Hollywood casting agents are already salivating over The Ollie North Story, and they all seem to agree he'd be box office boffo as himself, since Steve McQueen is on location elsewhere. "Don't change a hair for me," they're humming.
But what about the supporting players? From the locks of it, these characters need help. The talk over the weekend was as much about the style of the Iran-contra hearings as the substance. Even heavyweight thinker Hugh Sidey, on "Agronsky & Company," took several minutes to discuss Senate chief counsel Arthur Liman's hair, which is growing more fettuccinelike every day. Was it Clare Boothe Luce who once said she could never trust a man who parted his hair under his left ear?
"I'd take my dog clippers to him," says First Hairdresser Robin Weir, when asked for his suggestions on a Midsummer Senate Select Style Makeover. "His hair looks like a poodle stretched over a balloon." Weir, whose clients include some of the hottest heads in Powertown, suggested that Liman either cut all his hair off and wear it very short, or tuck the front frizzly flaps under a hairpiece and straighten it. "Not a Frank Sinatra hairpiece," he added. "One with a little more volume." We agree. In fact, we decided to give Liman the look of another favorite television inquisitor, Ted Koppel.
Brendan Sullivan, Oliver North's lawyer, "is using a bit too much spray," says Weir. "The lawyer needs to loosen up." Think John Forsythe. Think Phil Donahue. A soft pillow of silver hair. Strong, yet vulnerable. Guilty, yet innocent. And the John Dean round dark glasses should go. Too Central Casting. Contacts or Ralph Lauren/Gregory Peck specs would fit the bill of particulars.
Chief House counsel John Nields, whose wife allegedly cuts his hair, desperately needs a more updated image. Those shoulder-length blond wisps only exaggerate his baldness, and scream Berkeley 1967. Definitely a client for Mr. Ray's Hairweave. Think smooth and slicked back. Think Eliot Ness in "The Untouchables."
Betsy North, in pearls and a full Talbots, is a soothing, suburban shopping mall presence in a sea of Brooks Brothers bureaucrats. But Weir says her hair is too long and too thick. "I'm thinking of sending her a gift certificate for 'The Works,' " he says. And how would he make over Ollie's better half? "I would remove some of the weight." But he wouldn't advise a Mo Dean sleeked-back bun. "Too prissy," says the stylist. Or even a Cristina Ferrare, Joan of Narc coif. "Something more like Elizabeth Dole's." Or even Nancy Reagan's, another Weir client. Short, layered. With just that tiny Betsy Bloomingdale bang over her forehead.
And how, with business booming as hordes of Hearing Junkies rush to his shop asking for The Ollie Cut ("Marine Corps with a little pouf left in front"), has the hairdresser found time to watch the hearings?
Says Weir, "I watched it while Mrs. Reagan was under the dryer."