Thursday, February 18, 2010

An early "Jim".

Not long ago, as part of our toupological analysis, we presented a series of photos from Bill Shatner's appearance in the 1958-59 play The World of Suzie Wong. Our conclusion was that in some of these pictures, Bill Shatner was either toup-less or only wearing a rear cap-like piece. Meanwhile, in other pictures, Bill Shatner looked like he was wearing a full frontal piece. Since the play ran for fourteen months, our (speculative) conclusion was that early publicity photos showed Bill Shatner's real frontal hairline, while later pictures did not - it was evidently a time of great toupological experimentation for young Bill.

Now, thanks to the good folks at My Star Trek Scrapbook, we have another picture of Bill Shatner's performance in the play - and in this case, the actor almost certainly appears to be wearing a full early version of the "Jim Kirk lace". Since most decent theaters had and have large collections of hairpieces for both men and women, it is possible that this early "Jim" is not custom-made for the actor, but rather a hastily-chosen stage wig. The excessive thickness of the frontal hairline, along with a generally awkward, bulky shape suggest a cheaper piece. Whether this was, instead, Bill Shatner's own recently-purchased very first toupee, we can't say...


  1. Yeah, in that last picture, his hair in the front just looks too thick to be real.

    As for other pictures and thoughts - I always felt he made the decision to go with a toupee when he did that 1958 Yul Brunner film, where he's wearing an obvious theater wig. That different public look I think gave him a chance to change his look for the better (at least I think that's what he thought in his mind).

    My belief is after that, he basically began experimenting with hairpieces for the back and top of his head, before eventually settling on this look.

  2. Yes, there's a bit of Kirk on it

  3. Well, a post with Shats looking slim, handsome and with a fine toupee.

  4. Shats in new TV show pilot

  5. Ratty Lost Years PieceFebruary 22, 2010 at 4:00 AM

    Good catch, RM!
    The file photo of Shatner is interesting as well. Looks like he's donning some kind of outlier toup: Denny Crane meets Rescue-911.