William Shatner On His Deathbed Rift With Leonard Nimoy

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William Shatner has told how his friend and former co-star Leonard Nimoy stopped talking to him in the years before his death.

A rift developed between the two, one that Shatner says he is still confounded by, particularly because he describes Nimoy as the only real friend he ever had.

In a new book by Shatner called ‘Leonard: My Fifty-Year Relationship With A Remarkable Man’, he says the pair stopped talking after Nimoy said he wouldn’t be involved in a film Shatner was making.

He told Yahoo Movies in the US: “I thought he was joking at first and treated it as a joke because he sometimes would pretend and say, 'No, I’m not going to do that’ and then say, 'yes’, so that’s what I thought he did. [Laughs.]

“But that time he really meant, no… I just don’t know, and it is sad and it is permanent. I don’t know why he stopped talking to me.

“I have nothing of Leonard’s. I have no 'Star Trek’ memorabilia at all. I have a picture of him and me laughing in my office. I have the echo of the laughter that we had between us but that’s all that I have.”

He added that he is still in touch with Nimoy’s family, however, and is helping Nimoy’s son make a documentary about the late actor.

Nimoy died in February last year of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Shatner also added that his friendship with Nimoy was a rarity in his life.

“It’s difficult when you have a measure of celebrity because you can’t help but think that’s why people are being friendly. Also the nature of the work - on a movie, a play, a series - it’s over and everyone goes their own way and you’re the best of friends during that moment,” he said.

“You’ll sit around a set and talk, and you’re best friends forever. Then the event is over and you’re gone - everyone has gone their separate ways. I spent five years with James Spader on a series [Boston Legal] and I loved him, he’s a great guy, but I haven’t seen him since we left. He’s been busy on his series and I’ve been busy on my things. We communicated on occasion but we’ve never seen each other.

“The structure changed that dynamic in 'Star Trek’ in that it was canceled and nobody saw each other, but then slowly the movies began and then we did six movies together. And then there were the personal appearances … and suddenly we were back in each other’s worlds on and off for years and years, and that propelled the friendship between Leonard and I.”

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Image credits: THR/AP

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