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The below photographs and information are from Chapter 3 of a book that was written by former international multi-media makeup artist Edward D. M. Jackson Jr. This Chapter 3 section is from his book titled:

How to Become a Makeup Artist
For the Multi-Media Makeup Profession:

Society, Photography, Television, Motion Pictures,
Cable Television, Video Productions, & Live Theater

The below is information is © Copyrighted, and all rights are reserved, and is for your reading pleasure only.

© Copyright all rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or distributed in any form or by any means (including photocopying, recording, online copying, or email,) without the written permission of the author/publisher.


Photo credit: The author, Edward D. M. Jackson Jr.
Vintage Max Factor, L. Leichner, Miners, & M. Stein’s theatrical makeup products were used by early film makeup artists to enhance the beauty of movie stars.

Photo credit: The author, Edward D. M. Jackson Jr.



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Before the invention of films for the early cinema, there were various forms of entertainment such as live outdoor theater performances in Greece, Rome, and elsewhere. Later in Europe, traveling troupes of performers were popular forms of entertainment for the average person that lived in or near small towns. In large cities, various performances were conducted in large buildings that were called “playhouses or theater houses.” The first one was constructed in London, England in 1576. By an English actor and businessman named James Burbage. Stage performers often played various parts in the plays that they performed in, helped with costumes and sets, and applied their own makeup.

They frequently used various products as makeup to enhance their facial appearance for the characters that they portrayed on stage. Some used berries to color their cheeks and lips and also as blood. They ground powdered chalk to whiten the faces; burnt cork was used to blacken the face; Indian ink was used for drawing lines on the face; burnt papers were used for creating gray shadows on the face, wool crepe was used for creating artificial beards, mustaches, eyebrows, sideburns; various artists pigments were used to color the face; lamp black (soot) and oil was used for coloring the lashes dark; black tooth wax (cobblers wax was taken from the shoe cobbler); Nose wax (was taken from the mortician’s parlor); lard and powdered pigments were used to color the face; the soft hair of a rabbit’s foot was used to apply a red cheek color called rouge to the face; etc.

As early as 1749 stage performers were mixing grease (tallow that was derived from the fat of beef or sheep or lard that is derived from the fat of pigs) and with powdered mineral pigments to create a grease-based makeup that they could apply to their faces to make the various characters that they portrayed more natural looking, expressive and believable. They used butter to remove the makeup from their faces.

In 1873 a Berlin-based opera singer named Ludwig Leichner (who was said to have also been a pharmacy student) created and sold a product to his fellow Thespians (actors,) that was described as a greasepaint stick that was used for coloring the face of stage performers. As a pharmacy student, Leichner would most likely have known how to mix wax and grease to make hair pomatums, which was a mixture of hair pomade and powders that were used to powder or color one’s own hair or wig when it was fashionable to do so in the 1700s. It is suggested that he likely used this same method as a starting formula for the creation of his greasepaint makeup formula.

Leichner packaged his greasepaint makeup in paper-covered sticks (tubes.) It quickly caught on with other stage performers. The grease paint sticks ranged from light to dark shades and were numbered (the lightest shade was number #1.) Leichner also created other items such as grease paint liners which were a series of grease paint colors that were contained in contained in shorter sticks. The liners were used to line the face to create aged looks, veins, eyebrows, or other appearances.

His grease paint products had greater intensity of color and covering power than the powder products that actors had previously used. Other actors or individuals may have created similar greasepaint products on a smaller and unpublicized scale, but as a result of Leichner commercially selling his products, he has been given credit for being the first to establish a powder and makeup business that commercially sold greasepaint makeup products.

Grease paint had to be applied 1/8 of an inch thick. It was very greasy on the skin and an ample amount of loose powder was used to “set” the makeup (in order to eliminate the shine and to help prevent the grease paint from melting and moving about on the face. When Greasepaint dried it formed a stiff “mask-like” look of makeup on the actor’s faces and it often cracked when they made facial expressions during their performance. For stage show performances this was not so much of a problem due to the distance that the actors were from the theater audience. No one could see the hairline cracks or the makeup flaking off the actor’s face. But when motion pictures started to become popular, the cracking and flaking as well as the greasy-looking faces was a disaster for actors during their on-screen close-ups.

