William Shatner Reveals Why He Skipped Leonard Nimoy’s Funeral

William Shatner says he missed Leonard Nimoy's funeral because he was obligated to attend a Red Cross event elsewhere.

By Britta DeVore | Updated

william shatner leonard nimoy

From the good ol’ days of the raging feud between Joan Crawford and Bette Davis to the ongoing vengeful words thrown by Lucy Liu and Bill Murray, the entertainment biz is a place where people can really rub each other the wrong way. The cast of Star Trek: The Original Series was the perfect example of an entire group of people having massive beef between them, with William Shatner seeming to be at the center of most of the conflicts. William Shatner really drove up speculation after not attending the funeral of his co-star Leonard Nimoy in 2015, something the franchise star has finally explained as a matter of scheduling difficulties.

During an interview with Variety, in which he was promoting his upcoming documentary Call Me Bill, William Shatner tried to shine a light on why he skipped out on Leonard Nimoy’s funeral. Filled with regret, the actor reveals that he had already committed to a Red Cross Fundraiser the night before the funeral on the opposite side of the country. Because Nimoy’s passing was quick and unexpected, Shatner felt that he couldn’t back out of his appearance and was hoping that his attendance at the fundraiser would help make a difference. 

And while this may have been the case, not attending his old friend’s funeral was another shovel of grief on a mound of painful memories that Shatner had with his Star Trek co-star. Although both William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy were pals on the set of the Gene Roddenberry-created series, they would fall out in the years leading up to his death. During a press circuit for his book Boldly Go: Reflections on a Life of Awe and Wonder, Shatner opened up some about his estranged relationship with Nimoy, commenting that he wished things would have been different for the two and that they would’ve been able to mend their fences before Nimoy’s passing. 

star trek
Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner in Star Trek: The Original Series

Outside of William Shatner’s back-and-forth relationship with Leonard Nimoy, his main feud off the Enterprise was with his co-star George Takei, with whom he still has an embittered rivalry. The pair have never really cared for one another, with those hard feelings only deepening over the last few months with both actors hurling insults back and forth at one another. And Takei isn’t the only person Shatner has taken issue with over the last year as he proudly stood strong on his beliefs that any Star Trek spin-off was unnecessary, an opinion that found him facing a lot of anger from franchise stars and its loyal following.

After playing one of the most notable characters in television history and kicking off a series that would go on to spawn a slew of other content in the form of TV shows, movies, comic books, novels, video games, and more, not to mention a recent trip to space, William Shatner is beginning to slow down and realize that his time is ticking. Getting a little dark, the 91-year-old actor recently spoke about his age and how he knows that despite having any serious medical conditions, his time is coming soon. And, while William Shatner may regret not being able to have attended Leonard Nimoy’s funeral, the actor must be looking at other ways to make peace before his own death.

Good website. Nice newsletter.

Sign up to receive exclusive Star Trek content in your inbox, every week. Qapla!

We don’t spam! We aren't Romulans!

Star Trek Newsletter

Get Exclusive

Star Trek News

We don’t spam! We aren't Romulans!