William Shatner,  AKA Captain James T. Kirk (and to some younger fans, T.J. Hooker, and for the *really* young ones, Denny Crane) will turn 81 on March 22, 2012.

First, it’s difficult to think of Captain Kirk being that old, and second, he’s held up pretty well!  He’s had some rough times in his life, but looks remarkably hale and hearty.  Even if he’s had some “work” done, and I don’t know that he has, he’s a great example of how to age gracefully, with style and humor.  I really liked his Priceline commercials, and it’s sad to see his participation in those end, but the industry always moves on.  I think it’s important not to take yourself too seriously, and be able to have fun with your own image.  Shatner has done that, and it speaks to his being a classy man.  He has had a reputation of being a difficult person to be around, especially professionally, and there are apparently plenty of hard feelings towards him from his fellow actors through the years.  He may be/may have been a jerk to know personally or as an actor to work with, but it’s his public personae I’m talking about here.  His public image is genial and friendly.  It would be nice to think he’s that way in his private life, but you never know.  He is, after all, an actor.   Regardless, I think he’s done well since his Star Trek days, and I wish him continued success (and personal growth even at 81!) in the years ahead.

Ahead, warp factor 2, Mr. Sulu.