From PEOPLE Magazine Click to enlarge
"He that hath no beard is less than a man," wrote Shakespeare. The Bard has been overruled. In a recent online poll, People asked readers what they thought of celebs who got lazy with their razors this year. Most should stay tight with their blades, say the majority of the more than 53,000 respondents. The exception: Russell Crowe, whose bad-boy image is fueled by his facial fuzz. What compels a guy to let things get so hairy? "A beard is like a different suit," says Salvatore Fodera, vice president of the World Hair Organization. "It helps project a new image." Maybe, but not necessarily a better one.

BEN AFFLECK

During his summer stay at an LA. rehab clinic, Affleck kicked the razor habit. Two weeks into the program he accepted a Teen Choice Award for Pearl Harbor with a goatee. Nearly half in the poll approved.

November 2000 52%
August 2001 48%

RUSSELL CROWE

He's the only guy who looks better grizzly, say voters. Too bad: December's A Beautiful Mind, in which Crowe plays a mathematician, features him smooth-shaven.

March 2001 40%
February 2001 60%

JOHNNY DEPP

According to the majority of respondents, the scraggly-faced Depp (right, at the London premiere of Blow) looks like he came straight From Hell (his fall hit).

June 2001 61%
May 2001 39%

BRYANT GUMBEL

Returning from a spring vacation hairier than before, Gumbel came clean three weeks later. "I told him he was going to scare small children," says his Early Show cohost Jane Clayson.

November 2000 89%
April 2001 11%

AL GORE

Most respondents agreed with NBC foreign affairs correspondent Andrea Mitchell, who said the former vice President's growth—a souvenir from a summer trip to Europe—"should go in the lockbox."

January 2001 71%
July 2001 29%

BRAD PITT

The stubbly look has long been an accepted Pitt trademark, but much to voters' dismay, the star of this month's Spy Game has grown his patch from Snatch into a full beard.

June 2001 73%
August 2001 27%

KEANU REEVES

He grew facial hair to play a bad guy in January's The Gift, but our voters are happy that his better-guy role in September's Hardball called for a clean-shaven Keanu.

February 2001 69%
December 2000 31%

NICOLAS CAGE

A goatee adds "a distinguishing factor" to a man's face, says fashion analyst Tom Julian. It was a whisker-close race for Cage's two looks, but his razored mug won by a few hairs.

December 2000 55%
August 2001 45%

MATT LEBLANC

"I hate to shave," says LeBlanc. "I won't shave unless I'm going to be on-camera." On hiatus from Friends, he sported a look we've never seen on our pal Joey-and never hope to.

November 2000 72%
June 2001 28%

AL ROKER

After knee surgery in June, Today's Roker quit shaving as a precaution while taking blood-thinning medication. "I like your mountain-man look," Katie Couric told him. Those polled disagreed.

April 2001 67%
July 2001 33%

CHRIS NOTH

On Sex and the City his character has commitment issues, so it's fitting that Noth's beard is a sometime affair. "You get fed up and say, 'I'm shaving this off,' " he told In Style last year.

March 2001 58%
May 2001 42%

ANTONIO BANDERAS

Attending the premiere of Original Sin, the film's star wore an Old Testament look. But three out of four preferred that Banderas take his grooming tips from a different book.

March 2001 76%
July 2001 24%