Joe Mannix is an Armenian-American detective with a luxurious head of hair and an impeccable ability to get himself into trouble. His show ran on CBS from 1967 to 1975, meaning he was balding while wearing a wig.
If you’re a fan of classic American television, you’ve probably seen Mike Connors in some capacity. He was frequently on TV and film during the 1960s and 1970s, but one role stands out above all others: Joe Mannix.
Connors played Mannix from 1967 to 1975 on CBS’ hit series of the same name—and he wore his hair so well that even today, it’s hard to tell whether or not he had a toupee.
Did he try to hide it?
In addition to being an actor, Mannix was known to be a toupee wearer, and he never tried to hide it.
He spoke openly about his toupee, even admitting that he liked baldness in himself and others, saying, “It’s a sign of virility that you don’t need your hair.” Mannix was classy and had a good sense of humor about his hairpiece.
That’s something most men who wear hairpieces can learn from him: If you have one and want other people to know it, then say so! Don’t be afraid of what people think; embrace your natural self-confidence instead.
He was also known for his relationship with actress Connie Stevens, whom he dated for several years before they split up in the late 90s. They had three children together, and the couple eventually reunited when their son died of cancer at age 22.
Mannix married actress Connie Stevens from 1966 to 1973; they had three children together: Dana, Tracy, and Jonathan. Later, he had another son named Dexter with partner Marilu Henner–who portrayed Elaine O’Brien on one of his shows.
He wore a toupee on the cover of TV Guide in 1966 and again when The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson featured his appearance. He continued wearing his full beard until his death in April 2018 due to cancer-related complications.
The actor’s hair was relatively short and thin, which made it easy to tell that Mannix was wearing a wig.
However, since his character was balding anyway and often had a hat on while working as an investigator for the fictitious California-based private detective agency Allstate Investigations Inc., no one seemed to notice how well-suited the toupee was for him.
Mannix did wear a toupee, and the fact that he wore it is an open secret and was acknowledged on the show many times. In one episode, a barber accidentally cuts off his toupee with scissors while cutting Mannix’s hair.
When he realizes what happened, Mannix says: “I couldn’t let you go through life without knowing that I’m bald because otherwise, I’d be deceiving myself.” He then admits that he likes baldness in others and himself.
Mannix never addressed the rumors.
The show’s creator, Gerry Cohen, said that he often wished Mannix would address the rumors on-screen. “I’d actually like to see him wear a toupee,” he said in an interview with Entertainment Weekly. “We could have some fun with it.”
As for how his hair looked? Well, it was pretty good. Mannix was known as one of the best actors in Hollywood, and if he did wear one, it was a damn good one.
So when people said he had a toupee and then moved on to talk about his acting skills or sense of humor or even how much of a good dad he was, they were telling their friends something true but ignoring what mattered.
Articles about Mannix.
The fact that all the articles I found about Mannix are, like most human conversations, about his hair suggests that this is a question worth asking. It’s impossible to say whether he did or did not wear a toupee.
And yet there’s something to be said for asking questions and trying to find answers when you can; this is how we grow as people and learn new things about the world around us.
You might have noticed this before, but I should mention that Mannix wears a full beard throughout the first season. The second season begins with a clean-shaven face, but it’s not until the third season that his hair is noticeably thinning.
However, during an interview with Dick Van Dyke, Van Dyke said, “I always thought he had some kind of rug because there was no way he could keep all that dark hair away from those sideburns.”
As a lifelong fan of detective dramas, I can tell you that many of the great detectives, who were bald or grey, wore their hair and looked great.
One notable example is Jack Lord as Steve McGarrett on Hawaii Five-O. Another is Robert Stack as Eliot Ness in The Untouchables. And one more—William Conrad as Jim Rockford in The Rockford Files.
But what about Mike Connors? You may not know it, but he was a good detective too. He played Joe Mannix on the hit CBS show “Mannix” from 1967 to 1975, with over 200 episodes.
In the 1960s and 1970s, toupees were worn by many actors, but they have become much less common in recent years. So we can’t say with certainty that Mike Connors wore one when he played Mannix on TV.
But there’s no evidence to support that he did wear a wig or toupee at any time during his career. He was realistically bald and did not need a wig when playing Kyle Mallory in Dead Run (1966).
About his hairdresser.
One day, Connors asked his hairdresser if he could make it look like he had more hair on top of his head.
The hairdresser took some strands from the back and front of Connors’ natural scalp, then attached them to an elastic band before gluing them onto the top of his skull. This was called a “monofilament” wig and would be worn by Mannix for the rest of his life.
There were two significant problems with this method; It was obvious that you were wearing something on your head, and It made your neck sweat profusely since there was no ventilation between where your actual scalp ended.
The toupee was never meant to hide a bald spot, and Connors wore it daily whether or not he was filming “Mannix.” Though many believe that the hairpiece was used to cover up his baldness, Mannix creator Bruce Geller says that’s not true.
According to Geller, “Mannix” creator Bruce Geller says that’s not true: “His real hair went back about two inches above his forehead, as you can see in photos from the time,” he told TV Guide.
In 1967, when Mannix debuted on CBS, there weren’t many tough-talking private eyes on television. The only one who could hold his own with Mannix was Mike Hammer from the Mickey Spillane novels, played by Biff Elliot. But that changed with Mannix.
The main character in this show was Joe Mannix (Mike Connors), a former insurance investigator who now worked for an insurance company but still took on cases as a private investigator.
It was not a toupee but rather a hairpiece. It was made of natural hair and attached to the actor’s scalp with adhesive. This type of hairpiece is called a lace front wig; this name comes from the fact that you can see the part where the lace is glued.
Lace fronts are often used for men who wear wigs because they look more natural than other types of wigs, especially when shedding or matting down on one side like Mannix’s wig did.
Many people wonder if Mannix wore a toupee. He was open about his baldness, saying it was part of who he was, but he also knew that people make snap decisions without thinking things through.