3 Bald encounters on the set of Star Trek

Image credit: 

Here are 3 surprising wig and toupee stories from the set of Star Trek-- a show that baldly went where no show has gone before. BY CHRIS HIGGINS

Captain Jean-Luc Picard tries out in wig

Patrick Stewart's Male Pattern Baldness (androgenetic alopecia) had rendered him mostly bald by age 19. In fact, when he first tried out to for the "Star Trek" part, Stewart wore a wig, but Trek creator Gene Roddenberry nixed it, preferring the bald look. A reporter later goaded Roddenberry, "Surely they would have cured baldness by the 24th century." The Trekkie's comeback? "In the 24th century, they wouldn't care." A TV Guide poll named Stewart "Sexiest Man on Television" in 1992, proving Roddenberry's point four centuries early.

Shatner's hairpiece works overtime

William Shatner's toupee was the butt of jokes for decades, but that wasn't the only mileage it was getting. A 1968 memo to creator Gene Roddenberry warned that if "Star Trek" was picked up for another season, new hairpieces would have to be constructed for Shatner "because he will have used [them] to such an extent that they will not be photographable." Reportedly, Shatner later had hair restoration surgery to do away with the toupee altogether.

Chekov's wig used as teen bait

Although he wasn't bald, actor Walter Koenig had to wear a shaggy toupee for his first few episodes, until his real hair grew to an appropriate length. The mop-topped Ensign Chekov, added in the original Trek's second season, was reportedly modeled after Monkees singer Davy Jones in an attempt to appeal to teenage viewers.  Koenig reportedly griped, "Swallows kept trying to nest in the wig they gave me."

August 25, 2008 - 6:57am
submit to reddit