A beret is the poor man's toupe and a beard is the poor man's face lift. Look at Ronald Reagan whose neck aged faster than the rest of him. A beard could have taken twenty years off. At 80, he could have passed for a hopelessly senile 60-year-old. Hair dye didn't do him any favors. Horrible, repellent old man.
Both the Swedish and British versions of Wallander have aging stars with a lot of stubble. Makes me wonder if Swedish police don't have a dress code. But the guys do look better this way. My guess is that face lifts are less common among European stars and this is a safe, affordable alternative.
I've said this before, but Paul McCartney should take a page from Ringo Starr's book and grow some sort of beard. The only trouble is that Sir Paul dyes his hair and he'd probably have to dye his beard, too, but I'm sure there are ways to deal with this. I somehow doubt that's Ringo's natural hair color.
It's only good if you have something to cover up, though. It looks so stupid on some people.