William Shatner

(Photo credit: Reuters)

William Shatner, best known for his role as Captain James Tiberius Kirk of the original Star Trek television series and several of the story's subsequent adaptations, turns 81 on Thursday.

Young folks today are more likely to recognize Shatner as the Priceline Negotiator, but die-hard Star Trek fans only see the USS Enterprise commander who had the honor of being Starfleet's youngest captain.

Shatner and his Star Trek co-star Nichelle Nichols, who played Uhura, helped make television history when their characters performed an interracial kiss in the 1968 episode Plato's Stepchildren.

In 1986, Shatner famously spoofed fanatical Star Trekkers in a Saturday Night Live skit.

Get a life, he tells a bunch of Trekkers at a convention. For crying out loud, it's just a TV show.

Shatner's other television acting gigs included the role of Denny Crane on The Practice and Boston Legal.

Today, the octogenarian is on tour for his one-man performance, Shatner's World.

With more than 980,000 followers on Twitter, Shatner regularly provides updates on everything from his latest media appearances to his charity work.

Check out the old SNL skit here.

Live long and prosper!