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Sean Connery Wore a Hairpiece in Every Original James Bond Movie

Icons | March 1, 2018

'Dr. No' Eon Prods. United Artists May 8, 1963: Actors Ursula Andress and Sean Connery in a scene from 'Dr. No' directed by Terence Young. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

Did you know that Sean Connery wore a wig as James Bond? It’s not something that is clearly visible in each film, which is kind of the point. It blended in seamlessly with his natural hair. So why then did Sean Connery have to wear a wig as James Bond? To put it simply, he was as bald as a badger.

Most of us probably know someone, or at least have seen someone, with a horrible “rug!” It is usually obvious to everyone but the wearer that it looks really bad! James Bond was such a suave and well-groomed ladies’ man that I don’t think anyone (especially the ladies) would have minded even if it was noticeable.

Why did Sean Connery wear a hairpiece?

Sean Connery started going bald at a very young age. Historically, as young men go, they are usually only worried about one thing… sex! Connery’s bald head, although, was his biggest concern. Unfortunately, his baldness was genetic and there was no escaping it. Connery suffered an early onset of baldness; much younger than most. Fortunately, he didn’t let it hold him back from pursuing his epic acting career. Sean Connery’s attitude was, “have hairpiece, will act!”

Many people would agree that in the history of the popular culture there is no other fictional character which is more recognizable and successful than James Bond. He was a charismatic, British character of mysterious, mystique intrigue with a sexy, suave personality. He was a lady killer, but the men loved him too! Men wanted to BE him, and women wanted to be WITH him!

James Bond was rarely seen without a lovely lady by his side. He was not a one-woman man but a man of many women! He was a sophisticated British, intelligence agent that has been around since 1953 when author, Ian Fleming, published his first novel, Casino Royale.

James Bond is a fictional character, but he is all too real to his many fans. The character was inspired by many individuals that Fleming crossed paths with during his time in the Intelligence field. The character’s name, James Bond, was inspired by a (then) leading ornithologist, and author of Birds of the West Indies. Ian Fleming reportedly owned a copy of the bird lover’s field guide and decided to adopt the ornithologist’s name for his fictional character.

During his career, Ian Fleming wrote another 11 James Bond novels and few more short-story collections featuring the iconic secret agent. Although his first book went almost unnoticed, over the years his novels became well-known, most beloved and have sold over 100 million copies.

After Fleming’s novels took off, James Bond found his way to the big screen. It should go without saying that an international spy with unmatched sex appeal should not be bald. Secret Agent 007 was depicted in writing as a polished gentleman with a lustrous head of hair.

That being said, when it came time to cast Agent 007 for movie productions, the actor had to fit the part. Sean Connery was perfect for the role, with one exception. That’s right… he was bald!

In the early 1960s, Fleming’s James Bond series were already a huge success. Soon after, Albert R. “Cubby” Broccoli, and Harry Saltzman of Eon Productions brought the suave Agent 007 to the silver screen, and the global star was born.

Some of the most current and famous actors at that time were considered for the role of James Bond. Surprisingly, Broccoli and Saltzman agreed to go with a “no-name” actor from Scotland. His name was Connery…Sean Connery. Connery eventually ended up as the man who set the “gold standard” as 007. Over the years, became an unmistakable, Hollywood icon as well as a sex symbol of the 20th century.  

Born on August 25th, 1930, in Edinburgh, Scotland, Sean Connery soared to fame from an ordinary and humble beginning. He quit school at the young age of 13 to work as a milkman and then later worked as a laborer, a lorry driver, a coffin polisher; all of this prior eventually finding work as a model at the Edinburgh Art School. It wasn’t until he was invited to join the King’s Theatre that he decided to make acting his career.

In the years following, he was cast in numerous films but his performance in 1962’s Dr. No was the role that caused Connery to be a regular fixture in films. Not only had he broken into the world of big screen films, but he also began his making quite a name for himself that would eventually cement his acting career.

Which James Bond Movies did Sean Connery act in?

Sean Connery initiated what would become the longest running film series of all time with his role in 1962’s Dr. No. He then went on to star in six more Bond movies: From Russia with Love (1963), Goldfinger (1964), Thunderball (1965), You Only Live Twice (1967), Diamonds Are Forever (1971) and in the non-official 1983 Bond film, Never Say Never Again.

