Shatner was Plummer's understudy for a production of King Lear at the 1956 Stratford Festival. But one fateful morning, the venerable leading man awoke in no condition to perform:
"I woke up alone the next morning... (pain) all around my groin and lower abdomen... I started to whimper like a whipped dog. 'So this is what syphilis is like?' I thought. 'I suppose I deserve it, but Christ, how the hell was I to know?'
But instead of being struck down by the disease, Plummer had dislodged a kidney stone and had to undergo a medical procedure with a surgical wire to resolve the problem.
He adds, "It began to sink in... Shatner, my understudy, would have to go on... (It) instantly brought back the pain. I screamed for a nurse who jabbed me with more morphine.
"I knew then that the SOB was going to be a star.'"
This whole anecdote is all the more amusing considering the two appeared together in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. As I recall, Plummer spent most of the movie trying to kill Shatner. How method.
Just think: if Plummer hadn't gotten frisky and busted his man parts, the world may never have known the joy of Shatner. That's a reality too frightening to contemplate. Via Nerve.