About Entertainment

Why Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner Stopped Talking to One Another Years Before Nimoy’s Death

May 5, 2016  •  Post A Comment

When “Star Trek” icon Leonard Nimoy died a little more than a year ago, he and William Shatner hadn’t spoken in years, and new details reveal what may have been the cause of their falling-out.

“On the anniversary of Nimoy’s death, Shatner released ‘Leonard: My Fifty-Year Friendship with a Remarkable Man,'” About Entertainment notes. “The book, co-written with David Fisher, details Nimoy’s life and Shatner’s relationship with Nimoy. In the book, he describes how they met, their struggling relationship, and the bonds they shared. But in the end, it also describes how Nimoy refused to speak to Shatner in the final years of his life.”

The report focuses on a Shatner interview about five years ago with The Daily Mail.

“In 2011, Shatner released a documentary called ‘The Captains,’ where he interviewed actors like Kate Mulgrew and Avery Brooks who played starship captains on the ‘Star Trek’ series,” the story reports. “Apparently, Shatner had asked Nimoy to make an appearance in the documentary. Nimoy refused. Despite that, Shatner’s cameraman filmed Nimoy secretly during a convention appearance to include as footage without Nimoy’s permission. There was never a final argument or blowout over it, but that seemed to have been the last straw. They never spoke again.”

leonard my fifty-year friendship-william shatner


  1. So, the reason their friendship ended was because Shatner used footage of Nimoy for a documentary without his permission. And now Shatner, in another attempt to cash-in on Nimoy’s name, has gone and written an entire book about him, and released it on the anniversary of his death. Anybody else wondering what Nimoy would have thought of this???

  2. Nick G. – I read the article and had composed my comment in my mind only to find you already wrote it! All I can add is that Nimoy was obviously right!

  3. The title of the “article” suggests THIS is why. We don’t actually know why, because only Nimoy knew why, and he never said.

    After a 45 year friendship, which Leonard Nimoy himself had referred to as being like a close brother, he simply shut Shatner out.

    The article also says “last straw,” as if there were other straws. What other straws? We have no information at all about what might have led to this…just the one incident, and we don’t even know that was what really caused the problem.

    Yes, it was probably inappropriate of Shatner to use candid footage without permission. But remember, too, Nimoy had been kind of a brat about being in the documentary because he felt he should have been an equal part, not just commentary. (Spock was a Captain, but not on a series….if you include Captains that were NOT Captains of a series, you also should include Sulu, for example.)

    So, despite this, Shatner writes an amazing, complimentary, loving book about who he considered to be his life’s best friend. He could have written yet another Trek book, and included a snotty anecdote about how Leonard froze him out in the final years, but he took the high road, and simply created a tribute.

    To anyone not seeing it that way, that’s your choice. It’s not a truth, it’s just your CHOICE to see the negatives. I’m going to see the positives. For someone who has been accused again and again of being an egomaniac, the public record actually describes a Shatner that is more than willing to make fun of himself, put himself in embarrassing situations, and quite open to discussing his own failings.

    • You are correct, Dave.

  4. Nick G and Reality Check, I am willing to be you have not read Shatner’s book. You should. Far from cashing in (and even ignoring that Shatner must have a lot of money and doesn’t really need book royalties) it’s a heartfelt tribute, and well worth your time.

  5. I believe there must be much more to this story than meets the eye.For either party to dissolve a 50 year friendship solely on the basis of a lack of permission to run some documentary film footage, would suggest a very thin friendship , over the many years.Any friendship that is relevant, should be able to withstand the omission made by Shatner.

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