Happy birthday, William Shatner! Yes, James Tiberius Kirk himself celebrates the big 9-0 today, and Star Trek fans are flocking to social media to wish the Original Series star a good time.
Shatner hasn’t appeared in the Trek franchise for decades, and Chris Pine currently occupies the role of Kirk, but the Canadian icon will always remain a legend of the sci-fi universe thanks to serving as its original leading man and the first captain of the Enterprise that audiences got to know.
Following the show being retooled after its unaired pilot, Shatner was brought aboard as James T. and appeared in all three seasons of The Original Series before it was cancelled in 1969. He then lent his voice to The Animated Series from 1973-1974 and returned in the flesh for seven movies, beginning with 1979’s The Motion Picture and ending with 1994’s Generations, which featured Kirk’s death. Shatner also directed ST V: The Final Frontier.
The news that he’s turning 90 is proving a lot for some Trek fans to get their heads around, as you can see below:
Today is William Shatner's 90th birthday. pic.twitter.com/1hroSvD5o1
— PandemiCarrie (@SarcastiCarrie) March 22, 2021
Seven decades in the business. That’s some career.
Happy birthday to William Shatner. In his 7 decades of tv, Shatner became a cultural icon for his portrayal of James T. Kirk, captain of the USS Enterprise, in the Star Trek franchise. #80s #StarTrek pic.twitter.com/sxaMM7yjyp
— LandOfThe80s (@landofthe80s) March 22, 2021
He’s still boldly going.
Happy birthday to William Shatner, still boldly going at 90. pic.twitter.com/0tX4LuMYNI
— Humanoid History (@HumanoidHistory) March 22, 2021
The real difference between actor and character.
— Marshall Julius (@MarshallJulius) March 22, 2021
A “force of nature.”
#startrek #WilliamShatner Happy Birthday to the “Force of Nature” William Shatner who is 90 years old today. Wishing you the best birthday ever from the Star Trek fans in the Twitter verse pic.twitter.com/Xch4ILBbUS
— james scott (@jamie2bad2000) March 22, 2021
As for his fellow Star Trek stars, Data sent his well wishes.
Happy Birthday to that great trio. William Shatner, Michael Westmore and Stephen Sondheim!
— Brent Spiner (@BrentSpiner) March 22, 2021
As did William Riker.
— Jonathan Frakes (@jonathansfrakes) March 22, 2021
And it turns out Ben Stiller is a big fan, too!
— Ben Stiller (@RedHourBen) March 22, 2021
He does not look his age.
I know he's a Marmite type of character but I love William Shatner and his effortless way of making me laugh.
He does NOT look his age. Maybe it's his attitude and possible nips and tucks but whatever he's doing, he did it very well.
Happy Birthday Mr Shatner. pic.twitter.com/cU2IOC6mnu
— TheSooks (@SooksThe) March 22, 2021
Shatner then took to Twitter himself to thank everyone for their birthday messages, describing all the love as “overwhelming.”
Well! I must say that the reaction to a 90th birthday ? is overwhelming. ?Don’t you people have better things to do? ??♂️? Thank you to everyone for your well wishes and love! ❤️
— William Shatner (@WilliamShatner) March 22, 2021
With former captains like Patrick Stewart and Kate Mulgrew returning to the Star Trek fold lately, there’s been a lot of speculation over whether Shatner could follow suit. The actor’s given conflicting opinions on if he’d like to come back, but generally it seems he’d agree if he was offered a meaningful role and not just a gratuitous cameo.
Happy 90th birthday, captain! You’ve definitely lived long and prospered.