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William Shatner recounts his friendship with Leonard Nimoy

William Shatner and Leonary Nimoy in March 2008.John M. Heller/Getty Images

William Shatner and Leonary Nimoy in March 2008.

Even though William Shatner calls Leonard Nimoy his best friend, he confesses the two weren’t speaking for the last few years before his “Star Trek” castmate succumbed to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease last year.

The shocking rift is included in Shatner’s memoir “Leonard: My Fifty-Year Friendship With a Remarkable Man.”

“One of my greatest regrets is that Leonard and I were not as close during those last few years of his life. I’m not sure when it started and I don’t know why,” Shatner told Confidenti@l. “It’s a mystery. He never would explain . . . I thought (we) would work out, that it was just a matter of time because I kept calling. I sent him a note shortly before he died. I just never could solve the mystery of what happened.”

The man who played the Enterprise captain says Nimoy’s widow also refuses to take his calls or explain why Nimoy was annoyed. “It’s a mystery that has gone to the grave,” he says mournfully. “It’s so sad because I loved him.”

The love wasn’t apparent when the two met on the set of “Star Trek” in 1966. Shatner admits that he was a tad envious of the attention Nimoy and his Spock ears got in the first year of the show. It wasn’t until he talked to producers who smoothed some ruffled feathers and ego that Shatner felt comfortable.

The 84-year-old actor also says that Nimoy was a great help when he married his third wife, Nerine Kidd, in 1997. Nimoy, who had battled his own substance abuse issues, told his pal that Kidd was an alcoholic and even accompanied her to Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. Kidd died in 1999 after falling into a swimming pool after drinking.

The Canadian-born Shatner says the thing he misses most about his “Trek” buddy is the laughs they shared together, and “he and I were the only ones to share these unique experiences. I’m the only one left to remember them and I have no one to validate those experiences. It’s sad.”

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