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The Hair-Impaired Actor

March 13, 1988

At last, Calendar has addressed one of the true burning social issues of our day.

I am referring to the letter from Bill Turner expressing his justifiable complaint of the Industry's treatment of male pattern baldness (Calendar Letters, March 6).

Everytime I read an article about a woman or minority decrying the short shrift they get in this town I want to scream out, "You want prejudice!? Humiliation!? Vilification!? Just try breaking into Hollywood with a bald head!"

Consider this.

Many's the time my agent has phoned to tell me, "They said you gave a great reading, Don, but they decided to go with hair."

Or how about the casting director that asked me, "Don, have you ever considered wearing a prosthesis?"

Then there was the wrap party where an attractive starlet was telling about her boyfriend's receding hairline. "Of course," she said, jerking a thumb toward me, "he's not nearly as bad as Don here."

And, Lord knows, I'm bad.

What are my options?

I could wear a toupee, I suppose, but it's been my observation that no matter how much you spend on one, they always wind up perched atop your head looking like Anso Four Nylon.

Hair transplants? Are you kidding? The lengthy, bloody surgery aside, once the scabs heal your coiffured scalp looks just like Barbie's.

And how about that "hair trick" you see on the street? You know, the one where you let the remaining strands grow two feet long, part them where your neck meets your collar and swirl them up, over and around before Supergluing the whole thing to your pate. Oh yes, that is attractive.

The solution to this situation is simple, though it would require the unified cooperation of every balding man in the country, especially those in positions of high profile.

If all of us, including Burt Reynolds, Jack Nicholson, Elton John, Ted Danson and Frank Sinatra followed Sean Connery's lead and said, "Screw it. I'm bald. So what?" the American public would eventually take a more pragmatic, mature approach to this natural phenomenon associated with the aging process.

Of course, I am not so naive as to believe this will cause a fashion fad to sweep the country with such ferocity that guys like, say, Bon Jovi shave their heads.

Still, it is a quiet conceit of mine that someday society will relegate toupees, transplants, weaves and scalp dyes to the Vanity slag heap along side vulcanized rubber girdles, falsies and heel lifts.

Until then, I will keep what I got cut short, and let what I don't got shine.


Bald Actor

Los Angeles

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