Friday, January 4, 2013

Hairy New Year!

Hello 2013! I'm back at work following a whirlwind four-day trip to Louisville, Kentucky where I stayed in a lovely hotel, took in some of the local offerings and even had side trips to such one-of-a-kind places as the Maker's Mark Bourbon Whisky distillery. Work, however, has been pouring in since we were closed for that while, so it's been hard to get to a new post!

As I've amassed a new collection of photos featuring big hair (mostly from my favorite time frame, the mid-to-late '60s – as demonstrated at right by Miss Natalie Wood), I'm gonna kick off this new year with some of those. I've visited this subject once before, but have stumbled upon more examples in the meantime. I hope you enjoy them!

Maureen O'Hara, who played Natalie's mother on two cinematic occasions, gets into the act here as well. Let's just say that Jake wasn't the only big thing in 1971's Big Jake. Miss O'Hara's hair also scaled some serious heights.

Then again, westerns (TV and movie) have long been the source of some towering coiffures. On TV, it almost begins and ends with Miss Kitty of Gunsmoke, portrayed for nineteen years (1955 – 1974) by Amanda Blake. Miss Blake had some degree of help in the way of hairpieces, but nevertheless suffered the endless dyeing, teasing and setting of her own locks in front.

Miss Beverly Garland was a guest star on a 1965 installment of Laredo when she displayed this follicular attachment. (In need of a little grooming, himself, is Neville Brand, shown to the left!)
In the 1966-67 series The Road West, Kathryn Hays sported an eye-popping, neck-straining topper of piled and woven hair, too! It's a wonder she didn't need a whiplash collar to help keep her head upright.
Also on TV at this time, though not in a western setting, was Miss Barbara Eden of I Dream of Jeannie (1965 – 1970.) As the series progressed and Eden was shown more and more out of her tummy-baring genie costume, she was adorned with some very fun '60s hairstyles. Oh, and rest in peace, Larry Hagman!
A 1968 episode of Batman had another Barbara, Barbara Rush playing guest villainess Nora Clavicle. While Rush's own hair stayed comfortably within the bounds of gravitational pull, her henchwomen June Wilkinson and Inga Neilsen (as Evelina and Angelina) showed off some tall tresses. British Wilkinson (on the left) was a Playboy model and actress in movies, TV and legitimate stage productions (and she was also married for a decade to lantern-jawed Houston Oilers quarterback Dan Pastorini.) Neilsen played Gymnasia in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (1966) and had decorative bits in Funny Girl (1968) and Hello, Dolly! (1969)

Also in 1968, Katherine Crawford played one of Dennis Cole's former girlfriends in one of the last episodes of Felony Squad. Crawford, while an attractive and capable actress, was guaranteed a certain amount of work on television during the '60s and '70s thanks to her marriage to producer Frank Price, who ultimately was the head of Universal television before segueing into the role of President and CEO of Columbia Pictures! If that wasn't enough, her father was famed TV writer-producer Roy Huggins (creator of The Fugitive and The Rockford Files.)

Game shows also could offer up some fun hair. Take Belgian actress Monique van Vooren during a 1964 appearance on Password.
Even more fun is Laugh-In star Jo Anne Worley on an episode of Match Game '74.
Please tell me that these hairpieces didn't weigh half of what they look like they did! I assume not or otherwise most women would have eschewed them rather than welcoming them into their lives (or is it like shoes, in which the pain is worth the “pleasure?”)

Now this 'do shown below isn't piled high like most of the others, but it's pretty sizeable and very distinctive. Rona Barrett was a very popular gossip columnist of the 1960s and '70s. Here she is on Match Game '75 with her signature coif.
Another style that isn't towering, but is nonetheless fun and largely teased is shown in this 1968 TV Guide spread featuring Miss Angie Dickinson.
Dickinson is showing off some kicky mini-dresses and a couple of big, fun hairdos.
Variety shows are possibly the best place to see heavenward hair. (Though I don't think anyone will ever truly be able to top Nancy Ames on The Hollywood Palace.) I could do an entire entry, I'm sure, simply based upon hair from the long-running The Lawrence Welk Show (1955 - 1982.) Welk is shown here surrounded by some of his 1960s ladies.

