.”

During the interview, Shatner also reflected on the death of Leonard Nimoy, his co-star on “Star Trek.” Shatner chose not to attend Nimoy’s funeral, and he took the opportunity to explain why. He said, “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. That event was on Saturday night. I chose to keep my promise and go to Mar-a-Lago instead of the funeral.”

Shatner doesn’t seem sad about the idea of imminent death. If anything, he seems sad realizing that he won’t get to see his grandchildren grow up. He explained that “with the time I have left, I like to look at all my grandchildren and try to extract what I can out of my impressions.”

Shatner is also sad about the state of the world. When he went to space in Jeff Bezos’ space shuttle, he returned to earth in tears. He explained, “I saw the Earth and its beauty and its destruction. 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.”

A year ago, Shatner spoke to Variety about a lighter topic than death and the state of the world. He spoke about how he feels about comedians and actors doing impressions of him. Watch the video below to see Shatner comment on various impressions of him through the years.