Elizabeth Anderson Martin: The Truth About William Shatner’s Ex-Wife

Elizabeth Anderson Martin is William Shatner's fourth wife, staying married together for 18 years before they were divorced.

By Rick Gonzales | Updated

Over William Shatner’s seven-decade-plus career, most of the focus has rightfully so been on Star Trek. Shatner is synonymous with the original series and the movies that came from it. When it comes to Shatner’s private life, most of the news that hits the tabloids revolves around his ongoing feud with George Takei or the relationship he had with Leonard Nimoy. Not so much with Elizabeth Anderson Martin.

It is very rare that you will see something personal about William Shatner that isn’t Star Trek-related. So, when the news broke in late 2019 that Shatner was filing for divorce from his fourth wife, Elizabeth Anderson Martin, fans began to ask questions.


Before Elizabeth Anderson Martin met William Shatner, she grew up developing a fondness for animals. At the age of five, Elizabeth began riding horses. When she turned eight, she got her first horse, a Gailceno pony. When she turned 14, Elizabeth began her equestrian training.

As her years progressed, Elizabeth took that love for animals, mainly horses, and went to college at Purdue University in Indiana where she earned her bachelor’s degree in Equine and Animal Science. From this degree, Elizabeth Anderson Martin went on to become a professional horse trainer. Along with that, Elizabeth was also a professional equine judge.

Elizabeth Anderson became Elizabeth Anderson Martin in 1982 when she married her first husband, Michael Gleen Martin. The couple remained married for 15 years when in 1997, Michael suddenly passed away. It would be four years before Elizabeth would move on.


Elizabeth Anderson Martin

Elizabeth Anderson Martin was still grieving the loss of her husband four years earlier when she met William Shatner in 2001. They both shared a love for horses, which helped with their bond, but they also bonded over tragedy. We know that Elizabeth lost her husband unexpectedly, but two years before Shatner met Elizabeth, he lost his third wife.

William Shatner married Nerine Kidd in 1997. Kidd was a model and aspiring actress and was only 40 years old when she died. Kidd was battling demons and in fact, they were so bad that Shatner had already filed for divorce before she lost her life.

Kidd’s death came on a summer night in August. Shatner was returning home (they still lived together although he had filed for divorce) after spending time with one of his daughters to find Kidd unconscious at the bottom of their swimming pool. Shatner dove in pulled Kidd out and tried to resuscitate her, but to no avail. The paramedics who arrived not long after also tried to revive her but couldn’t.

When the death was first reported, the police immediately looked at Shatner, but he was able to provide a solid alibi. It was determined in the final autopsy that Kidd had a blood-alcohol level of 0.27%, which is three times the legal driving limit. It was also confirmed that Kidd took sleeping pills as well.

The report further said that Kidd had bruises on her face and two collar vertebrae were broken. Doctors felt this indicated that Kidd dove into the pool, hit her head on the bottom, lost consciousness underwater, and then drowned.

So, when Shatner met Elizabeth, they both had tragedy in common. Their relationship blossomed quickly though because not long after they met, they married. Eyebrows were immediately raised because Elizabeth Anderson Martin is 27 years younger than Shatner. It worked though, and it worked for a long time.

William Shatner, although he had a fondness for horses and what Elizabeth accomplished in her career, helped her with her transition into another career, that of a digital photographer. She also became better acquainted with the front of a movie camera by appearing as herself in a number of projects with Shatner that include E! True Hollywood Story, Life Beyond Trek: William Shatner, Gonzo Ballet, American Pickers, The Captains, Spplat Attack, and The Shatner Project.


When Elizabeth Anderson Martin tied the knot with William Shatner, she instantly became the stepmother to Shatner’s three grown daughters. Elizabeth never had children during her 15-year marriage to Michael Gleen Martin.

In spite of his four marriages, Shatner had his daughters with only one, Canadian actress Gloria Rand. Shatner’s eldest daughter is Leslie, who was born in 1958, making her the same age as Elizabeth, 63. Lisabeth is Shatner’s middle daughter, and she was born three years later in 1961. Melanie is the baby of the family, born in 1964.

All three of Shatner’s daughters are happily married with Lisbeth the only daughter not to have kids. One thing they all have in common, besides their very famous father, is that they also caught the acting bug. Both Leslie and Lisbeth have had small roles in Star Trek: The Original Series. Leslie, though, decided acting wasn’t for her so she instead became a very successful occupational therapist. Lisbeth continued her acting career and was part of the series Boston Legal. She has also a few writing credits to her name on shows like TekWar and T.J. Hooker.

Melanie also has ties to Star Trek, just not the original series. She had a small role in the film Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. She also has been seen in TV series like Knots Landing, Dark Justice, Madison, and Mercy Point.


Kaley Cuoco
Kaley Cuoco

One rumor that had to be shot down a few times was the fact that actress Kaley Cuoco was William Shatner’s daughter. Now, if we were to get technical, you could probably say, yes, she is. But only for a commercial.

Shatner had a moment there where he was cranking out some fun commercials as the Priceline ad man, The Negotiator. Cuoco was added not long after and it was a nice father/daughter match, but in real life, they are just friends.


Despite the 27-year age gap between Shatner and Elizabeth Anderson Martin, the marriage lasted a long time. 18 years to be exact. Citing irreconcilable differences, the two split in 2019, their divorce being final later that year. What was at stake for Shatner was his $100 million fortune. But court documents showed that Shatner was able to keep most of his fortune as he and Elizabeth signed a pre-nuptial agreement.

Although the two have gone their separate ways, they still remain in contact. In fact, Shatner continued to wear his wedding ring after the divorce went final. The two reunited last year for Shatner’s 90th birthday bash and apparently had a wonderful time together.


Elizabeth Anderson Martin, who also goes by Elizabeth Shatner, continues to do what she does best. She remains a fixture in the equine world as a horseback rider and judge. Her work in this field continues to get recognition as she has sat on the judging bench of the Indiana Arabian Club and also by the fact that she has taken home some awards of her own, such as the WHINNY AWARD.

Elizabeth also uses her knowledge surrounding horses for one of her (and William Shatner’s) charities. It is called the Hollywood Charity Horse Show. Elizabeth and William have in the past put on an amazing charity event that includes world-class riders that perform breathtaking spins and slides as they compete for top honors of the night.

Not only that but there is also a silent auction to bring in more money for their charities, which receive 100% of the donations. Concluding the night is a music show that has seen performances by artists like Brad Paisley, Ben Folds, Lyle Lovett, Willie Nelson, Sheryl Crow, Randy Travis, Vince Gill, Wynonna Judd, and Neal McCoy.

Elizabeth also continues to work at a high level with her photography. She has a website called Art by Nature. She has often said that before photography took over her world, it was something she never really had a passion for. That perspective changed in a big way when she went on a photo safari with William and two professional photographers, Joe DiMaggio and Joanne Kalish.

During this time, Elizabeth found a passion she never knew she had, learning how to work a digital camera and frame photos with a professional eye. On her website, Elizabeth has what she calls her Flowrosophy Collection which truly shows off her professional eye. It includes Sacred Shapes, a Crystal Light series, and Monetishness Series. You can see her work here.