One haircut not only changed DeForest Kelley's whole look, but it also changed his entire life.
DeForest Kelley, best known as Star Trek: The Original Series' Doctor Leonard 'Bones' McCoy, was once lesser-known for his minor roles in many Westerns in the '50s and '60s.
Some Western roles included: Rawhide, Wanted: Dead or Alive, Laramie, Bonanza and many more.
Star Trek was the actors' first chance to do something different, and it would come at a cost.. $35 to be exact.
"For the past 10 years, I played Western 'heavies' mainly," he said in a 1967 interview with Clarion-Ledger. "Gene Roddenberry, the creator and executive producer of this series, considered me for a part and asked if I had any objections to doing my hair differently. I had been wearing it long, for Westerns."
In order to move his career in a different direction, Kelley had to look the part. According to the interview, Roddenberry wanted a brainy, clean Kennedy look for the role of McCoy.
He asked Kelley to see Jay Sebring, a famous Hollywood men's hairstylist.
"It was expensive," Kelley said. "It cost me $35, but I had confidence in Roddenberry."
That haircut was certainly an investment for the actors' future. A $35 haircut from the '60s would be around $300 in 2023. That is an expensive haircut, indeed.
The new look would eventually lead Kelley to the role on Star Trek. Seems worth it to us.
"I've never been in a series before," he said. "I made a drastic change with this role. Roddenberry went out on a limb for me. The town had forgotten the actor I used to be. Roddenberry pulled me out of a big rut. I feel very lucky."
Kelley wasn't much of a Sci-Fi buff until the series began, but he did have an interest in the medical world. According to the interview, his uncle was a successful physician and Kelley thought about following in his footsteps in the medical field.
After taking the role of McCoy, Kelley became interested in reading medical journals and studying medical terms.
"I find myself particularly interested in medical columns and reports," he said. "I've always been interested in this area, really. However, I was never a science fiction buff. This puts me on a spot when I am approached by real buffs. I should be better prepared, but I'm not. I'm at their mercy."
One haircut was able to change the course of Kelley's life. Good thing he paid that $35 for it. It's a haircut that changed Trek's history.