Was William Shatner jealous of Leonard Nimoy? Star didn't even attend pal’s funeral

William Shatner will be on the Blue Origin as its second crew to go to space

                            Was William Shatner jealous of Leonard Nimoy? Star didn't even attend pal’s funeral
Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner appear at a public signing of DVD of 'Mind Meld: Secrets behind the voyage of a Lifetime' in Los Angeles (J Emilio Flores/Getty Images)

William Shatner, famous for playing the fearless Captain James T Kirk of ‘Star Trek’ series, is all set to make history as Jeff Bezos' space travel company Blue Origin is ready for its second flight into space, carrying the 90-year-old. With this, the Hollywood legend will become the oldest person to go into space.

According to reports, the mission — NS18 — will take off at 10 am EDT (9 am local time), on October 13 from Blue Origin’s Launch Site One, a launchpad in rural West Texas about 100 miles from El Paso. In a statement, the Canadian actor said last week, “I've heard about space for a long time now. I'm taking the opportunity to see it for myself. What a miracle.”


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This is believed to be one of the greatest moments of Shatner’s life. But there was a time when the ‘Boston Legal’ star opened up about unpleasant phases in his life, including the end of his friendship with his ‘Star Trek’ co-star Leonard Nimoy.

Actors Leonard Nimoy (L) and William Shatner (R) promote the 'Star Trek' 40th Anniversary on the TV Land network at the Four Seasons hotel in Los Angeles, California (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

What happened between William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy?

Shatner has earlier mentioned that he will be clueless all his life about what he had done that angered his friend Nimoy so much that he did not talk to him in the final years of his life. Shatner and Nimoy were not on good terms for five long years before the latter died in February 2015 at the age of 83.

Actors Leonard Nimoy (L) and William Shatner (R) attend the 19th Annual "Hollywood Charity Horse Show" at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center on April 25, 2009 in Burbank, California (Photo by Amanda Edwards/Getty Images)

Besides, what troubles Shartner more is why Nimoy did not discuss the issue with him when he was alive. In 2018, he told the New York Daily News, “Until the day I die, I will still wonder what caused that rift. After all the years we had spent together, after the bond we had forged, what could I have done that was so irreparable that he couldn’t even talk to me about it?”

The feud between the two legends apparently became so huge that Nimoy even declined to be part of a film the father-of-three was making. When Shatner was questioned why ‘The Big Bang Theory’ would not make an appearance in his movie, he responded, “I don’t know. I thought he was joking at first and treated it as a joke because he sometimes would pretend and say, ‘No, I’m not going to do that’ and then say, ‘Yes’, So that’s what I thought he did. But that time he really meant, no. I just don’t know, and it is sad and it is permanent. I don’t know why he stopped talking to me.”

But some of the earlier reports have claimed that the relationship between Shatner and Nimoy went sour after the former one videotaped the other one without his consent for a documentary he was creating about the captains of the Starship Enterprise. 

Actor/directors and original 'Star Trek' series co-stars Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner joke around as they reminisce during their appearance at the fifth annual official 'Star Trek' convention at the Las Vegas Hilton in Las Vegas, Nevada (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

But there is another story that claims to have sparked a rivalry between the two stars. George Takei once said on David Tennant’s celebrity interview podcast that the actors started disliking each other over their fan letters. He said, "How do I put it? It began from the TV series. There was one character whose charisma and whose mystery was like a magnet. It was Spock, the strange alien with pointy ears. That intrigued the audience and women thought ‘I’m the one who can arouse him.’ His fan letters were this many, and Leonard’s were that many, and that created an insecurity [in Shatner]."

"Movie-making, TV-making, theater-making is all about collaborative teamwork. A good actor knows that the scene works when there’s that dynamic going on with the cast. Some actors seem to feel that it’s a one-man show. That’s the source of some tensions," Takei added.

After Nimoy died, Shatner could not even make it to his funeral. At the time, he tweeted, “I am currently in FL as I agreed to appear at the Red Cross Ball tonight. Leonard’s funeral is tomorrow. I can’t make it back in time. I feel really awful. Here I am doing charity work and one of my dearest friends is being buried. I chose to honor a commitment I made months ago to appear at a charitable fundraiser. A lot of money was raised. So here I am; tell me off.”




Shatner had once said, “Actors’ friendships are like that. They tend to be deep and temporary. Every series, every movie or play I’ve done, they were all my good friends, and I never saw them again.” He, though, added: “Honestly until Leonard and I developed our relationship... I never had a real friend; I didn’t even know what a friend was.”

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