Gary Cooper in curls

Goofing around Gary Cooper dons a wig, can’t identify the gentleman on the left (a director?), on the right is Basil Rathbone. Happy Sunday! Hm. Let’s make this free association Sunday. This picture reminds me of my mother, and the wigs (they were called falls then – don’t know why) she had in the 1960s. They sat on forms on her dressing table. She actually had short hair and she would pop them on when she went to an event or had to dress up. At the time I thought they were sophisticated and glamorous – now I know they were probably hot and itchy. I don’t know that there’s a moral to this story, maybe something along the lines of put on a good face and the rest will follow. Speaking as the vile harpy I hope to heaven that’s true. I’d continue in this vein but I feel a hot flash/temper flare/wave of sentimentality coming on… Sisters, any thoughts?

gary cooper in wig


  1. My mother wore falls too!

    Yes as a life long “Pollyanna” when I put on a good face most of the time good things follow. It is just getting past the ruins I see in the mirror, that is the hard part. And then there are all those rubber bands and adhesives to pull it all up and into a smile. If one rubber band snaps then I look like I had a stroke!

  2. I think—and I’m relying on learning from family cosmetologists from years ago—I think that a “fall” is a partial wig, added to (hopefully) match one’s own hair but to extend its length, thus “falling” on the shoulders. In short: a wig covers the pate, a fall does not. I confidently await correction.

  3. That’s director Mitchell Leisen on the left, who weirdly enough I just wrote about today in a piece on Kathleen Howard. Talk about free association!! And I love how while wearing the wig, Gary’s sitting with his legs apart in the classic “Hey, I’m a guy!” way — the bane of bus and subway riders everywhere…

  4. I used to have lunch with Gary Cooper every day, when I worked in Southampton. Of course, he was dead, and I was lunching in the cemetery, but we had the most wonderful conversations!

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