If you’ve ever seen Baffled with Leonard Nimoy and Susan Hampshire you might have noticed Nimoy wearing this brown bucket hat in a couple of scenes:
Susan Hampshire and Leonard in The Hat’ in ‘Baffled’ 1973
Well, I always thought it look a little goofy on him, but when I found out the history of the hat, it made me laugh, so here goes:
The hat wasn’t part of his wardrobe, but a piece owned personally by Nimoy; or so it seemed, since he wore it in public a year later while working on his stage performance in Fiddler on the Roof…
Great Photo by Bobbie Reno
But wait! Turns out Nimoy was not the original owner! It belonged to singer Pat Boone! According to legend, during Leonard’s recording career, he was using the same studio as crooner Pat Boone. At one point, Leonard spied the hat and took a fancy to it. So much so, it went home with him…
Here’s the photo Pat wearing the hat on a TV appearance in the early 60’s:
And Leonard must have loved it a lot (sans original feather) for he still had it in 1984 during a college appearance! 🙂 Did Pat give it to him? Did he ever get it back? The world may never know.
Even though Trek was over by 1969, Nimoy’s popularity was soaring from its syndication and exposure in Mission Impossible. A shame Baffled didn’t get farther that a pilot, that would have been a fun show. But Nimoy’s credits notwithstanding, he was and is always Number 1 with his fans.
Soaking wet in ‘Baffled’
“I had to get my picture with Leonard Nimoy, even if I disturb his dessert!”
The girl in the center is totally “I want some of that!” The lady on the right is “Hands off my daughter” They guy in the back is “What’s he got that I ain’t got?”
Hi Kids, here’s today’s flashback: From 1978, a long and insightful review of Invasion of the Body Snatchers from the New York Times, as well as my ticket stub from the local Oakdale Mall Multiplex (it had three cinemas in it, imagine that!) I believe my ticket was (for the time) an exorbitant $1.75! The review points out a connection between director Philip Kaufman and Star Trek — apparently he was the first one tapped to make the Trek movie back in the early ’70’s, but was switched when the budget kept getting bigger. (A shame too, because I think the first movie would have been SO MUCH BETTER under Kaufman’s tutelage). Kaufman puts in a good word for Nimoy here, whom he sort of used as ‘revenge’ for not being the Trek director. Also here’s a few other little tidbits, including a listing for a repeat broadcast of ‘Baffled‘ on TV (I’m sure I watched it, still lamenting that it wasn’t made into a series)
Hard to believe, but it was 4o years ago that a fun and creepy mystery movie called Baffled! was shown on TV (by NBC) as a ‘movie of the week’. Nimoy played the main character, Tom Kovack, a race car driver haunted by strange and scary visions which turn out to be psychic. The beautiful Susan Hampshire played Michele Brent, the book historian fascinated with ESP who is convinced that Kovack has a gift that might save the life of a woman in danger. I remember watching it when it came out, and envying the young girl in the film (who played a girl my age), and was so disappointed when it wasn’t made into a weekly series! In fact, Baffled was made as a pilot for NBC (although it was shown in some countries as a feature film, hence the movie style poster). It was smart, funny, and suspenseful, but we can only imagine the future adventures (and romance) that would ensue for these two characters. The only thing I found a little unbelievable was that Tom was a midwesterner -seemed more New England to me. Alas, the network didn’t know what gold it had, and although ESP was becoming a hot topic in the early 70’s, NBC settled on the much less entertaining comedy The Girl With Something Extra,(with Sally Field) which only lasted one season. I would have happily taken a season of Baffled over that. Another great opportunity lost. 🙁 So in recognition of 40 years of what could have been, here’s some stills from Baffled, you can pay 4.99 and have it streamed on Amazon.
Poster Art for Baffled
Meet Sister Mary Leonard…
Million Dollar Smile 01
Yeah, I couldn’t stop watching him on TV either
Million Dollar Smile 02
Co-star Susan Hampshire — doll face!
Tom’s NYC apartment was hideous-That couch! That lamp!
…but he was happy in his kielbasa chair…
Throw in some cheap ‘women can’t drive’ jokes…
Doing his best Vincent Price…
And young Jennifer who went from ’12 to 15′ in a day.