From Sleeping in the Bed of His Truck to Cultural Icon

As we’ve already seen on this list, artists will go to great lengths in order to make it in their industry. However, “making it” doesn’t always ensure success. In the late 50s, William moved from his native Canada to make it as an actor in the United States. He had success landing roles on Broadway, before making his way to Hollywood and nabbing a few supporting roles in movies and television shows.

In 1965 he was cast in the lead role of a legal procedure drama, but it was cancelled after a season. Next he landed the lead role on a science fiction show that aired on NBC. The show struggled to find a large following, but it did have a small, devoted fan-base. It was also cancelled, this time after three seasons.

William was out of work, which coincided with his divorce and child support payments for his three children. William was desperate, so he moved back east and worked in a traveling theater. He slept in the bed of his pickup truck under a hard cover.

Luckily for William, the sci-fi show he starred in was of course called Star Trek and was tremendously popular in re-runs. It was made into an animated series in 1973, a film in 1979 and is now one of the biggest multimedia franchises on the planet. Today, William Shatner is one of the most recognizable celebrities in the world. He’s written books, hosted television shows and even won an Emmy for his role on Boston Legal.


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