The beloved icon beamed onto television screens in 1966 as James T. Kirk, captain of the USS Enterprise, on Star Trek. The studly space explorer dazzled women of all species, but his most infamous encounter was with a crew member of his own ship—Lt. Uhura, played by Nichelle Nichols. Their kiss marked the first interracial kiss on a television drama.
Despite being one of the greatest cult phenomena on television, Star Trek was canceled after only three seasons because of low ratings. Now, devoted Trekkies flock to conventions around the world, feeding the nearly $2 billion Star Trek industry.
Bill traded in his command of Starfleet for a badge in 1982 and joined the cast of T.J. Hooker. In the late 1990s, Bill also lent his star power to commercials for discount travel website Priceline.com. He currently stars as egomaniac lawyer Denny Crane on ABC's Boston Legal.
Bill's half-century career as TV icon, singer, best-selling author and pitch man is proof that even in Hollywood, you can live long and prosper. "I guess I'm here because I was Captain Kirk," he says. "Ultimately, the celebrity it brought me made everything else possible."