William Shatner and Elizabeth Martin, 27-Year Age Difference

Sugar Daddy William Shatner and Elizabeth Martin

Sugar Daddy William Shatner and Elizabeth MartinWilliam Shat­ner is a man of many trades, hav­ing estab­lished him­self as a suc­cess­ful film and tele­vi­sion actor, direc­tor, come­dian, musi­cian, and author. One of his most famous roles was play­ing Cap­tain James T. Kirk on the pop­u­lar tele­vi­sion series Star Trek. Although the series’ three-year run raised Shatner’s celebrity sta­tus, it also led to him being type­cast, and the actor strug­gled to find work after Star Trek was can­celled in 1969. He resorted to liv­ing in a truck camper tak­ing up any small roles that came his way.

A cou­ple years later, Shat­ner struck gold when syn­di­cated reruns of Star Trek trig­gered a cult fol­low­ing, which turned Shatner’s char­ac­ter into a cul­tural icon. In response to the grow­ing pop­u­lar­ity of the series, the actor reunited with the rest of the series’ cast for Star Trek: The Motion Pic­ture—the film spawned six sequels and Shat­ner held on to his role for all of them.

Shat­ner has since gone on to star in a string of tele­vi­sion shows and films, like the movie Miss Con­ge­nial­ity and the Emmy-winning series Boston Legal. He has also released seven stu­dio albums and writ­ten over 30 books.

Although his career has been smooth sail­ing since the Star Trek craze of the ‘70s, Shatner’s per­sonal life hasn’t been as pain­less. In 1997, Shat­ner mar­ried his third wife, actress and model Ner­ine Kidd—she was 28 years younger than him. Her father report­edly dis­ap­proved of their rela­tion­ship because of their stark age dif­fer­ence. But that wasn’t enough to stop them.

Kidd had been strug­gling with alco­hol long before she and Shat­ner tied the knot. She had been caught dri­ving drunk with Shatner’s daugh­ter in the pas­sen­ger seat, which led to the wed­ding being post­poned for six months. A few months after the drunk dri­ving inci­dent, Kidd was again caught drunk and arrested. Nonethe­less, the celebrity cou­ple wed in Novem­ber 1997.

The drink­ing never stopped. In fact, Shat­ner went so far as installing an alco­hol mon­i­tor in their fam­ily car so that she couldn’t drive under the influ­ence. Shat­ner even­tu­ally had enough and filed for divorce a cou­ple months into the mar­riage. They ended up reunit­ing. Rehab never worked for Kidd, and after a few more drunken inci­dents, it all came to a tragic end.

In August 1999, Shat­ner came home to find his wife float­ing uncon­scious in their swim­ming pool. Shat­ner report­edly tried to revive her, but when para­medics arrived a lit­tle while later, she was pro­nounced dead. The autopsy revealed that his young wife had alco­hol and val­ium in her sys­tem, but that her death was caused by acci­den­tal drown­ing. “My beau­ti­ful wife is dead,” Shat­ner later said in an emo­tional state­ment. “She meant every­thing to me. Her laugh­ter, her tears and her joy will remain with me the rest of my life.”

Shat­ner con­tin­ued to rally for alco­holism and addic­tion recov­ery. In 2001, he pur­chased a five-bedroom house in honor of his late wife to be used as a live-in recov­ery cen­ter for women recov­er­ing from alco­hol addictions.

Two years after Kidd’s death, Shat­ner found solace in the arms of another younger woman. In Feb­ru­ary 2001, at the age of 69, he qui­etly mar­ried 42-year-old Eliz­a­beth Mar­tin, a pro­fes­sional horse trainer. After unex­pect­edly hav­ing lost her own hus­band, Mar­tin reached out to Shat­ner after his wife’s death in a let­ter of con­do­lence. It was their shared grief and love of horses that brought them together.

Shat­ner seems to have over­come his heart­break­ing past, as he and Mar­tin still look very happy together, even with their 27-year age dif­fer­ence. “My wife Eliz­a­beth is one of the great wives—in fact, the great­est wife I’ve known of any­body,” the actor recently told Piers Mor­gan. “She’s under­stand­ing. She’s lov­ing. She’s patient. She’s her own woman. She’s beau­ti­ful. She’s passionate.”


Gli­atto, T., “A Sad Dis­cov­ery,” Peo­ple web site; http://goo.gl/iozvi, last accessed July 22, 2013.

“Piers Mor­gan Tonight: Inter­view with William Shat­ner,” CNN web site; http://goo.gl/qzKUO, last accessed July 22, 2013.

Photo Credit: s_bukley / Shutterstock.com

  • Paulette McDougle Markham

    I think William Shat­ner and Eliz­a­beth Mar­tin have it right. I also feel the same of Michael Dou­glas and Cather­ine Zeta-Jones. I believe as long as they have all been together they have grown closer not fur­ther apart. I know because there is 6 years dif­fer­ence in mine and my hus­band. But after 29 years, a son, daughter-in-law and a grand­son; I believe we have def­i­nite met in the won­der­ful middle.