“I Don’t Have Long To Live”: William Shatner Opens Up about His Own Mortality

91-year-old Acting legend William Shatner embraced his own mortality in a candid interview this month, saying he knows he doesn’t have long to live and that his time is limited. However, rather than utter those hard truths with resignation, Shatner remains committed to doing as much with his remaining time as he can.

Opening up about finally committing to a documentary about his life, “You Can Call Me Bill,” the 91-year-old actor said:

I’ve turned down a lot of offers to do documentaries before. But I don’t have long to live. Whether I keel over as I’m speaking to you or 10 years from now, my time is limited, so that’s very much a factor. I’ve got grandchildren. This documentary is a way of reaching out after I die.

Continuing, he noted that he wanted to preserve all the knowledge he’s acquired over his long life, saying “The sad thing is that the older a person gets the wiser they become and then they die with all that knowledge. And it’s gone. It’s not like I’m going to take my ideas or my clothing with me.

He also noted that like clothes or anything else, thoughts, memories, and observations will disappear as well if not properly preserved, but good deeds can live on forever in what they inspire. Speaking on that, he said:

“Today, there’s a person going through some of my clothes in order to donate or sell them, because what am I going to do with all these suits that I’ve got? What am I going to do with all these thoughts? What am I going to do with 90 years of observations?”

“The moths of extinction will eat my brain as they will my clothing and it will all disappear. If you do a good deed, it reverberates to the end of time. It’s the butterfly effect thing. That’s why I have done this film.”

That then came up again when he was asked about regrets and brought up how good deeds can echo on forever, saying:

“When Leonard Nimoy died a few years ago, his funeral was on a Sunday. His death was very sudden, and I had obligated myself to go to Mar-a-Lago for a Red Cross fundraiser. I was one of the celebrities raising money . . . I chose to keep my promise and go to Mar-a-Lago instead of the funeral.”

“Who cares? I know what I did was right. So it doesn’t matter. We’re criticized when we lift a finger. I don’t read that stuff. I try to not . . . indulge in the evil that’s out there.”

“People ask about a legacy. There’s no legacy. Statues are torn down. Graveyards are ransacked. Headstones are knocked over. No one remembers anyone. Who remembers Danny Kaye or Cary Grant? They were great stars. But they’re gone and no one cares. But what does live on, are good deeds. If you do a good deed, it reverberates to the end of time. It’s the butterfly effect thing.”

He also spoke about being moved when he was able to travel into space thanks to Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin. Speaking on that, he said:

“When I came out of the spaceship I was crying, just sobbing, and I thought ‘why am I crying?’ . . . I’m in grief . . . I’m grieving about the world because I now know so much about what’s happening. I saw the Earth and its beauty and its destruction.”

“It’s going extinct. Billions of years of evolution may vanish. It’s sacred, it’s holy, it’s life, and it’s gone. It’s beyond tragic. We stupid f—ing animals are destroying this gorgeous thing called the Earth. Doesn’t that make you angry? Don’t you want to do something about it?”

Notice: This article may contain commentary that reflects the author's opinion.

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