Tuesday, March 14, 2006

A History of... Bald Women

It's Tuesday. Time for "A HISTORY OF..." This one is dedicated to Natalie Portman in V For Vendetta which opens on Friday.



Since Time Began ...most babies are born without much follicular activity atop their noggin. Yes, even Crystal Gayle.

1928 Maria Falconetti gives one of the greatest performances of cinematic history in The Passion of Joan of Arc. She does it with a shaved head and a whole lotta tears. Louise Brooks counters with this look and wins the hairstyle wars of 1929. Bald movie stars aren't seen again until...

1955 Bette Davis shaves her hairline back for her second portrayal of Queen Elizabeth in The Virgin Queen. She bitches about it forever after because the eyebrows don't grow back. Wimp.

1975 Jane Curtin and Laraine Newman, far more serious and committed thespians, shave their heads and receive painful pointed cranial implants for a recurring sketch on Saturday Night Live. Dan Aykroyd wusses out and opts for a prosthetic.

1979 Star Trek: The Motion Picture debuts in theaters. The only visual effect that gets people excited is Persis Khambatta's naked head. So memorable is this rare sight that bald fetishists still give her prizes two decades later.

1984 David Lynch, who has been known to throw shiny pates at our eyeballs (particularly with giants and midgets), tries his favored visual hook out on the ladies...well, on the villainous nuns in Dune. To the auteur of improbably abundant hair, BALD = CREEPY.

1990 Scalp exhibitionist Sinéad O'Connor follows up her brilliant debut "The Lion and the Cobra" with accessible megahit "Nothing Compares 2 U" and becomes, briefly, a megastar.

1992 Sinéad tears up a picture of the Pope on national television. Advisors to his Holiness in Rome poo-poo the idea of a papal ban on bald-headed women when a nasty case of lice kicks off the Further Adventures of Ellen Ripley (also known as Alien³) the same year. Even the Vatican doesn't dare mess with Sigourney in ass-kicking mode.

1997 Demi Moore rocks Viggo Mortenson's sexist world in GI Jane and invites audiences to "suck my dick." For the most part only Roger Ebert takes her up on the offer. In his defense her breasts do look larger than ever without those raven locks pulling focus.

2005 Ever the hard hitting journalists, Entertainment Tonight investigates the shame and pixelated terror of balding female soap stars.

2006 Natalie Portman gets her head shaved (on camera) for V For Vendetta in subsequent months she looks more beautiful than ever reminding us all that a good hairdresser is expensive, but God is the best beautician of all. What he can do with an electric razor and perfect bone structure...

Previous "Histories of..."
Sarah Jessica Parker * Gay Cowboys * Julianne Moore's Screen Kids * Jake & Maggie Gyllenhaal

11 comments:

adam k. said...

Am I the only one who doesn't love Natalie Portman? She's very beautiful, but in fact she's SO beautiful that she kind of looks like an inhuman plastic doll or something... and I find something offputting in her personality. I think that "innocence" thing about her that gets everyone so worked up just annoys me. She still seems like a child or something.

Kamikaze Camel said...

I'm liking her much more nowadays that I used to. She's improving (Star Wars excluded).

I love that she's an Academy Award Nominee.

Nick Davis said...

@Adam K.: You and me both.

Rachel Rosenthal in the fun, acidic left-of-center dramedy The New Age also gave great bald. And we're talking bald! No stubble. All follicle. Barely even that.

Anonymous said...

The Dreyer's Joan of Arc is Renée Falconetti not Maria.

NATHANIEL R said...

Maria and Renee are the same actress.

according to the IMDB.

anyone know if their info is incorrect?

Nick Davis said...

One and the same.

Anonymous said...

Here in Europe She is Renée Falconetti according all the essays talking about Carl Th Dreyer and his immortal masterpieces.

Nick Davis said...

Oh, and duh, Cate Blanchett in Heaven.

Arden said...

this is hot!

badjane said...

You forgot all of the actresses with shaved heads in THX 1138.

Anonymous said...

I love all the girls listed there... especially demi more, i would tap that all the way to the bank while shaving her head all over again