A hair hero of mine, Sy Sperling, has departed.
He was the well-groomed hair apparent we loved to promote. All of us at his former PR firm, TransMedia Group, will miss him dearly, especially that dry humor of his that made him so popular, not to mention a fortune.
Sy dedicated his successful career to a subject he took quite personally: his hair.
Founder of Hair Club for Men, Sy became famous in the 1980s for his television commercials, in which he deadpanned what became his signature line:
“I’m not only the Hair Club president but I’m also a client.” He then showed a picture of his formerly bald self.
After he became a cultural icon, Sy traveled the talk-show circuit, was interviewed about his business acumen, got spoofed on “Saturday Night Live” and “The Tonight Show” and was a hit at leading film festivals where we showed a film about his hairrowing life story.
Sy was 78 when he died this week in Boca Raton after a lengthy illness. One of the things we did for him that he was quite pleased with and proud of was a TransMedia Group film we had John Bennardo produce, write and direct and I was executive producer. It was well received at major film festivals, including The Palm Beach International Film Festival.
Here’s a link to it:
A Bronx native, Sperling spent his winters in Hillsboro Beach and summers in Vancouver.
My daughter Adrienne, now president of TransMedia, and the rest of our staff at our Boca Raton headquarters, would enjoy every minute when Sy visited us.
To be sure, he was one of a kind. And he was also a client!