As for removing Greasepaint, many actors used fresh butter to remove their Greasepaint makeup and some actors saved the fat from a dinner ham and brought it to their theater dressing room in an oilcloth and used the fat of the ham to remove their greasepaint makeup after each performance. Of course, the fat of the ham smelled horrible due to the fat becoming rancid. As a result of actors using pig fat (fat of the ham,) that is where the term “Ham” was coined for describing actors. As in “The actor is a Ham.”


In America, there were a few established theaters in large cities like New York City, Washington, D.C., and Chicago, Illinois. St. Louis Missouri, and San Francisco. California. There were also a few traveling theater productions that were referred to as “road shows.” The traveling theater companies were usually a small group of individuals that traveled to rural towns offering entertainment to paying customers (sometimes they made no money and worked for food.) Many of those that performed in small theaters and especially those that worked on the road show productions, did a variety of jobs besides acting, in order to keep the production costs low and stay in business. Sometimes one sold ticket’s outside, acted in the show, and changed scenery during set changes, at the end of the show they packed the company props and equipment into a wagon or two and perhaps drove the wagons too. They did all of this for the sake of performing as an actor. It was a rough life and such a life attracts a wide variety of people with unusual personalities. Some members of the theater company were drunkards, gamblers, con men, and shady individuals that would do anything to make a dollar (or steal a dollar,) some would do anything to survive. As a result of a few (or many,) unsavory people, they gave a bad reputation to those that worked in or were associated with a legitimate and successful theater production. Because of the unacceptable behavior of some of those that were considered rejects of society, all theater people were considered to be unscrupulous, devious, and shady. Those in the upper crust of society warned of the pitfalls of one personally associating with theater people. It would be equated today by saying to one’s children “Stay away from drug addicts and do not associate with their friends.”

It has Is been traditional for stage actors/actresses to apply their own makeup for their live theater and road show performances. Why? Because there was no one willing to pay for someone to apply an actor’s makeup. It was an extra expense and the producers did not want to pay for such a service and actors could not afford such a luxury (and if they could, they did not want to pay for it.) As a result, it was unheard of having someone apply an actor’s makeup.

When the first silent films started to be filmed in New Jersey and New York City, the film companies hired professional stage actors because they were experienced in performing. Unfortunately, stage actors were not great film actors, because their performances on the stage did not translate well on film. Their normal stage acting gestures were often over-exaggerated and looked awkward in films and especially in their close-up performances. It took time for the film actors, directors, and producers to figure out what worked and what did not work well, in order for the actors to successfully act their parts in a short “play” or story for the camera. After seeing the results of their previously filmed scenes, the actors with the guidance of a director slowly learned how to perform for the camera and not for a stage production, which is a very different style of performing.

The early films were simple and at the same time terribly made, they gave one the Impression that anyone could become an actor and many did. As “film acting improved,” leading actors/actresses (many of whom came from the theater,) continued to apply their makeup for their film performances. As for the main female actors that were not professional stage performers, they were usually pretty young women that desired to be an actress in the new moving picture plays. Once they were “discovered,” they were often hired because of their youth and above-normal beauty. Such actresses preferred to apply their own makeup since their looks is what got them their job, and they were fearful of someone not being capable of properly enhancing their “great natural beauty” as well as they did themselves. Vanity will always live on.

However, as films became larger and more complex, they required the help of someone with makeup knowledge to assist the actors with special makeup needs, such as wigs, facial hair, dirty or sooty looks, and blood for battle or fight scenes. Also, help was needed for the background extras who were often non-professional actors who showed up around a film production office looking for work as an “extra” that worked in the “background” of a movie.

As a result of a film needing someone with some makeup knowledge to help improve the quality of their film production and to also save time and money, the film producers decided to hire someone to help with their makeup needs. In the beginning of film productions, there were no official freelance makeup artists to hire. As a result, a few unemployed actors (who possessed theatrical stage makeup application experience,) were hired to work on films, by assisting actors whenever they were needed. The unemployed actors were not called makeup artists, they were referred to as “makeup specialists.” The term “makeup” had been Invented by Max factor around 1920 (it may have possibly been used before that time by Max before he decided to officially use it in his advertising publications.) The “makeup specialists” were hired because they had prior experience working with makeup and were hired to apply natural, beauty, and character makeup to a few individual leading actors/actresses and supporting actors, (who accepted their experience as makeup specialists.) They also worked with the background extras who needed makeup assistance.

