Tuesday, September 8, 2009

More on the toup-less pics.

So what is the deal with the two toup-less pictures that we presented in the previous post? We've been spurred to investigate further thanks to a reader who pointed out that the images were likely taken in 1957.

The bearded gentleman in the above picture is actor Lee J. Cobb. A joint venture search at Imdb.com reveals that Shatner and Cobb worked together three times: On the TV series Studio One - episode title "No Deadly Medicine" (1957); on the movie The Brothers Karamazov (1958) and in a 1965 episode of the TV show The Virginian.

Cobb is pictured to the left in the above image from The Brothers Karamazov (which was filmed in 1957 and released in early 1958). In Karamazov, Shatner wears a cap-like wig - he was portraying a novice in a monastery, after all.

The likeliest scenario for these toup-less Shatner pictures is that the actor brought his wife to the studio while filming Karamazov and they took some snaps during a tour of the MGM lot. After all, this was Shatner's first feature-film role and he must have been very excited to be in such a movie. The married couple had moved to Los Angeles specifically because of Shats landing this role.

On a separate note, we've managed to add a more detailed and enhanced section to the first photograph - we tracked down a close-up of part of the image and connected it to the rest. We should note that the original (the first picture we ever posted at this site) was sourced here.

The greater detail reveals the extent of the thinning taking place at the front and the missing section at the top rear. Bar one attempt at growing longer hair and combing it over (see here), while in front of the camera, this thinning would start to be concealed with a variety of toupees and hairpieces for the rest of Shats' career (until the Denny Crane "plugs" phase).

As for whether the pics were taken on the same day, it seems likely, although Shats' thinning hair does seem a little shorter at the top in one picture, but that could be a trick of the light.


  1. I'm still not fully convinced that this is a completely toupee-less Shatner in those pictures.

    The closer shot (thanks for putting that up) reveals some thinning on the right-side of his forehead. What hair is there is blowing to one side. Notice that the hair around his crown is longer (and the hair on the lower back of his head is short) isn't moving at all, despite the wind. Maybe it's slicked back, but I'm thinking he's wearing something on the top of his head in that shot.

    If you watch 'Where No Man Has Gone Before', you'll note that he's got the identical look as far as hair goes, right down to the longer hair on top, and the right side of his forehead is visibly bare. And that was shot in 1965 or so I believe.

    This leads me to believe that he's wearing a toupee in those shots, likely one of his own. I'm thinking he did the same for the TOS pilot as well.

  2. I posted some more pictures of shatner from the early-mid 50's on more shatner less shame, and shatnoy_rpf. I think he's not wearing a toupee in either of the pics I posted (one is from 1952), but he does have hair, albeit it's plastered to his skull in the later pic!

  3. The hair looks very...odd in that 1956 photo. Way out of proportion.