William Shatner is undoubtedly one of the most legendary actors of all time.
A pop culture icon, Shatner has pervaded Hollywood since the 1950s. With seven decades in the industry and countless films and TV shows under his belt, it’s hard to deny the influence Shatner has had on cinema and culture as a whole.
Let’s take a look back at some of the actor’s most iconic roles.
"T.J. Hooker," 1982
In 1982, Shatner graced television screens all around the world as the titular character in the ABC and CBS police drama, "T.J. Hooker."
In the show, Hooker, a policeman motivated to avenge the death of his partner, dons the uniform once again as a member of the fictional Lake City Police Department to rid the streets of violent criminals.
Hooker’s no-nonsense, hardened attitude was a defining factor in making this one of Shatner’s most iconic roles. As a result, the show had a successful run of five seasons over the course of four years.
"Rescue 911," 1989
Shatner had a prominent role in presenting "Rescue 911," a docudrama that aired on CBS from 1989 to 1996.
For eight years, Shatner hosted the show that featured reenactments (and sometimes real footage) of 911 emergencies. The show proved to be so powerful to audiences that two specials — "100 Lives Saved" and "200 Lives Saved" — were made in response to viewers who used the knowledge obtained on the show to save the lives of someone else.
"3rd Rock from the Sun," 1998
Shatner portrayed the Big Giant Head, an extraterrestrial leader that the alien characters had to report to.
In his role, the Big Giant Head served as the ruler of the galaxy and as the mission leader for the Solomons. He would relay messages to earth through Harry Solomon (played by French Stewart) and was often subject to disdain by the Solomons over his questionable leadership.
"The Practice" and "Boston Legal," 2004
From 2004 to 2008, Shatner portrayed conservative attorney Denny Crane in the final season of "The Practice," which lead into its spinoff, "Boston Legal."
A renowned and undefeated attorney of nearly 50 years, Crane boasts an eccentric personality and considered himself to be a legend. As the series progresses, however, he becomes plagued with the onset of Alzheimer’s disease and slowly backs away from lawyer appearances in court.
"Star Trek," 1966
Did you expect to go through this entire list without seeing Captain James T. Kirk?
Appearing in the very first episode of "Star Trek: The Original Series," Captain Kirk quickly emerged as one of the most popular characters out of the franchise and proved to be Shatner’s breakthrough role.
As the leading star and the captain of the starship USS Enterprise, Captain Kirk captivated "Star Trek" fans around the world as he led his crew to new worlds and explored new civilizations. Kirk even popularized the phrase, "Where no man has gone before," through its use in "Star Trek’s" title sequence.