Ted Danson Blew Fans’ Minds When He Took off His Hairpiece

Is Ted Danson bald? Learn more about the ‘Mr. Mayor’ star’s hair loss, which he revealed at the 1990 Emmys and then years later on ‘Cheers.’


Jan. 12 2021, Published 2:04 p.m. ET

is ted danson bald
Source: Getty Images

If you’ve seen him as Sam Malone on Cheers, John Becker on Becker, D.B. Russell on CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, or Michael on The Good Place, you might not know that Ted Danson is balding.

But the actor, now starring in the comedy Mr. Mayor on NBC, has a good sense of humor about his hair loss, as he proved during his Emmy-winning run on Cheers

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Is Ted Danson bald?

Ted does have a bald spot, which viewers saw in 2006 in Help Me Help You, a short-lived ABC sitcom that also marked viewers’ first glance at Ted’s all-gray hair.

ted danson
Source: Getty Images
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“My hair became a topic of conversation in the beginning of Cheers,” Ted told reporters at the time, explaining that he had a small bald spot when that show started and that he’d hide it with brown coloring and a combover, per Deseret News.

“And then the tabloids said that I’m wearing a huge hairpiece. And I couldn’t go, ‘No, no — I just color it in.’ … I indeed did have to wear a little divot hairpiece for Sam Malone. ... And then one of the tabloids airbrushed my entire head and said that I’m one of the people who [are] totally bald. And I, once again, couldn’t say, ‘No, no, I just wear this little…’”

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ted danson cheers
Source: NBC

Ted Danson revealing his bald spot in an episode of 'Cheers.'

But with Help Me Help You, Ted stepped “out of the closet” as a balding, graying man, as he said at the time. “It’s very nice not to sit around with a bunch of ladies with silver things in my hair getting dye jobs,” he added. “So I’m happy to be gray.”

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Does Ted Danson wear a toupee?

Ted has worn a hairpiece on and off screen over the years, as the Los Angeles Daily News reported in 1990.

According to the newspaper, Ted surprised audience members at that year’s Primetime Emmy Awards — when he finally won an Emmy for his performance as Sam Malone on Cheers — by showing off his bald spot for the first time and revealing that he wears his hairpiece.

“The way you saw him at the Emmys is the way he looks,” Ted’s publicist told the Daily News at the time. “I think Ted probably will be doing roles with and without the hairpiece.”

Mert Rich, a co-producer and writer on Cheers, told the newspaper that he had only heard positive things about Ted’s reveal — and that the actor had joined him in the hair loss club.

“He came up to me — because I am without hair — and he said, ‘See, I’ve joined you,’” Mert said.

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Source: YouTube

At the time, both Mert and Ted’s publicist denied the rumors that Cheers would make Sam balding, too. But as the hit sitcom wrapped up its run in 1993, Sam took off his hairpiece — which he called a “hair replacement system” — in Cheers’ fourth-to-last episode, “It’s Lonely on the Top.”

“It blew my mind the first time I saw that episode,” one fan recently wrote on Reddit. “M. Night Shyamalan can’t write twists that unexpected.”

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