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Yaphet Kotto

  1. Billy Dee Williams,  Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back, 1979.
  2. Patrick Stewart, Star Trek: The Next Generation, TV, 1987-1994.   Creator blowhard  Gene Roddenberry, hanging to to any power he might still have at a studio that hated him, said a bald  Englishman could not be his new Kirk.  OK, Paramount suits came up with a Top Three: Kotto, Mitch Ryan, Roy Thinnes.  Then Roddenberry - power again! - said Stewart should test.  In a wig. The actor  had his own toupee Fed-exed from London. A bad rug, said one suit. Bad test too. Too British. Then, Roddenberry, as if  misunderstanding who it was, said: Let’s test Stewart.  They did - with his wig in his pocket. He nailed it.  Gene loved him. Now the suits were wary.  “But, Gene - he’s  bald!” Hah! spake Roddenberry, “Hair doesn’t mean anything in the 25th century.” The PS is from PS: “My agent said there was no way in  hell that Star Trek would survive the first season.”  It ran for seven seasons. 






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