He's seen in this shot with dancers Bobby & Cissy. (A friend of mine, a delightfully crusty curmudgeon who was once a very active actor-singer-dancer in professional theatre, played a bit of a naughty trick on this duo back in the '70s. Knowing that they were about to inhabit the dressing rooms of the theatre in which he was performing during a Welk tour, he left the following note on one of the mirrors: “Welcome, Bobby & Cissy! Which one's the Cissy?” Ha!)

Stiff and restrained as they sometimes could be, they nevertheless had talent. Of course, in The Underworld, we're more concerned with Cissy's up 'do!
Here, we see country songbird Lynn Anderson (later to gain fame with the song “I Never Promised You a Rose Garden”) with a bumped up 'do.
Welk's daughter-in-law Tanya was known to jack up her tresses as well.
Ragtime piano marvel Jo Ann Castle could nearly always be counted on to supply a big, blonde hairdo. Half the fun of watching this show is seeing all the crazy colors, costumes and coiffures. Any entertainment from the performing is strictly accidental!

For me, the ne plus ultra of hair on The Lawrence Welk Show, though, came courtesy of The Lennon Sisters. The singing sibling quartet hit their peak of fame just as hair was reaching its peak of height!
Each one took her own unique approach to hair color and styling, but generally they shared one common aspect: go big or go home! Here they are with Lorne Greene during a Christmas special.
I adore their done-up 'dos in this shot with Joey Bishop.
How can anyone be satisfied with one big hairdo when you can have four in a row?!
Apart from looking smashing at all times, the sisters had genuine talent and their ultra-soothing, incredibly-blending, harmonic voices are a joy to listen to... for a while. Then it all starts to sound very similar.
As demonstrated by this shot, they eventually loosened up their tresses (but just a tad!) in the 1970s,but still paid close attention to their appearance, something I appreciated when the glitter and glitz started to die off in show business.

Big-time movie star Raquel Welch had a landmark 1970 TV special called Raquel!, which involved Tom Jones serenading her with the song “I Who Have Nothing” while she wafted about looking like a stunning, glorious princess. As Miss Welch was the one who first got me to stand up and take notice of hair in the first place (in 1973's The Three Musketeers), I must say I love this look!

One can go all the way back to 1955's Kismet with Marlene Dietrich (or perhaps even further!) to find the roots of these wild '60s hairstyles.
About a dozen years later, the look had evolved into something even more outre, reserved for Las Vegas showgirls like Edy Williams in 1969's Where It's At.
Most leading ladies from this era took their turn having stacks of hair applied to their noggins. Chamber of Horrors (1966) gave us the lovely Laura Devon.
In this sequence, she gets the added bonus of a tiara nestled into the curls. Devon was once the wife of hunky Brian Kelly (from Flipper) for four years, but then married composer Maurice Jarre and retired from acting right away.
No one seemed to question the fact that in these period pieces (especially westerns), few women outside of extreme wealth or royalty could possibly have achieved these looks (or kept them so tidy without hairspray!)
The same movie gives us a glimpse of former super-model Suzy Parker, still beautiful in her final cinema role. She soon retired to raise her three children with husband Bradford Dillman. When watching old movies, I just live for elaborate coiffures like this one!

I've posted pics of Tippi Hedren (with Sean Connery) in Marnie (1964) before, but this one really shows off her hairstyle.
Miss Annette Funicello gave up her typical bouffant bubble and got in on the act of piling it on in 1967's Thunder Alley, a (very slightly) more adult sort of departure from her many Beach Party films, with Fabian as her costar instead of Frankie Avalon. Naturally, I much prefer this look on her!
Here, she and on-screen father Jan Murray have a heart-to-heart.
Get a load of Italian actress Virna Lisi's ginormous braided hairpiece in this photo!
A fun favorite hairstyle from this time frame is that of Lelia Goldoni in 1965's Hysteria.
She played a regally glamorous mystery woman who is involved with amnesiac Robert Webber.
An Actor's Studio member, her name may not trip off of everyone's tongue, but she has enjoyed a film and TV career spanning more than six decades and she works still today!
I could almost do an entire posting just on the various up-dos of German actress Elke Sommer, a 1960s cinematic staple.
Seen here with Stephen Boyd, her costar from The Oscar (1966) at that movie's premiere, her statuesque frame lent itself well to the look.
Here, on another occasion, she outfits her locks with small floral blossoms.
Sommer (and her stylists) managed to come up with a plethora of variations on a theme. It seemed as if no sooner than her hair went from vertical to central, her career went from soaring to a near standstill!
The principle female stars of 1966's An American Dream were Janet Leigh and (while she lasted) Eleanor Parker, but newcomer Susan Denberg (a German-born Austrian Playboy model, seen here with Stuart Whitman) got a pretty big build-up.

