Captain Kirk taken to hospital

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TV veteran William Shatner was taken to the emergency room yesterday as the day's shooting wrapped on the set of Boston Legal, E! Online reported today. According to his publicist, the 74-year-old actor began experiencing pain in his lower back, and as a "precautionary measure" the show decided to call an ambulance to take him to the local ER. Shatner was due back at work today.

Shatner has won two Emmys playing the role of crackerjack lawyer Denny Crane. The first time was when the character guest-starred on the David E. Kelley drama The Practice; the second was last month, when he won for the same role in Practice spin-off Boston Legal. The same night Shatner collected his recent Emmy, he wowed audiences with a live rendition of the theme song to his legendary 1960s series Star Trek.

In Star Trek, Shatner played James T. Kirk, the dashing and noble commander of the Federation Starship Enterprise. The five-year mission of the Enterprise was to seek out new life-forms and explore strange new worlds, and Kirk did just that with various female aliens he encountered. Often, Kirk was called upon to administer karate chops, kicks, and punches to villians who had boarded the Enterprise. At times, Kirk had to outfox robots. Ultimately, Kirk was completed by his close male friends, the coldly logical Vulcan, Spock (played by Leonard Nimoy), and the hot-tempered Southern doctor, McCoy (played by the late DeForest Kelley).

Over the summer, James Doohan, who played stalwart Enterprise engineer Montgomery Scott, passed away. Deforest Kelley died in 1999 of stomach cancer.

Shatner is no stranger to spoken word or singing. In the 1970s he released an album wherein he covered the Beatles classic "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds," and he appeared on television with a rendition of "Rocket Man." In the 1990s, he appeared on the MTV Video Music Awards singing Color Me Badd's "I Want To Sex You Up." Last year, he released a spoken-word album jokingly called Has Been.