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A pencil moustache is a thin moustache found adjacent to, or a little above the lip. The style is neatly clipped, so that the moustache takes the form of a thin line, as if it had been drawn using a pencil. A large gap is left between the nose and the moustache. The line of facial hair either breaks across the philtrum, or continues unbroken. In some versions the line of hair extends vertically along the outside of the philtrum before stopping just below the nose, leaving the philtrum unbridged.
Notable persons who have worn pencil moustaches
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Pencil moustaches are often identified with spivs, as epitomised by Arthur English's comic character, and also by Private Walker. As such a small and short-haired moustache style, it is easy to create in make-up, and creates a different character instantly, lending itself well to sketch show comedies. As such a short style, it is possible for an actor to grow a pencil moustache with ease for a specific part in a film. A good example of this is Rock & Chips, where Nicholas Lyndhurst was able to play Freddie Robdal, father of his Rodney Trotter character from Only Fools and Horses. Freddie's pencil moustache, combined with the aging of the actor, helps make the character look different from Rodney whilst retaining a strong family resemblance. The spiv connotation also highlights the criminal, adulterous and sinister sides of the Freddie character, in contrast to the likeable Rodney. The fictional character Gomez Addams had a trademark pencil moustache and the actor Vincent Price sometimes sported one, giving the style a spooky, horror association. The actors Errol Flynn, David Niven and Leslie Phillips all had pencil moustaches, giving the style a silver-tongued and suave image. Musicians such as Little Richard, Sammy Davis, Jr, Prince, Jack White, Willy DeVille, George Benson, Chris Cornell and Ron Mael have been associated with the look.