Wednesday, July 15, 2009
More from Bob Justman on the missing Shatner toupees...
An extended extract from the book Inside Star Trek: The Real Story by (Trek producer) Bob Justman and (Desilu executive) Herb Solow - from pages 341-342:
"My gaze shifted to his (Shatner's) hairline. Examining balding actors' hairlines was a habit I'd picked up over the years. The 'lace' that anchored the front of his toupee glistened. I made a mental note of it to tell the makeup man about it before we filmed again.
I was tempted to ask Bill if he had ever found the so-called missing hairpiece. But no, discretion was the better part of valor.
We had begun the first season with two new toupees for Bill because his own 'personal' ones were too ratty-looking. He would wear one toupee while the other piece was being cleaned in the makeup department. But somehow, one of them disappeared during the hiatus between seasons. Each hairpiece cost $200, a pricely sum in those days. So we expected to get our money's worth for them.
We had always planned to have two Shatner pieces at the start of each season, and we expected to have the same two when the season ended. Somehow, there was only one left when Fred Phillips, our makeup man, took inventory after the last episode [of the first season] was filmed.
The hairpieces were made for Bill; he was the only one they fit. The missing toupee had been left in the makeup room. It didn't just get up and walk out by itself. I was sure the cleaning lady wasn't guilty; she already had a wig. Who could have taken it? And why?
I couldn't resist: 'Ever find that missing toup, Bill?'
'Who, me? Nope. It was in the makeup room when I left that night. I told you, ask Fred. Surely you don't think that I...?' He was the very soul of innocence. But I had made my point. He knew that I knew.
So we had to have a new hairpiece built for him. And later, by the time that Star Trek was cancelled after three seasons, Bill ended up with an expanded personal collection of toupees.
Actually, this didn't surprise me. Actors historically tended to treat wardrobe and other items created for them as their own, taking things home with them at the end of their employment. And since no one else could use the goods, producers usually looked the other way. Bill couldn't very well wear his Star Trek uniform outside of the studio. Actors are weird, but not that weird. But hairpieces were another thing; they were expensive."
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