Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Should Bill Shatner have done followed in Ted Danson's footsteps?
As we have mentioned here before, many on-screen celebrity toupee wearers are actually somewhat or very open about their lack of hair off-screen. There is no mystery in seeing a bald Jack Klugman or John Travolta. Once it is done, we cease to care. For them, the toupee is merely a professional stage costume of sorts. Rather than being absolutes, the toupees are an interchangable component of these actors' lives.
Only a rare few like Bill Shatner attempt to preserve the absolute illusion, never (well, almost) having been openly photographed sans toup.
In 1993, balding actor Ted Danson took a very brave step. In one of the final episodes of the sitcom Cheers, he not only took off his toupee, but character Sam Malone's too.
Now, perhaps seeing Captain Kirk doing such a thing would be a bit ridiculous. Surely people in the Star Trek future have disposed of such emotions as vanity to even be wearing a toupee in the first place. Kirk's hair is real, right? But should the off-screen Shatner have been more open about his baldness, while still getting into the toupee when necessary, as actors like Nicholas Cage do? It is probably too late for that now. Something tells us that we will never see Bill Shatner bald as long as he lives.
Shatner has often spoken and written about his genuine and very deep fear of growing old. Perhaps the hair helps maintain the illusion of youth. And why not? Shatner is an absolute model of vigor for a 78-year-old. To paraphrase one of the aliens from the original Star Trek pilot episode: "He has an illusion, and you have reality. May you find your way as pleasant."