Read an Excerpt: 'Up Till Now'

You might know him from "Star Trek." Or, perhaps you remember him from his award-winning role in "Boston Legal." Or maybe he just looks familiar from those Princeline.com commercials.

Whichever it is, you surely recognize his face, as he has one of the best-known mugs in show business.

Now actor and TV icon William Shatner is telling all in his new autobiography: "Up Till Now."

You can read an excerpt from "Up Till Now" below:

I was going to begin my autobiography this way:

Call me … Captain James T. Kirk, or Sergeant T.J. Hooker, or Denny Crane or Twilight Zone plane passenger Bob Wilson or the Big Giant Head or Henry V or the Priceline Negotiator or …

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Well, that's the problem, isn't it? I've been a working actor for more than half a century and I've played so many different roles on the stage, on television, and in the movies that it would be impossible to focus on just one of them. Besides, my career as an actor is only part of my story, so I realized I couldn't begin this book that way.

Then I decided I was going to start this book by telling the story of my memorable meeting with Koko the gorilla:

In 1988 to help the Gorilla Foundation encourage Californians to contribute to its Endangered Species Campaign I was permitted to visit Koko the gorilla in her quarters. Koko was an extraordinary animal who had learned to communicate with human beings. She was able to sign more than six hundred words, but more impressively, as her handlers told me, she understood the meaning of those words. She knew the signs for water and for bird and the first time she saw a duck landing on a lake she signed water bird. That displayed a synthesis of knowledge. So you see, she was obviously very intelligent. I was allowed to go into her compound, to enter a room with her all alone. As I walked into that room I was reminded that she was an imposing, powerful animal; smaller gorillas have been known to tear off men's arms in anger. I am not often afraid, but truthfully I was frightened.

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