Monday, March 29, 2010
In fine toupological company.
Inspired by our previous post, reader "vvatima" decided to undertake some additional toupological research and managed to unearth a June 19th 1967 story from the New York Times entitled "Modern Men Discover Fountain of Youth in a Hairpiece".
The article, which looks at toupee-usage by Hollywood's leading men, notes that:
"...an estimated 10 to 20 percent of male performers [wear toupees], including John Wayne, Burt Lancaster, Rex Harrison, Fred MacMurray, Bing Crosby, Sean Connery, Fred Astaire, Pat O'Brien, Henry Fonda, Gene Kelly, Rick Jason, Mel Ferrer, William Shatner, Carl Reiner, Barry Sullivan and Jack Paar." (emphasis ours)
What's interesting here is that 1967 was a period when Bill Shatner was becoming increasingly sensitive about the toupee, not just as part of his on-screen actor's persona, but off-screen behind-the-scenes too. So, the question is: how did the NYT confirm this information? Via a source? Via Bill Shatner?
Perhaps of even greater significance is that the article places Bill Shatner in the company of some of the biggest leading-men in Hollywood history, including Burt Lancaster, John Wayne, Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly. Surely the shock of having one's "makeup secrets" revealed to the world would have been mitigated by the delight of being listed with such acting giants!
Click below for the full article:
press report" tag for more early toupee reports, including one from a decade earlier.
Reader "RM" points to a June 13 1992 story from The Morning Call:
"William Shatner and his wife/first mate Marcy Lafferty have beamed down to The Logan Tavern in New Hope to give a press conference announcing their performance of "Love Letters" at Bucks County Playhouse through tomorrow ..."
The article continues:
"Even if the 60-year-old former starship captain carries a hint of a paunch, he looks 20 years younger than his age. And Shatner, who was once the object of ridicule in gossip columns for wearing a girdle and a tribble-like toupee during his 'T.J. Hooker' days, showed up without his infamous hairpiece. And, surprise, he's not bald -- just a little thin on top."
The suggestion is that Bill Shatner attended a press conference of all things without wearing his toupee. Since this was a press conference, there will likely be pictures somewhere out there. However, we are somewhat skeptical - this would appear to be highly out of character for the actor, still very sensitive in the 1990s about his baldness.