Tuesday, February 21, 2012

New early "Jim Kirk lace" image.

Not long ago, we undertook a full toupological analysis of a 1958 episode of the TV show Suspicion called "The Protégé". We had to rely on a pretty poor-quality copy, but nonetheless still found that this was very likely one of the earliest on-screen examples of Bill Shatner touping-up with a "Jim Kirk lace".

Now, thanks to a recent LA Times article covering Bill Shatner, we have a new and far clearer image from this episode. And its one that displays the "Jim Kirk lace" with considerably more clarity.

William Shatner with actress Phyllis Love in 1958.

The contours of the hair are pretty much identical to the "Jim Kirk" style (doesn't Bill Shatner look like a skinny Capt. Kirk?), which the actor wore right until the end of Star Trek in 1969. Although at the back, we can see that the toup "lid" isn't quite fully integrated into Bill Shatner's real hair as it should be. Early days...

At this point, we're pretty confident that Bill Shatner still had enough of his own hair to create a kind of heavily-sprayed shell.

The toup-less heavily-sprayed "shell" option from 1957.

But with each passing day, the thinning was getting more intense, particularly at the back, as noted by this 1957 press report stating "[William Shatner] had already ordered a toupee to camouflage a thinning spot in the cinnamon hair."

What we believe to be the last toup-less picture of Bill Shatner available to the public comes from a 1960 behind-the-scenes image of the making of "Mother, May I Go Out to Swim?". More on that here.

Bill Shatner, likely toup-less in 1960 - or is it 1959? (see update below).

Anyway, the new LA Times image is a very welcome addition to our archives. Here's hoping more recordings (and pictures) of Bill Shatner's 1950s TV work surface!

UPDATE: The above image may actually be from a 1959 TV show called "Tactic". See the NBC archives here. Thanks to reader Tintorera for the clarification.


  1. Just watched an old TV episode with the Shat - 'Shattered Glass' - he looked amazing in it with a great lighter curly Jim Kirk lace toup. Would be great if you could do a toupological analysis of that ep.

  2. His toupee also gets wet in that ep. Really looks great.

  3. Thanks for your comments!

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  4. The last pic is from a program called "Tactic".

    More here:

  5. shats own real syrupFebruary 29, 2012 at 10:14 AM

    great work, I still believe that there may be another, couple of toupless pictures, somewhere, or at least toupslips. But I.am happy that so much has been found. With bills hair less crown, the combover would have only worked until 1959, as the frontal hair, would, have started to cave in. by 1963, a toupless bill must have looked a sorry sight.

  6. As a result of my fascination with this wonderful site I've decided to devote my spare time to finding the 'Universal Toupological Constant.'

    I believe this constant will enable a mathematical description of the relationship between toupée critical acclaim and performance critical acclaim.

    Has your organisation undertaken any preliminary studies in this esoteric field?

  7. @Mr Spigot. Thanks for your comment. Sounds fascinating! We did have a guest post a while back that was somewhat similar to your proposed study. Perhaps it may be of assistance in your research. Good luck!

    We'll have a new toupological analysis over the weekend!