The newly employed “makeup specialists” were unemployed actors or those that were trying to become an actor. They willingly accepted the job in order to earn a living, until they could (hopefully,) be offered an acting job (and they may also have accepted the work in the hopes of possibly being discovered on a movie set as they worked!) Many people wanted to become an actor because the new silent films were so exciting to see, that they made almost everyone desire to become an actor. However, some of the “makeup specialists” enjoyed the steady work and salary so much, that they decided to become full-time freelance makeup specialists for any studio that would hire them. It was steady work that paid one’s bills and kept one fed, compared to being an unemployed starving actor.

Usually, only one “makeup specialist” was hired for a film until film productions grew bigger. Later in time, extra makeup specialists were hired to care for a large cast, such as the 1927 classic film “King of Kings,” which was directed by Cecil B. DeMille. The makeup artist for the film was Monte Westmore, who was the oldest son of George Westmore. George was a wig maker and hairdresser, who had seen a few of the early movies and he too desired to become a makeup artist (along with his wig-making and hairdressing skills,) and offer his services to the film studios. Along the way, he had trained his sons to make wigs, work with hair and apply makeup (in order to earn extra money.) Monte Westmore at the time was 24 years old, he had been hired by Cecil B. DeMille at $250.00 a week for unlimited hours (when an average person was earning about $20.00 a week,) to be the head of the makeup department for the film King of Kings. Since it was a large cast, Monte hired 22 makeup assistants (including his father George, sister Dorothy, and his three brothers Perc, Ern, and Wally,) to help with the main cast of actors, as well as a large number of background extras.

The early makeup specialists used theatrical makeup that was manufactured by the L. Leichner Company (from Germany,) and/or the M. Steins Company (from New York City.) They applied grease paint as a face-covering foundation. The L. Leichner and M. Stein brands were well-known brands of stage makeup. They were used before the 1914 invention of Max Factors’ “flexible grease-paint,” which Max Factor later called “Max Factors Supreme Grease-paint.” It was a much thinner makeup foundation and allowed the actor to freely use their facial expressions without fear of their face makeup foundation “cracking or flaking off,” which happened when one used the other brands of grease paint that were applied thick and were heavily powdered. By 1920, Max Factor who was selling both L. Leichner and M. Steins in his store, started to “sell” his brand of Max Factor Supreme grease paint to all actors, due to his being snubbed by the L. Leichner Company when he visited their offices in Europe. In 1928, Max Factor introduced his new Panchromatic makeup that was compatible with the new Panchromatic film and the new lighting system that was introduced.

“Blending powers” as they were then called, were used to “set” the grease-paint foundation and to help diminish the shiny look of the grease paint. The actor’s eyes were lined with black grease-stick pencils. Burnt cork was used to create an unshaven beard-growth appearance on the face, to cover bald spots, and to create a dirty look on the skin when it was desired. Before the invention of Lace Wigs and Lace hairpieces, a braided theatrical product called crepe wool (also referred to as crepe hair, which is acquired from the wool of sheep,) was used as a substitute for hair and it was used to create artificial mustaches, beards, eyebrows, etc., for actors to wear when an adhesive called “spirit gum”: was applied to the skin, in order to attach the crepe wool “hair” to it. A red-brown grease-paint liner was used for shading the hollows of the eye area. Dry powdered rouge was applied to the cheeks by using the hair attached to a “rabbit’s foot” as a brush applicator. A Carmine red grease paint stick was also used to add color to the lips of women to give them a red lip color. White makeup or simple white flower (which was used for baking bread,) was applied to give one’s skin a pale or sickly look and the eyes were lined with Carmine red grease-paint stick to make them look sickly or give the appearance of the person dying. Different shades of grease-paint liners were used for creating an aged appearance. Also, different shades of grease-paint sticks were used to simulate blood and bruise effects. Waxes were used to simulate a broken nose, a scar, or a burn effect. And in the 1920s, latex rubber noses and chins were being made and used.

