Thursday, July 29, 2010

Poll result and where Walter Koenig leads will Bill Shatner follow?

Quite an even spread of votes, with the largest share of voters, 35%, believing that Bill Shatner's visits with his various hairstylists are all very formal and backed up with non-disclosure agreements. Only 10% believed that Bill Shatner becomes unusually unburdened and carefree in the presence of his personal toupologists, while 25% of voters believed the actor gets desperate and vulnerable in the pursuit of more believable hair. Thanks for voting!

Now, on to the subject of Bill Shatner's Star Trek co-star Walter Koenig. The guy has worn a toupee for years (he wore a wig for his first few episodes of Star Trek until his real, albeit thinning, hair grew out to a moptop length, but it wasn't until several years after TOS that the actor turned to the toup)...

...and, unlike the Shatman, he has been pretty open about his toup wearing...

...even mentioning the issue in his autobiography Warped Factors:

"[Makeup man Fred Phillips] leaned closer. 'Your hair is thinning in the back. You better come with me.'
...He whipped out a can of something called Nestles, Streaks and Tips. The brown spray covered the island of withering follicles at my crown and thus began my life of deception on Star Trek... and the resolute assault of male-pattern baldness was, at least temporarily, obscured by the magic of the paint can." (sourced here)

However, during a recent public appearance - for a screening of Star Trek V, no less - Walter Koenig boldly did something that he may never have done before.

Not only did he appear sans toupee, but he lifted up his cap and exposed his bald head for all the world to see.

Walter Koenig discussing a key difference between himself, Chekov and Monkees star Davy Jones.

Members of Star Trek's "gang of four" supporting cast have often felt overshadowed by Bill Shatner's immense, they would say overbearing, presence. And in the case of Koenig's toupee, this is certainly the case compared with Bill Shatner's. So was the above an opportunity to steal back some of the limelight from the greatest spotlight stealer of them all? Or was it a challenge to Bill Shatner? If I can do this, so can you...

We know Bill Shatner loves a challenge, and being so severely outshone (quite literally, as Koenig's head really is completely bald!) by one of his Star Trek co-stars - and all this happening during a screening of the Trek that Bill Shatner directed! - should surely be motivation enough for Captain Kirk to follow suit and reveal his dome to the world too!

UPDATE: Reader "RM" correctly points out that Walter Koenig has been photographed sans toupee before, during his work to promote democracy in the Southeast Asian country of Burma... here and see Koenig's website for more info on the actor's efforts in pursuit of this cause.

Perhaps the most interesting thing is how little it appears to matter whether there's a toup or not once the initial plunge is taken. Although Bill Shatner, because he's elevated the toupee to a whole other level, as well as denying his toup wearing on occasion, would naturally face far more media interest in this regard than Koenig, should he decide to follow in his cast-mate's footsteps (and obviously, he's a bigger star too).

UPDATE II: Walter Koenig's website has linked to this article. Seems the challenge is real!!!


  1. When Koenig was interviewing people from Myanmar, he did some interviews without wearing the toupee or the hat. Besides, Shatner probably takes some pride in being completely oblivious to what the other cast members are doing, so he would never even be aware of Koenig taking off the hairpiece in the first place.

  2. i wonder when Walter lost his hair and started wearing? to be that bald he mustve lost it quite early Patrick Stewart style...

    i very much doubt it was his own hair in TOS (which always looked wiglike) or the movies (he couldnt go from having that thick black hair to that level of baldness)

    in some films his hair did look more like a toup than others - e.g. Treks VI and VII

    i guess the wig he was wearing in the earlier films was in some way similar to Shatners Lost Years toups...if wonder if Shatner even leant them to Walter?! (joking aside he mustve looked at them and thought - 'that looks abit like my Lost Years toups')

    also i read somewhere recently taht George Takeio admitted to having had a hair transplant sometime in the 80s...if thats true they mustve done a heckuva job as HTs were in their doll plug like infancy back then...unlike today where they can do it quite well

    BTW to the guy who runs this site - you might wanna look at Chris Pines hair - he seems to be getting a similar recession to season 1/2 Jim Kirk lace...just in time for starting work on the sequel!!

  3. @Anonymous- its pronounced Takei.. as in Toupee

  4. It was his real hair in TOS after the first few episodes. According to his autobiography, he started wearing the toupee for Star Trek: The Motion Picture

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  6. where did you get that rugJuly 30, 2010 at 10:05 AM

    If Bill has indeed progressed from rugs to plugs as the toupologists have hypothetised, appearing with a chrome dome might present a serious challenge....

  7. I NEVER want to see Shatner's dome. NEVER. Let me and countless others keep our illusions...

  8. Ratty Lost Years PieceJuly 31, 2010 at 12:37 AM

    Anon. (7/29, 4:58pm) is spot on about Chris Pine's hairline. In fact, Pine's notable lack of toupee was my biggest complaint about the Trek reboot. Should have been a "retoup?"

  9. Pine should wear the TJ Curly for the sequel...and not just any TJ Curly im talking bout the ACTUAL one Shatner used for all the Hookers

  10. Koening is a brave guy. But the Shats will never follow him, hair

  11. Ya there is no way the Shat would do this for sure. Our best chance is to somehow find a holy grail private photo of him without his toup.

  12. Here are some of John Wayne's private films without him wearing a toup and his philosophy of toupee wearing. Are there films like this of Shats lying around somewhere? I'd guess not, as Shatner was SO uptight about it.

  13. Maybe there are... I think he was less uptight about the toup in the beginning before his career went downhill after Star Trek.

    I think once that happened he became insecure about growing older without maybe having achieved as much as he thought he would while having lost his marriage and while facing his aging appearance. Maybe all of this compounded any insecurity he had about balding & made him more uptight about his toup.

  14. wow you guys are really delving deep into Shatners mind...

    maybe they should make Inception 2 with DiCaprio going into the mind of the shat to uncover all the toup secrets

  15. btw DiCaprios hair and the way it was styled in Inception reminded me somewhat of Shats in his Twilight Zone/TOS days

    man imagine having hair like that FOR REAL - DiCaprios a lucky guy

  16. Anonymous:

    At first (during TOS) it was a wig, then it was his real hair.

    Walter, btw, is a wonderfully nice guy, and I am very glad I've gotten the opportunities to chat with him.

    Star Trek Phase 2 Team