Blonds vs. Brunets

  • Peter Tork
    Info Peter Tork has light brown or dark blond hair. Fans love him, but is he as popular as the brunet Monks?
  • Davy Jones
    Info Though all the Monkees are stars, brunet Davy has the most fans.
  • Micky Dolenz
    Info Hair is important to avid fans, Many protested Micky’s curly locks.
  • Mike Nesmith

Blonds may have more fun, but they don’t cut more hit records. Brunets seem to have the music field and television and movies all sewed up.

(And if you think blond should be spelled b-l-o-n-d-e and brunet should be spelled b-r-u-n-e-t-t-e, that proves you haven’t studied your French. Blond and brunet refer to men, blonde and brunette to gals.)

But back to our story. Taking it from the top (of their heads, naturally), brunets have show business firmly in hand. First of all, there’s none other than all four Beatles. Their hair is dark, their sound is powerful and only a few years ago even middle-aged matrons were swooning when they stepped on stage.

Three more shiny, brunet examples of the power of hair color are Monkees Micky, Mike and Davy. Davy alone could win an award for Most Shiny Hair and though he’s not tall, he’s definitely dark and handsome.

Others on the brunet list include Sajid Khan, Billy Hinsche, Desi Arnaz, Len Whiting, Mark Lindsay, Barry Gibb and Mick Jagger. If that’s not an impressive list, nothing is.

On the opposite side of the color chart, we’ve got the blonds. It’s difficult to explain exactly why, but blonds just never seem to have the acclaim that brunets command.

Only two really huge rock stars have sun colored tresses—Peter Tork and Herman. Is it because they seem to give a picture of thoughtfulness, gentleness and a rather dreamy disposition? Do they seem too frail, too light-headed to become huge stars?

No one can really say for certain, of course, but just try and think of popular rock singers or movie stars with blond hair. The list isn’t too long: Brian Jones, Chris Hillman, Bobby Hatfield, Paul Revere, Steve Stills, Keith Relf. Then there’s Jon Provost, Kurt Russell, Ben Murphy, Lee Michaels and finally, Dino Martin.

Dino is a study in hair color and popular public whims. Dino, a brunet by birth, had to bleach his hair white blond for his role in ‘A Boy, A Girl!’ It looked very polished—but fans hated it! Letters, phone calls and other forms of complaint poured in. The major gripe seemed to be that Dino’s blond hair is phony. The public, apparently, doesn’t like put-ons.

So what does the public like? Brunets, that’s what.

Back in the 20’s, Rudolph Valentino (like Paul McCartney) caused mass fainting with every move of his dark-haired head. In the 30’s, George Raft and Ricardo Cortez sported black, slicked back hair and wore an air of mystery about them (like Sajid). They were also the two major box office stars of the period.

In the 1940’s, Clark Gable, Robert Taylor, Tyrone Power and Cary Grant dominated the screen with their brunet good looks. Blondish redhead Van Johnson (like Chris Hillman?) managed to wow ladies during World War II—but all the brunets were off to battle.

Then to the 50’s-era of Elvis Presley, Tommy Sands, Rick Nelson, Frankie Avalon, Fabian—and they’re all brunets! It came as a huge shock when a co-star with Elvis in “Blue Hawaii” reported that the hip-swinging rocker actually tinted his hair black to keep out natural blond streaks. And he still does!

Another example of the power of dark hair dates back to the “Dobie Gillis” television series when Dwayne Hickman undertook the lead and, on producers’ instructions, tinted his hair blond. The studio got so many letters complaining about his hair color that he happily dyed it back to his original brunet and never tampered with it again.

Today, all the major movie, television and rock stars are brunets. Paul Newman is a dark blond but he hasn’t won an Oscar. Brunet Warren Beatty is a smash, so is Richard Burton, John Casavettes, George Hamilton, Robert Culp, Robert Wagner and Leonard Nimoy.

Which just all goes to prove that while the blonds are busy having more fun, the brunets are reaping in all the money.

All Brunet, The Beatles were the only really big act to follow the great Elvis Presley phenomenon.

Elvis Presley is still King and there’s no doubting it. El has been tinting his hair black for many years to cover natural blond streaks. He did play a blond twin in one film, below, called “Kissin’ Cousins.”

Dino found out fast that fans preferred his natural darker hair color.

Actually, his blond hair looks harsh here, but it looked great in his movie.

Warren Beatty is just one of many movie stars with dark hair. Paul Newman is the only blond star.

Paul Revere is a natural blond. He and Mark are the only two to always be Raiders. Still, Mark is the super-star, even though Paul is leader.

Herman is the only light haired singer lately to really fit the “Star” label.

The two favorite Bee Gees with fans are Barry Gibb and Vince Melouney. Blond BG drummer, Colin, gets less screams.

The Rolling Stones were very close to the Beatles’ popularity, but unlike the Beatles, Mick Jagger was the big attraction.

Sometimes dark hair and eyebrows lend an air of mystery as with Sajid Khan, a newcomer to the celebrity scene.

Desi dyed his hair black for one TV show and this didn’t upset anyone since his natural color was brown. What would have happened if he had bleached it blond?

Brian Jones of the Stones was a popular group member, but never as big as brunet Mick Jagger. Why?

Luke Halpin’s blond hair fit his TV role as Sandy on “Flipper.” When the series ended, though, fans were quick to forget Luke.

Dwayne Hickman was happy to find “Dobie Gillis” viewers hated his bleached hair. He dyed it back.

Magazine: Tiger Beat
Editor: Ann Moses
Volume: 3
Issue: 13
Publisher: Laufer Publishing Company
Pages: 26–29