Many of the new silent film makeup specialists had learned the art of applying makeup on themselves for their stage performances, or by working in a few early silent films and had acquired a basic knowledge of how to apply makeup, or by watching others and experimenting on themselves through trial and error. A few individuals, who had no prior stage or silent film acting experience, such as the wig maker and hairdresser George Westmore, (who is said to have learned the art of applying makeup in 1913 from a few of his lady friends who were prostitutes,) had purposely come to California in 1917 and simply talked his way into acquiring a job as a makeup artist at the Selig-Polyscope Studio, with no prior film work experience (the gift of gab works for some.) However, he later did very well by working as a wig maker, hairdresser, and makeup artist. His handsome, well-polished, and talented sons later outshined him in the film industry, they are famously referred to as “The Westmores of Hollywood.”

Some more ambitious actors such as Cecil Holland became more advanced in the profession as a background extra. As a result of his highly skilled makeup abilities, he became the head of the MGM makeup department in 1925. Film making and becoming a makeup artist was new and almost everyone wanted to be a part of the new entertainment media. It was an exciting time in an exciting profession and in an exciting new industry.

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Actor Buster Keaton in a film scene, looking at fellow actor Charlie Chaplin apply his makeup. This was often how real inexperienced early actors learned how to apply their makeup, by watching stage actors or those that were more experienced applying their makeup.

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Many of the early stage and film actresses preferred to apply their own makeup since there were few experienced makeup artists skilled in. applying female beauty makeup and they were fearful of someone not enhancing their beauty as well as they did and destroying their career since their beauty was what attracted movies goers and created fans.

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Actress Greta Garbo making herself up for the 1926 film “The Torrent”

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Note the difference in images between the black and white and color photos

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Actor Lon Chaney trying on one of his artificial teeth that he used in his film performances. He was an actor, but he had learned early in his career to create different looking characters on himself, in order to be hired as a different character and be paid more for working as a different character on the same film as one of many background extras.

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The original makeup box of actor Lon Chaney that he used to make himself up for his numerous films. It is on display at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles, California.

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Above is actor Lon Chaney as he naturally appeared with his makeup box and on the right is Lon again as he appeared as the Phantom character for the film “The Phantom of the Opera” holding with his makeup box that he used to apply his own makeup for all of the films that he appeared in as different characters. As a result of his skill as a makeup artist, Lon Chaney later became a featured acter in films.

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Lon Chaney created this look for the 1928 film, “Laugh Clown Laugh”

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Actor Lon Chaney created his own makeup for the above 1923 film
“The Hunchback of Norte Dame”

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Lon Chaney also created this unique-looking character for the 1927 film
“London After Midnight.”

Stage and film performances have always attracted audiences to them as a form of group entertainment. Today, stage and film performances are a modern version of a small group of primitive people sitting around a campfire listening to one or more of their members describe or demonstrate through gestures to the group, who were not at the hunt, how they took part in the successful hunt that led to the killing of the animal that everyone was now enjoying as a meal. It would be exciting for those that were not at the hunt, to watch each of the hunter’s gestures and perform their part of the event, as they sat around a campfire watching them just like audiences sit and watch an adventure film today. At the end of their story, each hunter could bask in the praise of those around the campfire, just like stage actors do at the end of a stage performance, as they enjoy the adulation of those around them. Film performances still fulfill the same entertainment function of pleasure, drama, and excitement to those that watch them.


