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William Shatner turns 93: His No. 1 secret to longevity and newly-revealed health scare

The "Star Trek" star seems forever young. Here's what he says about living a long life.
/ Source: TODAY

William Shatner is taking the famous "Star Trek" motto “Live long and prosper” to new heights.

The actor, who turned 93 on Friday, March 22, remains energetic and galactically busy almost 60 years after he became famous as Capt. James T. Kirk on the classic sci-fi series.

Shatner is the star of a new documentary, titled “You Can Call Me Bill.” On April 8, he’ll give a talk in front of 60,000 people at Indiana University Memorial Stadium ahead of the total solar eclipse. And he’s sailing to Antarctica on a cruise in December.

He's doing all of this on top of an already full schedule appearing at “Star Trek” fan events across the country.

What’s the secret to his longevity? When TODAY’s Craig Melvin asked him, Shatner suggested not letting people know his real age.

“Don’t tell anybody,” he said during an appearance on the show on March 18 as the co-hosts wished him a happy birthday. “I’ve always got a birthday coming up,” he added with mock frustration.

“You’ve never stopped working, you’ve never stopped staying current, you seem to reinvent yourself,” Al Roker noted.

How has William Shatner aged so well?

The actor believes luck is a big part of longevity.

“My life has been so lucky — I’ve been so fortunate in terms of health, which is really the basis of everything,” he told NBC News in 2018. “Your health and your energy is partially your doing, but partially accidental — genetic and accidental.”

In his memoir “Live Long and…: What I Learned Along the Way he advised people to remember the basics: Don’t smoke, stay active, eat sensibly and get as much sleep as you need.

Then, there was his ultimate No. 1 secret for longevity: “Don’t die. That’s it; that’s the secret. Simply keep living and try not to slow down,” the actor wrote.

Along with staying busy, he credits his enthusiasm for life as a factor. When the phone rings, say yes, he advises others.

“You should be looking for joy anywhere, whether it’s a hot bath or a good friend or a piece of cheese. There’s joy everywhere,” he told Dr. Mehmet Oz.

Shatner finds joy in horses, dogs, family, adventure and food, he said at the red-carpet premiere of his documentary released on birthday.

“I’m curious about everything,” he noted. “You’ve got to cherish each day.”

He flew on board Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket and capsule in 2021, making him the oldest person to go to space at 90.

The actor advises people to keep their inner child alive no matter their age and avoid regrets.

“Recently when my granddaughter was worried about going to cooking school in Italy, I said to her: ‘Think of your journey as a movie. You’re the main character, go have a good time and make a great movie,’” Shatner told The Times.

William Shatner’s health

The actor recently revealed he’s a skin cancer survivor after he felt a lump near his right ear and was diagnosed with stage 4 melanoma, according to Managed Healthcare Executive, an industry publication.

The spot was removed and Shatner was treated with immunotherapy, he said at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology on March 10. Shatner didn’t disclose when the episode happened.

In 2016, Shatner received a prostate cancer diagnosis after his PSA level — the marker for the disease — suddenly rose, but he later learned it was a false alarm.

“That was really scary,” the actor told NBC News. He said he’d been taking testosterone supplements and once he stopped, his PSA level returned to normal.

Shatner lives with tinnitus, or ringing in the ears, after he was exposed to a loud blast during the filming of “Star Trek.” He was able to find “effective management tools, and today considers himself habituated to the sound,” according to the American Tinnitus Association.

As he ages, the actor keeps thinking about his mortality.

“I don’t have long to live,” told Variety in 2023. “Whether I keel over as I’m speaking to you or 10 years from now, my time is limited, so that’s very much a factor.”