Poor William Shatner, a k a Capt. James Tiberius Kirk of the Starship Enterprise. Nothing would have made him happier, the actor notes in the epilogue of "Star Trek Memories," than to be able to end his reminiscences about the beloved TV series with )) the simple phrase: "And the cast, crew and creatives of 'Star Trek' lived happily ever after."
But as Shatner discovered in catching up with his old colleagues, not only had some of them not lived happily ever after, but they also hadn't been terribly joyful while they were doing the show -- thanks in good measure to him.
!-- Chicago Tribune *
Nichelle Nichols (Uhura): ". . . don't realize what a lecher he was. the set, it was always: 'Hey, baby, nice phasers' or 'Let's you and me go check out the transporter room, lieutenant (wink, wink).' It made you want to gag.
"He was very weird. I always thought he was on something."
George Takei (Sulu): "The man was the cheapest SOB you could ever know. One time we were at a cast party and these cute little kids asked for his autograph.
"But Bill just snarled: 'You brats want me to sign, it'll cost you a sawbuck each.'
"One little boy wearing glasses started to cry.
" 'Take it or leave it, four-eyes,' " Bill said. Then he drained the rest of his martini and yelled at the waiter to bring more lobster.
"He just wasn't a pleasant man to be around."
James Doohan (Scotty): "You know what I remember most? The way he was always checking himself out in the mirror, fixing his hair, admiring his physique. Then he'd whack me in the gut and say: 'Better shape up, fat boy. We're going against battle cruisers from the Malurian Star System today.'
"I'm told he wasn't very nice to his mother, either. Supposedly threw her down a flight of stairs once. You should talk to her. She's in the phone book."
Walter Koenig (Chekov): "The man ruined my career, period. We're shooting this scene where we crash on . . . 'scuse me, bartender, another Jack and Coke here . . . Janus VI or Talos IV or one of those stupid planets.
"It's supposed to be my biggest role to date -- Kirk is hurt in the crash, so Chekov has to lead the rescue party to save Spock from some Klingons. But at the last minute, Shatner says to Joe Pevney, the director: 'Geez, Koenig can't handle that big a part -- the guy's a real loser. Let's have Sulu lead the rescue party.'
"So that little pinhead Takei gets all that time in front of the camera. And I never get to show what I can really do. Two years later, the show's canceled and I'm waiting tables at a Howard Johnson.
"I do a couple of nothing gigs on 'Kojak' and 'Barnaby Jones' after that and -- boom -- end of career.
"Bitter? I guess you could say that."
Leonard Nimoy (Spock): "A lot of people don't know this, but Shatner was an out-and-out kleptomaniac. We're riding into work one day, right? And I need a pack of smokes, so we stop at a convenience store.
"Anyway, I'm at the register and I look over and there's Bill stuffing Slim Jims and M&M;'s and Hostess fruit pies under his shirt. He was pretty beefy at the time, so no one noticed him walk out with the stuff.
"He'd steal anything -- stereo equipment, snow tires, even stuff he didn't need, like baby food and Midol. Guy making all that money . . . I dunno, guess he was just sick."
DeForest Kelley (McCoy): "He had this superior attitude, y'know? Always telling people how to deliver their lines. One day we're shooting this scene where the whole crew comes down with radiation poisoning from exposure to a comet near Gamma Hydra IV, and Bill's really getting on me.
"Well, I just . . . snapped. And I screamed: 'OK, Mr. TV [bleeping] Big Shot, Mr. Lawrence [bleeping] Olivier, you be the ship's [bleeping] doctor from now on!' And I stormed off the set.
"A couple minutes later, he knocks on my dressing room door and apologizes. Then he breaks down sobbing. Tells me he lost $200,000 on the Lakers game, only he doesn't have the money. And now this bookmaker is threatening to send a couple of goons to break his legs.
"He used to beat his dogs all the time, too, did you know that? Ginger and Toby. Two little cocker spaniels. Cutest things you ever saw. He'd come in the door, give 'em a kick, they'd go flying down the hall. That's just the way he was.
"Say, you got 10 bucks you could lend me?"