William Shatner Talks About His Fallout With Friend Leonard Nimoy In Star Trek, Historic Kiss With Nichelle Nichols

William Shatner does not know what happened between him and his girlfriend Actor Leonard Nimoy co-stars in ‘Star Trek’.

The actor, best known for playing the pointed-eared half-human Vulcan officer Mr. Spock in the 1960s science fiction series, died in 2015 at the age of 83. His son, Adam Nimoy, announced that the star died of the end of COPD at his Los Angeles home with the family at his side.

Shatner, recognized by fans as Captain Kirk, recently wrote a book called “Go Bold: Reflections on a Life of Awe and Wonder.” In it, the actor frankly reflected on his decades-old friendship with Nimoy, and how it seemed to go wrong.

Shatner admitted to Fox News Digital that he still doesn’t understand what went wrong.

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From left: Leonard Nimoy as Mr. Spock and William Shatner as Captain James T. Kirk in the “Star Trek” episode “Spock’s Brain.” It was broadcast on September 20, 1968.
(CBS Photo via Getty Images)

“Ignorance was part of the harm,” the 91-year-old explained. “Leonard and I have known each other for 50 years. We were brothers. He was the brother I never had. We were in each other’s domain over and over again…we were really good friends. Then something happened…never to find out, But in the last six months of his life, he would not communicate with me, I wrote to him. [I told him] loved it. And I knew he was very ill. He was dying.”

Shatner claimed that during the last months of Nimoy’s life, he did not return his calls. A reason was never given, which made his loss even more painful.

But a few years later, Nimoy’s daughter reached out to Shatner.

“She must have heard about how painful it was,” Shatner said. And she said, You know, I loved you. And that made me feel so much better.”

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In 2016, Shatner told The Hollywood Reporter that he wondered if Nimoy’s refusal to take part in a film he was making had prompted his silence.

“I believed [Leonard] He was joking at first and treated it as a joke because sometimes he would pretend and say, ‘No, I wouldn’t do that’ and then say ‘Yes,’ which I thought he did,” Shatner said at the time. But at the time he really meant, no. … I just don’t know, which is sad, and it is permanent. I don’t know why he stopped talking to me.”

A year before his death, Nimoy took to Twitter and It was announced that he had a lung disease. Nimoy linked him to smoking, a habit he said he quit 30 years ago. In January 2015, a month before his death, Nimoy tweeted: “Don’t smoke. I did. I wish I didn’t get this.”

His last public statement on Twitter, made shortly before his death, was thoughtful, but bittersweet.

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Leonard Nimoy (appeared here in 1982's Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan with William Shatner) died in 2015. He was 83 years old.

Leonard Nimoy (appeared here in 1982’s Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan with William Shatner) died in 2015. He was 83 years old.
(CBS Photo via Getty Images)

“Life is like a garden. The perfect moments can be enjoyed, but not kept, only in memory,” he wrote, followed by the usual sign of “LLAP”—an acronym for “Live Long and Prosper,” Spock says.

Shatner knows exactly what he would say to his friend if they were sitting together today.

“Well, I wrote him a note, just before he died,” Shatner said. “I don’t think he read it. I have never received a response from this heartfelt letter, but I will tell him what I wrote in the note.” Hello, my God, you are my friend. If I have done anything wrong, tell me about it because I love you. I appreciate our friendship. Why don’t you tell me what you did? I won’t do that again. This opportunity never existed, but that’s what I’m going to tell him.”

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Recently, the surviving “Star Trek” team suffered another devastating loss. Nichelle Nichols, who broke barriers for black women in Hollywood when communications officer Lieutenant Oora passed away in August of this year. She was 89 years old.

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Nichelle Nichols played Lieutenant Nyota Uhura on Star Trek.

Nichelle Nichols played Lieutenant Nyota Uhura on Star Trek.
(CBS Photo via Getty Images)

The original “Star Trek” premiered on NBC on September 8, 1966. The multicultural and multiethnic cast was creator Gene Roddenberry’s message to viewers that in the far future—the thirteenth century—human diversity will be fully acceptable.

During the show’s third season, Nichols and Shatner’s character Kirk shared what was billed as the first interracial kiss to be aired on an American television series. In the episode, “Plato’s Stepson,” their characters, who have always maintained a platonic relationship, were forced to kiss by aliens who were controlling their actions.

Concerned about the reaction from Southern TV viewers, show users wanted a second shot of the scene where the off-screen kiss occurred. But Nichols said in her book:“Beyond Uhura: Star Trek and Other Memories,” which she and Shatner deliberately tricked the lines into to force the use of the original image.

Despite concerns, the episode aired without reaction. Nichols said in a 2010 interview with the Archives of American Television:

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Nichelle Nichols as Uhura and William Shatner as Captain James T. Kirk in an episode

Nichelle Nichols as Uhura and William Shatner as Captain James T. Kirk in the “Star Trek” episode “Plato’s Stepchildren.” The episode aired on November 22, 1968.
(CBS Photo via Getty Images)

Shatner said he still has fond memories of reviving that scene.

“Well, from my personal viewpoint, it’s stressful,” he explained. “There was this beautiful woman, and it was written that I kissed her. And so, I kissed her, and it was great… I really enjoyed the experience. You kiss someone, and that’s great. We both had fun and then the black and white fallout – she’s a beautiful lady. That some TV stations in the South didn’t show this episode the first time – it’s different now.”

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“So, yeah, if I was involved in that world, there was a step forward there, ‘I’m with you,’” he said. “But from my point of view, the two actors had a nice afternoon.”

Shatner led a successful decades-long career with hit shows, such as “The Defenders”, “TJ Hooker” and “Boston Legal”. But in his book he contemplates life and death. He also detailed his experience of being the oldest man ever Space travel at age 90. This flight took place in the year 2021. The aerial adventure was made possible thanks to the billionaire spaceflight company Jeff Bezos, Blue Origin. The founder of the Amazon empire credits “Star Trek” with igniting his interest in space travel.

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Star Trek representative William Shatner (right) waves as Planet Labs co-founder Chris Buchwezen looks at the landing pad of the new Blue Origin Shepherd after they flew into space on October 13, 2021.

Star Trek representative William Shatner (right) waves as Planet Labs co-founder Chris Buchwezen looks at the landing pad of the new Blue Origin Shepherd after they flew into space on October 13, 2021.
(Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

While aging doesn’t always make it easy, Shatner is determined to keep pursuing his passion.

“My shoulder hurts,” he said. “I can’t run like I did. I’m hesitant to go diving – I love diving. [But] The last time I was diving, I kind of ran out of breath. This scared me. I don’t know if I can go diving anymore. So, what I can do? Riding horses and exercising in the pool. this is what I do “.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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