Today, William Shatner is a living legend, a sci-fi god, one of the most recognizable actors alive. But things weren't always so great. In his new book Shatner Rules, he reveals that 40 years ago, even after the success of Star Trek, he was so strapped for cash that he lived in a truck.
The book—with the full title of Shatner Rules: Your Guide to Understanding the Shatnerverse and the World at Large—hits stores today, and excerpts are making their way onto the web, like one from EW's Shelf Life blog in which the actor discusses how much better it felt to turn 80 (which he did earlier this year) than to turn 40 in 1971.
"When I turned 40 I didn't get out of bed for three days," Shatner says, and notes how his divorce and his flagging career plagued him during that time in his life. He describes—with characteristic slightly corny wit—how things got so bad that he began touring in theater productions and living out of his truck to save money:
"I was living in a truck with my dog, and when I would travel from town to town I would shower inside the theater, perform, greet the fans, then go to bed in a truck. Clearly my finances were not what they should have been. Rule: you can't be a swinging bachelor if your bachelor pad gets towed for being too close to a hydrant."
Of course, we all know things got better for Shatner, first with a Star Trek animated series, then with the Star Trek films, TJ Hooker and so on. And even in his old age, Shatner says 80 turned out to be a much better time for him, and that the moral of the story is that it's never too late.
"Thankfully, 40 years later, I'm in better shape. 80 is great."
We'd love to let you listen to the excerpt here, but the folks at EW seem to have disabled embedding of the clip (those rascals). Still, you can hear it at the link below.