Pernell's Toupee

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Pernell's Toupee

Postby AgnethaF » Tue May 01, 2012 1:58 pm

I read somewhere that Pernell did not want to wear his toupee on Bonanza. But, the director or producers thought he might not be as attractive to ladies and look older without it. Well, he looked fine to me either way. As Trapper John, MD. Bald but, SEXY!
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Re: Pernell's Toupee

Postby nyspats » Tue May 01, 2012 2:29 pm

I've always read that this was true. DD didn't like the idea apparently.
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Re: Pernell's Toupee

Postby veresna » Tue May 01, 2012 2:49 pm

Well, I always feel it is very shallow of me, but as sexy as I have come to find him as Trapper, I have to admit that I prefer Adam with hair. Maybe it's just because that was how he first appeared to me. From the pictures that I have come across of him on the set or recording the albums, I have to say that I also particularly don't like the look he had when he was really bald in front, had this thin patch of hair still left on the very top, and then another bald spot on the back of his head. But, you know, at least he apparently never tried the dreaded 'grow your hair long in back and then try and comb it over your bald spots' look, which, given how curly his hair was, would definitely have looked weird. And I know now that so many times when he is wearing the hat on Bonanza, he is not wearing the toupee, and I still find him so attractive, so again the problem is ME not him. I think it is great that he obviously was fine without it from the pictures that you see of him off-set without it. I remember reading a story somewhere about someone who knew him, knew he wore a toupee, but had never seen him without it, who went to pick him up at the airport and was stunned to see him without it. He said he couldn't help staring, and PR finally said "What?", and the guy said something like "I knew you wore a toupee, but I hadn't realized how really bald you were!" (which, I have to say, also says something about the quality of the toupees he did wear!). And PR put both hands on top of his head, and yelled something like: "I'll have you know I had a full head of hair before I got on that flight, I'm never using that airline again!"
After leaving Bonanza, I don't think it was until he appeared in the Mission: Impossible episode of 'The Mercenaries' before he actually appeared on television without the toupee (although, of course, in some of his earliest appearances pre-Bonanza, he doesn't have it, but at that time he looked more just like a very high forehead rather than as I say, the bald, some hair, bald that it became during the Bonanza run. But even after that, it you look at his tv appearances, he would switch back and forth between using it and not. And I certainly applaud the fact that he was comfortable enough with it to even have the toupee ripped off as part of his role on Cannon. Again, he was a very sexy guy, secure in his own skin, it's just my own shallowness that makes me happy he wore the toupee for certain roles.
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Re: Pernell's Toupee

Postby ellen » Thu May 03, 2012 10:32 am

I don't think you're shallow, Veresna. In the pictures I've seen of PR without his toupee during the Bonanza years, I think he definitely looked older without the toupee; he sure didn't look 30 years old which was about how old Adam was supposed to be in the first seasons.

I like Adam with hair, but some of the toupees weren't that great. I liked the longer curlier ones in the first couple seasons.

And I think Trapper's look was a good one for PR - he did look good in a well-trimmed beard.
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Re: Pernell's Toupee

Postby dougsgirl » Thu May 03, 2012 10:39 am

Trapper was older and to me it is just easier to take. Let's face it Pernell was only 31 when he started bonanza and his hairline was very receded and he had a bald spot on the top of his head. For a man to be going bald so young it must have been hard, even though comments state he was fine with it. IMHO I think it did make him look a lot younger, but I love him either way.
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Re: Pernell's Toupee

Postby hettyK » Thu May 03, 2012 12:35 pm

This is one time I would agree with Dortort - that he should wear the toupee as Adam. Without it he did look older. There is so much made of the fact that Lorne was only 13 years older than Dan and Pernell. Lorne wasn't even 50 when the show started - and they were calling him "Old Man" in that first ep! Blasphemy! Point being Lorne looked older than his years so he was able to pull off the role of "Pa". If Pernell hadn't worn the piece, I'm not at all sure he could have been so convincing as being young enough to be Ben's son. Call me shallow, too, but I think he was far better looking and sexy with the hair than without. And as some of you have said, the balding dome fit better in his Trapper years. He did many roles in between BZ and Trapper and I have so many times wondered how often I saw him without knowing him - especially in those roles where he didn't wear the toupee. Once he started doing Trapper, he never wore the hairpiece or shaved the beard again. I think it speaks well of him that he felt comfortable in his own skin (no pun intended) but Adam Cartwright needed to have hair. You can pretty much tell on BZ when he's wearing a hat, that sometimes there is no hair underneath. :yes
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Re: Pernell's Toupee

Postby hettyK » Thu May 03, 2012 12:45 pm

veresna wrote:I remember reading a story somewhere about someone who knew him, knew he wore a toupee, but had never seen him without it, who went to pick him up at the airport and was stunned to see him without it. He said he couldn't help staring, and PR finally said "What?", and the guy said something like "I knew you wore a toupee, but I hadn't realized how really bald you were!" (which, I have to say, also says something about the quality of the toupees he did wear!). And PR put both hands on top of his head, and yelled something like: "I'll have you know I had a full head of hair before I got on that flight, I'm never using that airline again!"

I remember reading that. It made me laugh. Another similar one as well from a young man that I believe Pernell was trying to help get started in the acting field - they were sitting around some set PR was working on and during a break or maybe at the end of the day, PR reached up and ripped his hairpiece off. The poor young man had no idea he was balding and sat there totally stunned. When Pernell saw the look on the guy's face and realized he was seeing the real Pernell Roberts for the first time, he about doubled over laughing - that loud, deep belly laugh that he was well known for.

On a side note, I want to say that his toupees always looked very good and very natural. I didn't know he wore the hairpiece until I came to fandom a couple of years ago. Had no idea Adam Cartwright was prematurely bald. I would like to be able to say that it wouldn't have mattered but when he started doing Trapper, I tried watching the first few episodes and then stopped. I just couldn't wrap my mind around how different he looked. He looked as though he'd aged a lot more than 15 years in those 15 years.
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Re: Pernell's Toupee

Postby Calamity » Thu May 03, 2012 3:23 pm

I was watching One Step Beyond when I first noticed the difference in the character Adam Cartwright and that of Sgt Vaill. Personally I like Adam with hair, but I don't necessarily believe that PR should always wear a hair piece to be attractive.
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Re: Pernell's Toupee

Postby Oh, Adam! » Thu May 03, 2012 7:22 pm

Calamity wrote:I was watching One Step Beyond when I first noticed the difference in the character Adam Cartwright and that of Sgt Vaill. Personally I like Adam with hair, but I don't necessarily believe that PR should always wear a hair piece to be attractive.


Well put Calamity. I agree. :yes
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Re: Pernell's Toupee

Postby hettyK » Fri May 04, 2012 7:54 am

Oh, Adam! wrote:
Calamity wrote:I was watching One Step Beyond when I first noticed the difference in the character Adam Cartwright and that of Sgt Vaill. Personally I like Adam with hair, but I don't necessarily believe that PR should always wear a hair piece to be attractive.


Well put Calamity. I agree. :yes

I guess I should clarify that in time.....a lot of time (like when I became middle aged myself, though not bald - yet!), I came to appreciate just how sexy bald could be and Trapper - and other PR characters - certainly at the top of that list (with Jean Luc Picard coming in second).
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