Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Wigged Out! (and a mini-bonus)

Yes, I have been, thanks to the breakneck schedule of the last few weeks. So as I'm recharging my engines, I decided to share a small smattering of photos that have various actors showing off follicle headgear that isn't their own. (And, yes, we're letting Charlton, Revolta, Widmark, Bogart and all the other toupee-wearers off the hook this time. It's just some wigs for specific roles or skits...) This one is Ed Sullivan, sporting a Beatles 'do during his hey-day as a variety show host par excellence.

We practically worship Errol Flynn, who was bewigged in his big break of a film Captain Blood. 1930s movie wigs for men almost always had that matted-down, neatly-combed quality that only went away during the heat of battle or some other physical degradation. (Ever notice in old movies - Clark Gable ones being an example - that the more roughed-up and "messy" the leading man is made to be, the better he looks to modern eyes?!)
Flynn's wig for The Adventures of Robin Hood was peculiar in style and cut. I'm just not fond of it, though he's marvelous in the movie.
His own hair - as seen here during swordplay lessons for Captain Blood - was just beautiful! Thankfully, he got to wear it that way in one of my favorite movies of his, The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex.
In the 1940s, men's period wigs often resembled a bi-level or "mullet!" Such was the case in The Three Musketeers with Van Heflin, Gig Young and Gene Kelly.
In the 1936 rendition of Last of the Mohicans, Henry Wilcoxon and Hugh Buckler were outfitted with powdered wigs while Bruce Cabot (!) was given a bald cap and Huron-style strip of hair as the villainous Magua.
Ivanhoe had George Sanders in a wig, as well as the thin-haired (and just plain thin!) Mel Ferrer. Leading man Robert Taylor I can't speak to. He may have gotten by with just some curling under.
For Scaramouche, Ferrer was sporting the powdered look as chief antagonist to Stewart Granger.
John Malkovich enjoyed trotting around in his powdered wig during Dangerous Liaisons, with Glenn Close and Michelle Pfeiffer embroiled in all the machinations.
In the fairly recent series Turn: Washington's Spies, JJ Feild sometimes appeared in a powdered wig...
...though it has to be said that his wig was far from the "mane" attraction when it came to his role on the show. (Incidentally, this actor has to have set some sort of record for appearing in projects that contain a colon ":" - Apart from Turn:, there is K19: The Widowmaker, The Tulse Luper Suitcases - four of them, each with a colon in the title, Sally Lockhart Mysteries: The Ruby in the Smoke, Telstar: The Joe Meek Story, Blood: The Last Vampire, Pure Mule: The Last Weekend and Captain America: The First Avenger! Or maybe we've just gotten increasingly obnoxious with our movie and TV titles...)
Jesus! Well, this - King of Kings - is the first portrayal of Jesus in a Hollywood motion picture to actually show the man's face for a significant period of time. Blue-eyed (!) Jeffrey Hunter has the honors. It's a surprisingly entertaining movie thanks not only to his searing beauty, but also due to some delicious villainy from Rita Gam and Frank Thring.
Four years after King of Kings, Max Von Sydow got in on the messiah action in The Greatest Story Ever Told, a plodding, if sometimes beautiful, epic. I can honestly say that I do NOT prefer his hair over Hunter's (or much of anyone else's!)
Chunky funnyman Roy Kinnear donned a fuzzy fright wig for his part in the 1964 comedy French Dressing.
Richard Pryor wafts to and "'fro" during a TV appearance.
In the unsold TV pilot Preview Tonight, Hugh O'Brian played Joseph in "Seven Rich Years and Seven Lean" and was granted a pouffy wig for his trouble. (He's seen here with Ilka Windish as Potiphar's wife)
The effect is even more pronounced once he has some money in his pocket and adds on a jaunty headband! You won't believe who his female costar is in the large photo (but you will once I reveal who she is.)
Dark, lean, lanky Hugh was forever being cast as Indians in his early movies. In White Feather (starring Robert Wagner and Jeffrey Hunter), he was given a wig with curly-cue circles styled in near the temples...
Blue-eyed Hunter was given a couple of wigs for his role as an Indian in Seven Cities of Gold, as well as brown contact lenses for both this and White Feather. Perhaps it was these two (painful) experiences that led him to forgo them in King of Kings? For more palefaces being shoehorned into Native American roles, look yonder.
No post about male wigs is ever complete without the inclusion of poor Bob Wagner and his infamous Prince Valiant mop.
While basically true to the comic strip from which the movie sprang, it was the cause of much taunting and derision. Thankfully, even Wagner was able to joke about it later. (Janet Leigh's hairpiece, however, is making me hungry for some pastry!) For some oddball film hairstyles in general, check this out.
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By the way, Hugh O' Brian's lady love in the photo above is young Katharine Ross, already a TV veteran but one year before The Graduate sent her careening into a full-time feature film career for a period of time. And now for the mini-bonus (and note, I said "mini!" LOL)  I assure you, I am not about to suddenly begin making this blog about me, but as I am in a theatre frame of mind at the moment and as it's the ninth anniversary of the place and I often indulge a bit to that end around this time, I will share a few moments of wiggery from my own life...
Halloween circa 1990. Serving up some Miss Joan Crawford (actually Mommie Dearest) realness. This is before I scratched below the surface to know more about the real JC.
Around 2000 or so, as the Bride of Frankenstein.
Roaring around as a Cave Man at my house. I learned pretty early on in my Halloween parties at home to wear a light costume! My first one was as Superman and the fake latex muscles in the bodysuit kept me nice and overheated the entire time!
Camping it up as Cupid. Didn't get too warm at all in this get-up! (The second time I wore this costume, during which I won a contest, I had tan lyrical sandals on.)
Did y'all know that Cupid's favorite beverage is bottled domestic?  LOL
A great pal of mine and I went as Hall & Oates to a 1980s themed 40th birthday party.
Back home for another one of my infamous parties, and another abbreviated costume, as what I later jokingly referred to as "Heidi the Barbarian!" (Note the footwear again, never a strength of mine when costuming! LOL)
I have always hated my hair and for the stage I am forever fussing with it, trying to come up with just the right look. It took until 2009 (!) before I was ever allowed to let go of all that and wear a wig for a part. This was "1776," in which I was Edward Rutledge, youngest congressional delegate who gets the show-stopping song, "Molasses to Rum."
That very same year, I got to wear a wig again on-stage! This time as Pharaoh in "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat." So much fun getting to Elvis it up (and with no bothersome arms or legs to the costume! Ha ha!)
See what I mean?
Finally, I share a few more photos from "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum."
In the moments just before Intermission.
My own locks, such as they are, arranged in what I call a Roman bust configuration. LOL
Not a wig, but it was nice to have a big, fun helmet for most of the show!
Again with the legs....!  What's a fella to do?
I just couldn't resist one last photo during the closing matinee in that stairwell. The light was ridonkulous and for the first time in recorded history my eyes didn't look like two raisins lying in bowl of butterscotch pudding.  LOL  (Friends and family accused me of using eye enhancement - whatever that is - on these pictures and I protested the opposite. For one thing, I never lie... It was solely the great light, which I wish I could carry around with me. Knots Landing never even had it so good!)
What wound up being my favorite pic, though, was this one after being run through an "Infrared" filter. This had me aching to play the Francis X. Bushman role in a silent Ben-Hur!
Thanks, everyone, for your continued support of Poseidon's Underworld as we mark our eighth and head into the beginning of the ninth year. I'm close to running out of things to talk about (obviously, if I've moved on to myself!), but not quite. More fun to come soon!

