The Top 12 Badass Baldies
Baldness is inevitable. The American Hair Loss Association estimates 85 percent of men will experience some form of hair loss by the time they turn 50. But don’t worry. Lots of bald guys have taken one of life’s greatest negatives and turned it into the ultimate positive. These are the people who were as bad and bald as they wanted to be.
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12. Cal Ripken Jr.
The “Iron Man” of the Baltimore Orioles was a legendary player both behind and in front of the baseball, despite the fact that most of the baseballs he went up against had more hair than him. He dominated on defense as a legendary shortstop and turned playing the position into an art form and even had some better than average success in the batter’s box with more than 3,100 hits and 431 home runs in his 20-year career. Of course, he’s best known for beating Lou Gehrig’s long-standing consecutive game record, even by playing through the pain of some serious injuries. Well, at least Gehrig’s got one more thing he can hang over Cal’s head. There is no Cal Ripken’s Disease, is there?
11. Yul Brynner
It took a musical to turn this actor into one of the most badass bald guys in Hollywood. The legendary actor didn’t start shaving his head until his performance in the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical “The King and I,” but from then on, his scalp was a barren wasteland of badass. He used his powers of baldness to play a badass pharaoh in The 10 Commandments, a badass renegade cowboy in The Magnificent Seven and a badass renegade cowboy robot in Westworld and Futureworld. Then, before his death in 1985, he went on national television with an anti-smoking commercial to warn people of the dangers of smoking while he was dying of cancer. Death may have won, but Brenner at least put up a hell of a fight.
10. Telly Savalas
The lollipop-sucking, “Who loves ya baby?”-spouting, street-wise detective didn’t go completely bald his whole life. After he played Pontius Pilate in The Greatest Story Ever Told, he decided to go with the top down, a smart move since he’s one of the best-known bald guys ever to grace the silver and the small screen. He’s best known as TV’s Kojack, the NYC homicide detective who’s smoother and tougher than a top layer of pudding skin, but his career goes well beyond that. He played psychopaths in The Dirty Dozen and Birdman of Alcatraz and even funny guys like in his most ironically titled film The Scalpkillers.
9. James Tolkan
The name might not be familiar, but you would recognize that glimmering bald head even if the sunlight bouncing off of it was burning the juice out of your retinas. That’s because in every movie he’s in, he’s always in someone’s face screaming and threatening them within an inch of their life and usually within less than an inch of their nose. He was the strict slacker-hating principal and Sheriff Strickland in the Back to the Future movies, and the perpetually PO’d Stinger in Top Gun where he ripped Tom Cruise a new one. Tolkan makes that scene in Top Gun twice as fun to watch now that Cruise has turned into a self-righteous know-it-all who thinks aliens and volcanoes are to blame for depression instead of self-image issues and baldness.
8. Michael Jordan
If you have to keep reading after this sentence to understand why the Great One is on this list, then maybe you should read a website that’s more your speed, like the Oxygen Network or the Home Blender Shopping Network. He was, is and always will be the greatest player in the history of the game and it’s not just myself and the rest of the world who believe that. It’s the words of the N.B.F-ing.A. His career, God-like athletic ability, and legendary status in the annals of sports history are so amazing that we’re even willing to look past the crappiness that is Space Jam.
7. Michael Chiklis
When life hands some guys lemons, they whine and cry about it for a little while, then manage to reach down and find their emotional depth, so they can pull themselves back up and make some tepid lemonade. When life handed Chiklis lemons, he took a big bite out of each one and didn’t flinch. The vitamins and minerals in the lemons also cleaned out his liver and gave any potential lyme disease cells a swift kick in the mitochondria. The young actor had to shave his head to look like a 60-year-old man for a play. Unfortunately it didn’t grow back because the greasepaint he used killed the follicles on his head. Instead of lamenting the loss of his protein filament friends, he used his unnatural baldness to play some kick ass guys like Vic Mackey on The Shield, Ben “The Thing” Grimm in Fantastic Four and even Curly in the made-for-TV biopic on The Three Stooges. He would have been higher on the list if Mackey gave Antwon Mitchell a double-fingered eye poke just before he sent him off to prison.