Mandy Patinkin Shaves Off Trademark Homeland Saul Berenson Beard: See the Picture!

Mandy Patinkin visit "Live! with Kelly and Michael" in New York City on December 5, 2013 Credit: David Steele/Disney-ABC Domestic Television

Saul, is that you? Mandy Patinkin made an appearance on Live! With Kelly and Michael on Thursday, Dec. 5 -- at least, that's who he claimed to be. The 61-year-old Homeland actor, who plays bearded CIA Acting Director Saul Berenson on the showtime political thriller, looked nearly unrecognizable when he walked into the studio without any facial hair.

"I shaved it the minute I finished the last shot!" Patinkin said with a big smile. "I felt like I was taking off a Mickey Mouse mask." (The season three finale of Homeland airs on Showtime Dec. 15.)

To stay in character for his intense role (opposite Claire Danes and Damian Lewis) on the show, Patinkin kept his beard for "two years" and "couldn't take it off," he told hosts Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan. After he shaved it off, the actor and singer said he "felt about 20 years younger!"

Now that he doesn't have the distinguishable facial hair, the Broadway veteran -- who memorably played Inigo Montoya in 1987's The Princess Bride -- said he doesn't get recognized as much by fans.

"The thing I loved most about it is once the show got more and more successful, wherever I go people would go, 'Saul, Saul!' I'd be in an airport in a foreign country and people would say, 'Sa-ul, Sa-ul! And I took it off and, like, nobody know me," he explained. "This is what real life is like!"

But don't worry Homeland fans, the beard won't be gone for good. Patinkin said, "It'll come back, you know." Showtime renewed Homeland for a fourth season back in October, which is set to air in 2014.