Her career in movies was not to be, however, and she was gone from the business within two years. (They even held a contest while Dream was in release to come up with a new name for her, but nothing was deemed any better than the one she was using!  I think Susan Denberg has a nice ring to it, though that was already a replacement for her birth name of Dietlinde Zechner.) During her brief stay in Hollywood, she was married to the alleged singer/actor Tony Scotti who most of you know from his notoriously bad, one-shot film role of Tony Polar in Valley of the Dolls (1967)!

Speaking of Valley of the Dolls and 1967, Miss Sharon Tate went red (and big) for that same year's The Fearless Vampire Killers.
I used to know who this dolled-up redhead was, but senile old coot that I am (at forty-five!), I have since forgotten!! She's someone's secretary (is it from 1968's The Producers?) Well, bless her heart, I'm including her because she fits our bill today.

The blonde shown here with Milton Berle is just an extra from The Happening (1967), but I had to include her, too, thanks to that interesting hairstyle.
The back view continues the intricacy...
This is another bit player - a bank teller - (from the 1972 film Hickey & Boggs), but I had to feature her because of that voluminous hairpiece. This was her real-life hairstyle, not done in particular for the movie!
Barbara Rhoades sported a mountainous mane in Don Knotts' 1968 western comedy The Shakiest Gun in the West.
Two-dozen years later, Shirley MacLaine's period hairdo for Used People (1992) seemed to copy it significantly.
As seen here, Sheila Matthews (soon to be Allen) was still rocking an upwardly-mobile hairdo in 1974's The Towering Inferno. Never will I forget seeing her once-tight curls come undone in the derailed glass elevator as she and the others clung on for life.

In the strange 1978 mood piece Remember My Name, Geraldine Chaplin plays a chain-smoking ex-con who, upon release from prison, goes to have her hair done, but in the only style she knew from before she was sent away.
Here she is seen with her new employer, a still-somewhat-new-to-films Jeff Goldblum.
Mostly, in more recent times, we've only seen hairdos like this when it's a deliberate homage (like The B-52s did) or a spoof, such as in 1988's Doin' Time on Planet Earth, which costarred Adam West.
Candice Azzara played the lady with the major league coiffure.
Then there is the drag world, where such things are commonplace. On shows like RuPaul's Drag Race or Drag U, the sky is the limit for hair.
On this show (Drag U), even when a guest judge turns up the volume a little – as Robin Givens did here – it still pales in comparison to the contestants and mentors!
Rene Russo gave a scaled down (by these standards) version of a vertical up-do in 1999's The Thomas Crown Affair. I remember loving this movie when it came out because of its burnished glamour (and the presence of the original's star Faye Dunaway in a cameo role as Pierce Brosnan's therapist.)

Occasionally, an actress at an award ceremony will give us some vertical or otherwise directional hair (J-Lo is good for this on occasion), such as Kate Beckinsale, shown here.
But, back in the day, this wasn't just special occasion hair! Some women wore these beehive pieces every day. And it's hard to say if we will ever reach the heights of this trend during its zenith. Maybe we'd have to get religion again first. Take Miss Vestal Goodman of the gospel group The Happy Goodmans. Good luck finding another gal, especially one today, who can support a stack o' hair like this! It might take some help from the Lord above.


Therese said...

omg, I love this! The original Star Trek had a lot of towering do's too (who could forget Yeoman Rand? Great post!

Post a Comment