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Bearded & Tschorn: March mustache madness

March 22, 2011 | 10:53 am

Although we let James Franco's recent flirtation with facial hair go unmentioned in the run-up to the Academy Awards, the last few days have served up a bumper crop of lip spinach we couldn't help but point out.

We're not talking awkward, uncomfortable, barely there wisps, or the so-prevalent-it's-practically-cliche mouthbeard. No, these mustaches have some serious personality of their own (Clive Owen's, above, deserves its own SAG card, if you ask us) and clearly took some effort in the grooming department.

Exhibit A appeared on the front page of the Los Angeles Times Business section Tuesday morning -- a four-column photo of News Corp. President and Chief Operating Officer Chase Carey, sporting a handlebar mustache with neatly twisted short handles about an inch past the corner of his lip (which, if you're going to allow this kind of 'stache into corporate America, is about as far as it grows).

Carey's mustache isn't just notable for its corporate provenance, but also because it's not camouflage -- he doesn't appear to be growing it to deflect attention from a receding hairline or some other self-percieved flaw.

Exhibit B is the aforementioned Clive Owen push-broom of a mustache that accompanied the actor to a recent DGA screening of "Trust" (due out in limited release April 1). (Honestly, we wouldn't have recognized him if it hadn't been pointed out by one of our co-workers who noted that he's kind of got a Kevin Kline look/vibe going on.)

As for David Schwimmer's neatly groomed beard? It's doing double duty here -- not only signifying his role (he directed and produced "Trust"), but providing a perfect buffer between his current incarnation and the boyish, smooth-faced Ross Geller character he played for a decade on "Friends."

-- Adam Tschorn

Photos: From left: News Corp. mustachioed President and COO Chase Carey (credit: Andrew Harrer/ Bloomberg); a mustache-bearing Clive Owen and a bearded David Schwimmer at a Monday screening. (credit: Alberto E. Rodriguez / Getty Images).