Apparently, Connery had the style and charisma required for Bond, however, what Sir Sean Connery didn’t have was hair. The legendary actor started going bald at a very early age. In fact, he was only 21 years old when he started losing his hair. By the time he was in his early 30's and was cast for Dr. No, he had to wear a hairpiece if he was going to be able to “pull it off” as Secret Agent 007.

Despite Secret Agent 007’s playboy image, Sean Connery was never ashamed of the fact that he began losing his hair early on; just the opposite, in fact. He often, proudly, appeared in public with his balding head. The character, Secret Agent James Bond, 007, had a full head of hair but Connery didn’t feel obligated to portray the character unless he was on set.

The role of James Bond, however, required an absolutely, perfectly, styled haircut, so Connery wore a hairpiece in every single James Bond movie he starred in. No worries, though… because so did many other actors.

That’s right Sean Connery is by no means alone in the bald (balding) actor category. Quite a few famous male actors wear hair pieces. Some even wear the real deal… a full-on wig! As with anything else, some are better than other in their look.

What other actors wore hairpieces in their movies? 

Sir Roger Moore had a receding hairline through his entire Bond career.  His hair was always cut shorter at the sides to the back to the hair-line so that it appeared to not be receding. He also had a small bald-spot on his left side that was covered up with a small hair-piece in all of his Bond movies.

Timothy Dalton had a prominent receding hairline by the time he was cast in The Living Daylights. His hair is worn longer at the top, and combed downward and to the side to hide his receding hair-line. It is visible in some scenes when the wind blows his hair to one side.

In License To Kill, Dalton's receding hair-line was not hidden. In various scenes it was shown, yet in other scenes his hair appeared longer on top and combed down and his hair was trimmed much like Moore's to make it appear that he has a full head of hair. 

In Die Another Day, Pierce Brosnan wears a small toupee in some scenes to hide a bald spot that is beginning to appear, in other scenes he does not, and it can be seen from certain angles.

Below is a snapshot of a few famous actors who have been known to be challenged in the hair growing department. Some, you may have guessed; others maybe not. Some are realistic; others maybe not. The fact remains, however, that not having a full head of flowing locks sure didn’t hold them back!

William Shatner has worn a hairpiece for many years and during his role in Star Trek.

In Star Trek II, you can even see his hair piece move! Yikes! In some of the Star Trek II scenes, if you pay careful attention, you can see the edges of his hairpiece where it attaches. He has since had hair therapy and now sports hair plugs. This guy is serious about his hair!

The Duke, John Wayne wore a toupee beginning in about 1948. Wayne always felt more confident when wearing his toupee, but he never denied it. In fact, he often joked about it when asked about his "phony" toupee. "It's not phony," he responded. "It's real hair. Of course, it's not mine, but it's real."

Charlie Sheen wears a hairpiece most of the time now. He is one that I was actually surprised about. OK…. So his life has been falling off the rails (off and on) for years now. Good thing he pays so much attention to his hair!

It has long been rumored that Kevin James wears a toupee and wore one during the filming of Kings of Queens. Not to hate on the guy, because I think he is hilarious, but nobody probably really cares either way.

Jeremy Piven actually has a scar from his botched hair transplant surgery. He also wears a piece to help cover that. Of course, if you were paying attention, you saw his hair go from sparse to full and lush during one hiatus. Hmmm….

Most people know Ted Danson is wearing a wig. 

Ted Danson is another one that has been wearing a toupee for years. You may recall that he did take it off during an episode of Cheers when it was revealed that his character, Sam Malone wore a hairpiece. Danson didn’t mind at all when the popular sitcom poked fun! He says that he wears it for professional reasons and has no problem sporting his natural look.  His hair and hair pieces always look really natural.


I’m not sure why Jason Alexander started wearing a hairpiece. Does he not realize that Seinfeld is on like 500 times a day, and we all know he’s bald? Whatever floats your boat.

Does this list of bald celebrities surprise you? Who else wears a hairpiece? Let me know in the comments!

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Rebeka Knott

Writer

Rebeka grew up in the 1960’s & 1970’s and has always subscribed to the theory that a positive attitude will take you far! She is a wife and mother of 3 with a fun-loving spirit, believing that family and relationships are invaluable.