Friday, October 23, 2009

New toup-less picture.

We understand this image was taken in late January 1959 during Bill Shatner's stint on Broadway with the production of The World of Suzie Wong. That makes it the most recent toup-less picture we have found thus far. On-screen, he was already wearing a toupee at this point.

Notice how Bill Shatner's real hairline is rounder than the more pointy look that the lace created (this observation was recently made by these folks). That wouldn't last long as he soon started to recede at the front too. If you look closely at the top of the head, it appears that the hair is very short (unable to grow longer), fluffy and thin. The top of the crown (which we can't see) is likely displaying some very noticable signs of baldness.

William Shatner at age 27.

Could Shats be using some kind of spray to thicken up in the above photo, or is he just fortunate not to have been photographed under a strong light? One year and two months earlier, he already looked very fluffy on top:

Above pictures - Studio One: "No Deadly Medicine" (late 1957)

Soon after the 1959 photo was taken, Shats would shift to both on-screen and on-stage toup wearing, as evidenced in the below photo:

William Shatner with actress Julie Harris in the 1961-1962 stage production of A Shot in the Dark.

UPDATE: Two images in this post have been replaced.


  1. Although that pic has a casual and informal look to it, in reality it may have been very carefully lit and staged. If his hair were really that thick and dark in front, he wouldn't have needed the sizeable toup he wore in those TV productions he did in 1958. RM

  2. Hi RM, thanks for signing yourself. It helps make things a little more personal! -ST

  3. An elaborated combover..?

  4. I don't know if I agree with any of the observations - a more high-resolution version of the new picture would be needed.

    Also I have some questions about the validity of the new picture itself as. His face looks oddly more elongated than I would've expected (particularly in the nose and cheekbones).

    On first glance (and based on the date of the picture listed) I think this looks like one of his first attempts at a full toupee.

  5. Yeah, to MVP, I agree with the strange dimensions of his face in the pic. Usually, his forehead appears much larger and more proportional to the bottom part of his face. The pic is so low-res it's difficult for me to dismiss the idea that it still could be a toup. Did Shat do the entire run of Suzie Wong without wearing a hairpiece? RM

  6. Yah it's hard to tell if he's wearing a toupee or not in that picture.... His hair is also very dark compared to other pictures from the same era.

    But I think the low hairline is actually where his hairline was naturally so that makes me suspect that at least the front part of it is not a toupee.

    It's weird but maybe the hairloss might have been a blessing in disguise in this regard. I actually think he looked way better with the higher hairline from Star Trek -- it balanced the proportions of his face much better and made him seem smarter somehow...

    I scanned a couple other early shatner pictures from 1952 and 1956 -- I have no idea if he's wearing a toupee or not in these pictures, but the pics are here:

    It's funny - in the stratford pics I scanned, his hair colour actually looks lighter than what it is here.... It seems almost that his natural hair colour is just as much of a mystery as how much hair he actually had at any given time.


  7. VV -

    Great pictures - thanks.

    I am leaning towards believing that's his real hair in those. Though the angle of his face is different in both pics, so it's hard to tell which one was his actual hairline.

    I'm inclined to think the first one is what his hairline actually looked like.

    In the second one, he seems to have more of the front hair longer and combed back. That seems to fit in more with the timeline established by this site, though sometimes I wonder if that is (was) also a frontal toupee? There were some pictures on this site with that look where the long hair was very light (maybe too thin) that almost makes me believe it's not real.

  8. Ratty Lost Years PieceOctober 23, 2009 at 9:02 PM

    Pending a full analysis from the touposcope, I'm inclined to think this is a toupee. While the hairline is demonstrably rounder, it is lower on the forehead, compared to the earlier ca.1957 pictures below.

    How can the hair move forward in 2 years? Curse your mysterious ways, Shatner!

    Also, there appears to be a lighter patch of hair on Shatner's right temple that doesn't match the surrounding area.

    The other possibility is that Shat grew out his hair and is sporting a dye job. The lighter-haired images could be an artifact from the studio lighting.

  9. I wonder if that pic was actually two different photographs that were combined. The angles of the lower part of the face and the upper part are too incongruous. RM

  10. I'd say the photo is legit. Maybe the odd angles are artifacts from scanning and caused the distortion. I stretched the image to compensate and it looks natural that way. RM

  11. Yah I think it's legit too -- a lot of the earlier pictures of shatner seem to show him with a lower hairline. Also his face seems to change quite a bit depending on his weight.


  12. I think I found another toupless pic of the Shat from 1961. Go to - it's the Biography show on the Shat - the toupless shot is backstage at Judgement of Nuremburg, and it's 12min, 42 sec (12:42) into the clip.

  13. his frontal hair, is just begining to thin, in this shot. At the back, the hair would be starting, to get so bad, that no amount of spraying, could hide the balding, at the back. Give it 2 more years, the frontal hair, would be falling to pieces. So there can be no, toupless photo in the world after 1960. Would lv to see one.

  14. wow tmk is absolutely right, there is a 1961 toupless shot, of shats, you can tell, by the bad, bad level of baldness, the frontal hair, is badly erroded, you can see, the fairly bald top, and his hair, is going at a rate, of knots, so no toup here.

  15. By a rather large coincidence, "Judgement at Nuremberg" will be our next toupological analysis, so we'll take a look at that picture too. Thanks! -ST