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TV’s hairiest stars

You may not remember his real name (Gordon Shumway) or his home planet (Melmac), but most anyone who ever happened to catch an episode of “ALF” during its four-year run on NBC remembers his favorite food: tabby cats. Maybe the choice has something to do with ALF’s own orange fur, so similar to that of a cat. But in order to fully contemplate the implications of what that means, we’d have to perform a proper psychoanalysis of ALF. And to that, we’d have to have time. Time better spent being with our loved ones. Or doing laundry. (Bob D’Amico / ABC)
Later in his career, Robin Williams found a beard kicked things up a notch for him, from mere super-stardom to critical acclaim. (Like with Russell Crowe, a bearded performance won Williams an Oscar, while a non-bearded Williams made “Patch Adams.”) But back in the early days, all he needed was a simple hair shirt, tufting out from below his multicolored clothes and rainbow suspenders to play Mork from Ork, America’s lovable alien visitor on the hit ABC sitcom “Mork & Mindy” that launched his career. (ABC)
Vilanch is a hairy, gay, straight-edge, Jewish friend of Whoopi. A frequent contributor to the Academy Awards “comedy” “script,” he’s also a former contestant on “Hollywood Fit Club.” His trademark (very useful when you are only sort of funny) is a rotund profile, a mop of longish hair on top and a bushy beard obscuring two-thirds of his face. The hair colors don’t always match, but hey, that’s comedy folks! (Damian Dovarganes / Associated Press)
Everybody loves a hairy guy. Or at least everybody loved Rupert Boneham, the two-time “Survivor” loser who became a fan favorite. He was so popular, in fact, that when CBS asked America to vote for the “Survivor” contestant they most wanted to see win $1 million, Rupert Boneham received four out of every five votes (as well as a hefty check). Hairy equals furry, and furry equals cute! (Rob Carr / Associated Press)
Oh, Lassie, with your cascading fur, seeming to hover around you like high cumulus clouds on a warm summer day. We love how it ripples out as you run, like the surface of a bright, white pond. Run, Lassie. Run to fetch the townspeople. Run to save Timmy. Run to save us from ourselves. Dear Lassie, we want only to bury our face in your silken fur, to forget who we are, who we were or who we might become. We want only to be here and now, with you, Lassie. Lassie. Lassie. Lassie. ()
The first episode of their ABC comedy series “Cavemen” hadn’t even aired yet, and already this trio of prehistoric men in a modern era had achieved the kind of legendary infamy not seen since O.J. tried to confess on Fox or Steven Bocho tried to get cops and judges to harmonize. Many decried the transposition of an ad campaign into a prime-time series, and it was snipped from the schedule before all of its initial 13 episodes could air. Maybe it was that unsightly hair: It’s one thing to go natural, but even Grizzly Adams looked like he used conditioner once in awhile. (Gale Adler / ABC)
Haggerty’s “Grizzly Adams” co-star, Ben the bear, may have had more hair per cubic inch, but only the actor can lay claim to launching a style of beard known as the “Grizzly Adams.” The free-spirited Haggerty achieved fleeting success with the hit film and two-season NBC series about a gentle mountain man, but the legacy of his free-flowing facial hair will live forever. (NBC)
How could the world possibly be scary if you had this giant woolly-mammoth-without-the-sharp-parts maybe-imaginary creature around. As a little kid watching “Sesame Street,” we wanted to grab one of those elephant thick legs, bury our head in that shaggy brown synthetic fur and hug for dear life. “Hello, Bird.” (Children’s Television Workshop)