Sunday, July 19, 2009

The toup timeline.

There is an interesting discussion at the Star Trek fan message-board Trek BBS called "Is Shatner Really Bald?" Link here. On page 3 of the discussion, user "Adm Drake" claims that:

"Shatner went through various pieces over the years, waring [sic] a top piece in the first two Star Trek movies. He switched to a full piece by the time Star Trek III was filmed. By the time of Trek IV, he was wearing a weave which is simply a wig sewn into the existing hair to keep it more secure. Shatner ditched the wig in favor of a transplant done in 1999."

Another user "Therin of Andor" mentions that:

Interviews from the 60s with makeup artist, Fred Phillips, mentioned that, to save the stupidity of Phillips having to apply a bald cap over a toupee for the final stage of Shatner's "The Deadly Years" makeup, Shatner simply whipped off the toupee."

These posts are very interesting, but sadly lack sources/citation. We would love to have the source for the latter interview as well as some idea of where "Adm Drake" got his impressive latter-years toup timeline from.

If anyone out there has these, please let us know.
Some other great finds would be a Joan Collins television interview in which she described Bill Shatner's baldness, and a radio interview done a few years before even Shatner stopped playing hardball about his toup wearing - in the interview, he was asked if he wore a toupee and became very agitated at the questioner. Are these things out there somewhere? Shatner toup fans, please help us if you can.


  1. A trip down Toupee Lane:

    All Summer Long was Shatner's debut on American TV. Looks pretty thin on top already. The Scarlet Pimpernel had Shatner's best toupee. Also, check out the monster rug he's wearing on The Man From UNCLE episode.

    As far as the hostile interview with a morning radio DJ, you can hear an excerpt of it here:
    scroll down to stupidquestion.wav
    They used to play the full interview occasionally. It was...interesting. Agitated would be an understatement.

    I remember during the Joan Collins interview she used the term "follicly-challenged" in reference to Shatner, which got a laugh from the studio audience.

  2. there's a monologue given by actress Robin Curtis on YouTube where she talks about Shatner's toupee in Star Trek III. She indicated it was a partial, though substantial hairpiece. She felt strangely drawn to it, giving it more and more of her attention through the multiple takes that different scenes required.

  3. In the second-to-last makeup stage of "The Deadly Years" Kirk has weirdly colored, slicked-back hair, with a noticeably receded hairline:
    But, in the next and final stage, Kirk's hairline has recovered and he's grown a thick white mane! But radiation will do that to you, I guess!

  4. You need authoritative sources? Check out "Inside Star Trek - The Real Story" by TOS producers Robert Justman and Herbert Solow.

    Aside from being an amazing must-have book for any Trek fan, Justman and Solow confirm that Shatner required a number of pieces to give the image of a full head of hair and was known to take them home with him after filming had finished!

    They also quote Joan Collins' shock at seeing Shatner during a night on the town and failing to recognise him without the hairpieces and the lift shoes which brought his height up to 5'11... :)