How many years have we been looking at William Shatner on TV shows, commercials, in movies and on book covers that he's written? Well, most of his 81 years as today is Bill's birthday.

Best known for portraying Captain James T. Kirk in the Star Trek franchise, William Shatner has been a part of our American culture for decades. As police officer "T.J. Hooker", hosting "Rescue 911", in the courtroom as Denny Crane on "Boston Legal", a season of "*$&#(@ My Dad Says", and of course all those Priceline commercials.

And then there have been all those books he's written (I've read them all), and his current TV shows such as "Shatner's Raw Nerve'. Yes, he punches his lines, and maybe he has a slight ego (I like Bill Shatner, so I'm being diplomatic here). But let's face it, how many 81 year old celebrities still gets gigs on "The Tonight Show", "Late Night With David Letterman", "Conan", and all the other late night hosts who are only too happy to book him.

My wife and I are "Trekkers" and saw William Shatner in person about 12 years ago at a Star Trek Convention in Syracuse. He was everyhing we had hoped for and more...entertaining the crowd with back stage stories, humor and his take on the Star Trek universe.

Happy 81st birthday Bill, and all ahead warp factor four.

Let's take a look at a much younger William Shatner back in 1979 as Captain Kirk in the first of the Star Trek films, "Star Trek The Motion Picture".