1955 – Shatner Year in Review

Another big year for Le Shat!

Welcome to the 1955 edition of the “Shatner Year In Review.” At the end of each year covered in the review posts I will provide a summary as it relates to Shatner and his career, as well as display some key entertainment statistics.

1955 was another busy year for The Shat, including at least a dozen TV appearances as well as another full season as part of the Stratford Shakespeare Festival. Along the way he worked on a Rod Serling production, appeared in a television show that can still be viewed today (the first one since 1950 that is extant!), lost his life savings, got invited to Broadway and possibly met one of his future baby mamas. Big doings!

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1954 – Shatner Year in Review

Goodbye 1954!

Welcome to the 1954 edition of the “Shatner Year In Review.” At the end of each year covered in the review posts I will provide a summary as it relates to Shatner and his career, as well as display some key entertainment statistics.

So, 1954 was a busy damn year for Shatner…and a true breakout one in terms of proving that he might actually be able to do this thing; this thing being making a living as a professional actor.

He left the life of regional theater behind and joined the company at the newly-prestigious Stratford Festival in Ontario. He began his “day job” on various programs at the CBC for their nascent television production department, as well as for their well-established radio division. And he started to save some his newly hard-earned money for a move to NYC, where he hoped to make it big on the Broadway stage.

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1953 – Shatner Year in Review

Welcome to the 1953 edition of the “Shatner Year In Review.” At the end of each year covered in the review posts I will provide a summary as it relates to Shatner and his career, as well as display some key entertainment statistics.

1953 has the distinction of being, at least for this blog, the last relatively uneventful year in the life of Mr. William Shatner. Early in the year, he would have been performing with the Canadian National Repertory Theatre in Ottawa, and in the summer he was right back to the Mountain Playhouse…then back to the Canadian National Rep for their winter program. In other words, Shatner’s working world of 1953 was little different than what I related in my 1952 Shatner Year in Review post.

Meanwhile, about 350 miles southwest of Ottawa, something was happening that would soon prove to be of enormous consequence to young Bill’s life…

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1952 – Shatner Year In Review

Le Shat graduates!

Welcome to the 1952 edition of the “Shatner Year In Review.” At the end of each year covered in the review posts I will provide a summary as it relates to Shatner and his career, as well as display some key entertainment statistics.

In 1952, Shatner graduated from McGill University (although he missed his convocation due to failing one of his math classes) with a Commerce degree. That summer, he was hired to be the assistant manager of a summer theater, the Mountain Playhouse. This theater put on a number of plays that depended on little scenery or sets. This meant usually “light comedies featuring a young guy…”

According to Shatner’s autobiography Up Till Now:

I was a terrible assistant manager. A disgrace to my commerce degree. I kept losing tickets and mixing up reservations, which were basically the only responsibilities I had. Actors were easily replaceable, but the survival of the theater depended on getting the ticket sales right. Most actors get hired; to save the theater I was fired into the cast. I began playing all those happy young man roles.

Shatner credits acting in these light comedies with helping him learn “how to act.” In fact he credits the audience with teaching him timing and other mannerisms (he had to wait for laughter to subside, he would learn to repeat things the audience seemed to like, etc.) associated with acting. Since he never had any formal acting lessons, he used this time and these experiences to build up his acting chops instead.

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1951 – Shatner Year In Review

Welcome to the 1951 edition of the “Shatner Year In Review.” At the end of each year covered in the review posts I will provide a summary as it relates to Shatner and his career, as well as display some key entertainment statistics.

1951 was an understandably quiet year in the history of Shatner, as he continued his Junior year at McGill University, and then began his Senior year in the fall. He made no on-screen appearances during 1951 while attending school, but he has admitted that he ignored most of his actual schoolwork to focus on extracurricular theater and acting opportunities.

Shatner was president of McGill’s Radio Workshop, and acted in, directed and produced the Red and White Review/Revue for three of his four years at the university.

Shatner working and hamming it up!

There was, however, one very momentous event that happened in 1951…

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1950 – Shatner Year In Review

Photograph | William Shatner and musicians, Open Air Playhouse

Welcome to the first edition of the “Shatner Year In Review.” At the end of each year covered in the review posts I will provide a summary of the year as it relates to Shatner and his career, as well as display some key entertainment statistics.

1950 was a momentous year in the history of Shatner, as he made his very first appearance in the subsequently unreleased film The Butler’s Night OffAt the time, he was most likely entering his Junior year at McGill University in his hometown of Montreal, Quebec. At the university, he was majoring in Business (Commerce) ostensibly to follow in his father’s footsteps in the clothing business. Go read my review of The Butler’s Night Off for a little bit more information on this.

Other than that performance, Shatner made no other on-screen appearance in 1950. But in just a few short years, his career would begin to take a remarkably prolific upturn…stay tuned.

Best Shatner Appearance of 1950: The Butler’s Night Off
Worst Shatner Appearance of 1950: The Butler’s Night Off

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