William Shatner, at the Banff World Television Festival to receive a lifetime achievement award, showed a more serious side of himself.
Usually Shatner pokes fun at himself, or wisecracks when asked questions, but there is a more serious side to the actor and the Banff audience heard of his sometimes difficult journey through life.
“My life was a series of pools of loneliness [from] which every so often I was able to emerge with some companionship, and subdue that dreadful feeling that had dogged me for much of my life,” Shatner told the audience. “And frequently even with the kudos I was receiving, I was not happy with the private part of my existence. But slowly I changed. The drill that life puts you through can make you or break you, and fortunately I became more comfortable with relationships and slowly evolved in reaching out to friends and family.”
Shatner found out early in life that he loved the attention that came with acting. After performing a play at a summer camp outside of Montreal, his father “proudly held me in his arms and showed me to his friends, and it was the siren song of fame.”
The actor choked up as he dedicated his award to his wife, Elizabeth. “My lifetime achievement is being married to her, and every day reminding myself that sustaining a marriage is in itself the achievement of a lifetime.”
Elizabeth Shatner, in tears during the speech, said, “I was totally overwhelmed…and consumed by love. It’s his lifetime achievement award, but I would thank him for taking me on the adventure of a lifetime.”