3 comments:

Gingerguy said...

Poseidon I flipped my wiglet for this. I was fascinated that you stuck to the guys, when I saw the heading I was expecting Eva Gabor (by the way, you will never run out of things to talk about because anyone with such great comic observation skills never runs out of material).
Ed Sullivan did so many cameos in movies, I guess he was like visual shorthand for the burgeoning generation gap? the Beatles wig is funny on him, even Lawrence Welk tried that joke for laughs.
Errol's wig in "Captain Blood" is a little like Robert Wagner's Valiant 'do(and like Jane Wymans' too).
You scared me with the colon, I didn't get it at first(I date a gastro Doc). The worst movie title in that category has to be "Master and Commander, The Far Side of the World, but I digress... love JJ's breeches, maybe he is wearing a merkin?
And finally I adore your personal wig montage! Hall&Oates is genius (and maybe a little Joan Lunden)but I think the Viking is my favorite. I like the footwear, it's like a Scandinavian Summer look.

Forever1267 said...

a) how does one get an invitation to your Halloween parties, and

2) You look adorable,

3rd) Happy Anniversary!

Poseidon3 said...

Gingerguy, I have done a couple of hair tributes over the years. I am particularly crazy over ladies with vertical 'dos! :-) I appreciate your comment about my "comic observation." Perhaps you're right. You're also VERY close on the Hall & Oates wig. I needed a longish blond wig and the best one I could come up with on the fly was a Joan RIVERS one!! LOL I tried to comb it to a more male style, but it was really meant to look like her severely stiff 'do she sported in her final years (which I strangely loved...) Thanks!

Forever1267, you're too kind. I haven't had one of my Halloween blowouts for a while. It got to be such work (I would turn the entire basement into an elaborate haunted house!) I did have a Halloween cocktail party (no costumes) a few years ago that was fun, but not as silly/crazy. Maybe sometime soon. Thank you!!