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July 13, 2023

Leonard Nimoy Getting His Spock Haircut and Eyebrows for the Television Show ‘Star Trek’, ca. 1965

These are fun behind the scenes photos of Leonard Nimoy getting his classic Spock haircut and eyebrows for Star Trek. Mr. Spock actually enjoyed the gossip provided by the artist Fred Phillips when he went for his makeup.

The creation of Spock’s characteristic Vulcan eyebrows required Phillips to shave the outside halves of Nimoy’s actual eyebrows during each makeup session. Phillips filled in the shape of the new eyebrows with an eyebrow pencil, then painted over those lines with spirit gum. The spirit gum was used to attach short lengths of yak belly hair, which Phillips cut from long stands, blending the small tufts into what remained of Nimoy’s own eyebrows. The final stage of the process involved applying base makeup and adding shading to ensure that shadow contours would be seen even under the bright lights of the shooting stage.

“The makeup is a tough problem for me,” Nimoy told the TV Times in 1982. “It always has been. It’s tedious. It’s painful and it’s confining. The entire makeup takes two hours. It’s an extremely complicated makeup and it’s not just the ears. The eyebrows can take longer because they must be laid on hair by hair and cut fresh every morning. They are not one piece. If they were, you would not get mobility. They would sit there and look unnatural.”


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