William Shatner: Steelers legend Terry Bradshaw ‘putty in my hands’
Capt. James T. Kirk is a true science fiction icon who has influenced millions of “Star Trek” fans throughout the world.
William Shatner, the 88-year-old actor who portrayed him in the television series and subsequent movies, is not the character. In real life, he is a multitalented actor, producer director and writer who published “Live Long and … What I Learned Along the Way” this past fall, with David Fisher.
Shatner, the keynote celebrity appearing this weekend at the pop-culture memorabilia show, Steel City Con, spoke about his book and other topics in a recent telephone interview.
You recently spent some time with Steelers legend, Terry Bradshaw.
“I spent a lot of time with Steelers legend Terry Bradshaw,” Shatner said. “He’s putty in my hands.”
In 2016 and 2017, Shatner starred in the reality travel show, “Better Late Than Never,” with Bradshaw, Henry Winkler (“Fonzie” from the television show “Happy Days”) and former boxing champion George Foreman.
The series had the foursome travel to Asia and Europe, experiencing local culture and sharing their insights on age, fame and family. Comic Jeff Dye accompanied the group.
Was what we saw on the show similar to what was going on behind the screen?
“It was exactly what was happening,” he said. “I bullied him (Bradshaw) to such a degree that he would weep in my arms, from time to time.”
Any Terry stories that you’d like to share?
“Oh, tremendous Terry stories,” he said with a chuckle. “I ran after him with a piece of fermented cod and he ran away from me and cut to his left, came out of his shoes and fell to the ground. He said that the worst thing that has ever happened to him was being run down by Shatner.”
You know that he’s somewhat of a legend here?
“He’s a legend with me, too, but for different reasons,” he said.
What’s your reason?
“The way he sings,” Shatner said.
In your book, you wrote about many of his experiences, likes and dislikes, but among them was his passion for Dobermans, motorcycles and horses.
“Their intelligence, their elegance and their public relations,” he said. “You have a built-in guard, by just the fact that it’s a Doberman.”
Do you have a favorite motorcycle?
“I used to drive Bultacos when I was driving in the dessert,” he said. “I had one BSA for hill-climbing and now I’m into electric bikes. The Pedego bikes are electric bikes and you can pedal them. When you need an assist, you can hit the assist, or you can just sit there and it’ll go 20 miles per hour, which is what I did yesterday, with a family of 15.”
Do you have a favorite breed of horse?
“I breed American Saddlebreds, Standardbreds and Quarter Horses,” he said. “I ride competitively now on Quarter Horses, but I’m still driving Standardbreds. So, what I’m not doing is riding the Saddlebreds, but I’m showing the Saddlebreds, and it’s too complex to tell you the difference.”
“Star Trek” fans going to Steel City Con can also meet Shatner’s crewmate Walter Koenig (Pavel Chekov) and stuntman Bobby Clark, one of the portrayers of the Gorn monster, who famously battled Capt. Kirk on a rocky planet.
There also is a reunion of cast members of “The Office” and many others.
Steve Segal is a contributing writer.