Who is the actor on the HAiR the Musical Poster 1968

Steve Curry, an original cast member of the Broadway rock musical “Hair,” whose backlit nimbus of hair became an instantly recognizable emblem of the show on posters and the cover of its cast album, died on Sept. 13, 2014 in Truth or Consequences, N.M. He was 68.

His death, which was not widely reported, was confirmed by his wife, Susan, who said the cause was sepsis.

“Hair” was the first show to open at Joseph Papp’s New York Shakespeare Festival on Astor Place. A celebration of the emerging 1960s counterculture, it focused on the lives of a tribe of hippies in New York City and featured songs that became pop hits for other artists, including “Aquarius,” by the Fifth Dimension; “Hair,” by the Cowsills; and “Good Morning Starshine,” by Oliver.

The Shakespeare Festival production yielded its own recording, featuring a photo of five Native Americans with the faces of the show’s creators, James Rado and Gerome Ragni, superimposed onto two of the bodies.

But by the time the show transferred to Broadway, in 1968 (it ran for four years), that image had given away to a far less whimsical one. Mr. Curry had joined the cast during a brief remounting at a Midtown nightclub, and the designer Ruspoli-Rodriguez decided to use Mr. Curry’s head, framed by several inches of curly hair, as the show’s central marketing image.

He paired the head with its mirror image underneath, then saturated the picture with solarized tones of acid green, yellow and red. It became the defining image of “Hair.” The album topped the Billboard charts for 13 weeks.

“He loved being the face of the show,” his wife said. But he did not get paid for being on the album cover, she said — “not a dime.”

The cast was filled with unknowns, some of whom went on to fame, like Diane Keaton and Melba Moore. But the 22-year-old Mr. Curry — who played the naïve, sexually adventurous Woof and sang one of the show’s most notorious songs, “Sodomy” — already had a half-dozen Broadway credits by then. He had played a newsboy in the original production of “Gypsy” and appeared in “Camelot” and a 1964 revival of “West Side Story.” Mr. Curry’s first wife, Shelley Plimpton, was another “Hair” cast member, and the couple made a film together, “Glen and Randa” (1971), a philosophical post-apocalyptic drama.

Steven Michael Curry was born on May 11, 1946, in Camden, N.J., and began performing as a child. Mr. Curry left show business after appearing in “Hair” and worked on vegetable farms in Florida and for the city of Deerfield, Fla. He retired to New Mexico in 2010.

Besides his wife of 28 years, his survivors include their sons, Matthew and Andrew; a daughter, Catherine Goddard, from a previous relationship with the actress Susan Anspach; and three grandchildren.

Ania Bartkowiak contributed reporting.