Suzanne Mapes/AP
Ariana Bacle
June 04, 2014 AT 05:30 PM EDT

When Steve Burns left Nickelodeon’s Blue Clues without warning in 2002, he broke children’s hearts everywhere. Some just sobbed; some whispered that he had actually died of a drug overdose. But the explanation for his departure was hardly as dramatic in real life.

It turns out that Burns, then 29 years old, was starting to go bald. That’s right: Burns left the extremely successful Nickelodeon show because his hairline was receding.

“I knew I wasn’t going to be doing children’s television all my life, mostly because I refused to lose my hair on a kid’s TV show,” Burns said in a 2006 Nickelodeon special Behind the Clues: 10 Years of Blue that The Huffington Post recently dug up. “And it was happening fast.”

Good to know that he didn’t OD or die in a car crash, like rumors said he did — but come on, man: We would have accepted you, thinning hair and all! Actually, this sounds like a perfect premise for an episode of children’s TV. Blues Clues: The Mystery of Steve’s Missing Hair, anyone?

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