81 Years Ago Was a Good Day

Photo ©Joe DiMaggio

To All The Ships At Sea:

I’ve had thousands of photo students. Some of them celebrities, politicians, FBI agents, butchers, bakers and candlestick makers. I come from the old school.  I treat them all the same. I must admit Bill Shatner on one level was the easiest student I’ve ever had. He has a great eye, is a wonderful director and can that guy ride a horse!

Happy Birthday William.  I can’t wait for 100

Photo ©JoAnne Kalish

Shatner’s World, We Just Live in It

©Joe DiMaggio

Ever since I gave Bill his big break as my co-host on the Photo Safari, he’s setting the world on fire.  That’s me trying to be funny.  Bill Shatner needs no help from anyone to be absolutely great.  He is genuinely one of the most talented people on the planet.  Great actor, big and small screen, thoughtful director, an accomplished writer, one of the most avid readers I’ve ever met, a mensch when comes to being a husband and a father, and a damn good friend.  JoAnne and I were in the front row for Bill’s last New York performance last night.  He was nothing short of out-of-this-world.  No-one should be surprised.

The Great Bill Shatner

Copyright Joe DiMaggio, 2003

Every time I have an opportunity to introduce Bill whether it be one of my TV shows or one of the pilots, I love to just introduce him as The Great Bill Shatner. I do that because he is not only a great actor, a wonderful director, an extremely compassionate man, a dedicated philanthropist and probably the most avid reader I’ve ever met.

Bill Shatner, JoAnne Kalish, Liz Shatner, Joe DiMaggio and Willy Brown the Mayor of San Francisco, Copyright Charles Rudnick

He is genuinely one of the busiest people in all of Hollywood. Oops, Studio City. But Bill is one other thing, he will take time out of his busy schedule and write an old friend. Charles Rudnick and I are not only close friends, but we’ve worked together on a myriad of projects over the last 25 years. Charles is a brilliant film maker,  great talent, has a beautiful family, and also stage four bladder cancer, WHICH HE WILL BEAT! I guess from now on I’ll have to introduce Bill as the Sweet Bill Shatner. JoAnne reminds me this blog is supposed to be about photography and film making. That’s true but Bill and his lovely wife Liz are both photographers and film makers, Charles is a photographer and film maker. They’ve both taught me a lot about communication and how to take an idea and put it on a piece of film.

Shatner wrote to my friend Charles:

“I hear you are one tough son of a bitch. Joe DiMaggio told me that, so it must be true. As Admiral Halsey said “attack, attack, attack” and that’s what you seem to be doing with your treatment. Good for you. I wish you well and will look forward to hearing about your next Olympics.”

Charles Rudnick, JoAnne Kalish, Joe DiMaggio and Bill Shatner, Copyright Liz Shatner

Charles wrote:

Thank you for sending your good wishes…it does mean a lot to me.  With cancer the cure is in a large way tougher than the disease.  Your Admiral Halsey was very appropriate.  I admire your grasp of history.  I am looking  forward to seeing your documentary The Captains.

I finished my first round of chemo and now have daily radiation where I’m zapped with gamma rays for 7 weeks.  I get pretty wiped out.  I have great doctors and they  are optimistic.  My family, friends and co-workers have been rallying and especially  my wife Carmen and my girls (picture of my girls enclosed). Daughters come in real handy. My best to you and Liz and your family, Charles”

The Captains William Shatner’s New Film

William Shatner, Liz Shatner, Joe DiMaggio & JoAnne Kalish          Photo © Marion Curtis


To All The Ships At Sea:

Only a few of you have ever asked me the name of my ship. Some of my friends and students who were slightly over 50 know who Walter Winchell was. The complete quote was “Good Evening, Mr. & Mrs. America from Border to Border and Coast to Coast and all the Ships at Sea let’s go to Press!”

Yesterday we were on the good Ship Enterprise, which hosted my long time friends Bill & Liz Shatner for Bill’s new film, which he directed and produced called the Captains. The party was a blast and to catch up and see Bill and Liz is always totally enjoyable. Like everything Bill does, it has his unique fingerprint and is always pretty amazing.