The legendary William Shatner, one of our finest Canadian gems, will be honored this coming October for his contributions to the acting world and his work in the theatre during the 1950’s at the Stratford Festival.
Stratford is a small town in Ontario, Canada, that is known for two things: Being the birthplace of Justin Bieber, and being the home of the Stratford Festival. While we begrudgingly must acknowledge that this city is responsible for ‘Bieber Fever,' we are much happier to acknowledge that the city brings us the Stratford Festival -- an internationally-recognized annual celebration of theatre running from April to November.
Before Shatner became famous for his comically-fantastic and dramatic portrayal of Captain James T. Kirk in 'Star Trek' he was a regular on the Stratford stage. Shatner played the role of Gratiano in Williams Shakespeare’s ‘The Merchant of Venice,' Lucentio in ‘The Taming of the Shrew,' and was an understudy for the title role in ‘Henry V’ in 1956 for Christopher Plummer.
The festival will be presenting Shatner with the 2013 Legacy Award as part of a fundraising gala. Shatner is only the third recipient in the festival’s history to be awarded with a Legacy Award, the other two being Christopher Plummer and Maggie Smith. There are not many other Canadian actors who have reached such levels of international success and Shatner is highly deserving of the award.
Shatner will receive the award at the Four Seasons Hotel in Toronto on October 21.