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One of the early American theater performers was a man named Cecil Claude Holland. He was born March 29, 1887, in Gravesend, Kent, England, and came to America in 1904. He arrived with a letter of introduction to a relative that was working for a stock theater company that presented various plays. He managed to get a job with the theater company and like many in the theater that was not an actor, worked at a mixed assortment of jobs, such as background extra in the plays and a property man moving stage scenes during and after the plays. He later worked as an actor for several traveling road show companies that provided entertainment to those living in the small rural towns that dotted the west. Sometimes the theater companies made money and sometimes they quickly went out of business due to not making money. It was a vagabond life of one never knowing if the next town would make money or if you would be stranded for a lack of it. After being stranded and hungry a few times, he decided to give up acting and learn a real trade in order to receive a steady income so he could maintain a modest roof over his head and some food in his stomach. He studied and worked in engraving and etching for a few years. But like many people in the entertainment industry, he missed “The smell of the greasepaint and the roar of the crowd,” an old theatrical term meaning he missed performing and being acknowledged as an artist on the stage. Working in the entertainment industry is unlike any other profession, it is unique when compared to other jobs. One’s soul is addicted to it or one could say that it is like being in love with someone and is difficult to leave.

Cecil longed to return to theater life. He knew that he was not handsome enough to be a leading man and from his prior knowledge of the theater and its inner workings, he knew that in order to survive in the theater he would have to possess special skills that would make him employable. He decided to perfect his character makeup abilities so he would be often hired to work by portraying different characters in a play and not be recognized as the same performer that was seen in a previous scene. Hiring one person to play several characters would save the theater company money by requiring fewer actors to perform and pay. Cecil continued to struggle in the theater performing in different parts.

In 1913, he became interested in working in a new media that was called “the cinema.” He heard of a place called the Selig Film Company that made motion pictures and it was hiring actors to be background extras. Sometimes such employees work for a day as a day player or for a longer period of time. Due to his previous experience as an actor and at applying makeup for different characters, he was soon acknowledged as an asset by the company and was given $3.00 dollars a day as a “stock player” because he could not only act, but could transform himself quickly into different looking characters and save the company money by not having to hire other extras to work.

In 1917, he served duty as a soldier in France during World War I and was granted US citizenship for his service. Upon returning to the US, he resumed his former profession of working as a character actor in films. For one of his performances, he thought of the idea of using the delicate white “skin” of a boiled egg to place it over his eyeball (like a contact lens,) to create the effect of a blind eye.

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Cecil Holland applying makeup to actress Joan Crawford for the film “Our Dancing Daughters”

His creative inventiveness in appearing differently in the many films that he appeared in earned him the right to refer to himself in advertisements as “The man of a Thousand Faces.” Later when he retired from acting, his actor friend Lon Chaney who was like Cecil, also gifted at making up his face for his numerous character portrayals, asked Cecil for permission to use the wording as adverting material for his own acting career. Lon Chaney also copied his technique of using the white inner skin of a boiled egg to create the effect of a blind eye for his role of “Singapore Joe” in the 1926 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer film titled “The Road to Mandalay.”

In 1927, Cecil managed to be hired to establish the first official makeup artist position in a studio. He became the head of the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Makeup Department. Also in 1927, Cecil wrote a book titled “The Art of Makeup for Stage & Screen.” It is the first known book for instructing one in the art of makeup for motion pictures. As a makeup artist, he worked with many of the famous stars of his time such as Clark Gabel, Helen Hayes, Lionel Barrymore, Greta Garbo, Lewis Stone, Marion Davies, Jean Harlow, William Powell, Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, Norma Shearer, John Gilbert, Eleanor Boardman, Boris Karloff, Shirley Temple, Nigel de Bruelier, etc., on a variety o films such as The Lost World, 1925 – The Sin of Madelon Claudet, 1931 – Son of India, 1931 – Grand Hotel, 1932. Rasputin and the Empress, 1932. – The Mask of Fu Manchu, 1932, and many others. He created many masterful appearances for those that he worked with, including the look for the German-born Caucasian film actress Luise Rainer, for her portrayal of the Chinese character “O-Lan” in the 1937 film classic ‘The Good Earth.” Her performance enhanced by his wonderful makeup earned her an Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role. The film was also nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture, Best Director (Sidney Franklin,) and Best Film Editing (Basil Wrangell.)

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Cecil applying hairline makeup to Boris Karloff for the film<br>
“The Mask of Fu Manchu”

Cecil left MGM in 1934 to freelance because his skill as a makeup artist was in demand by the other studios and they paid more for his freelance services than he was presently earning. He worked on many more famous actors and actresses and is known for drawing the circle around the eye of “Pete the dog” that often appeared in the “Our Gang” comedies that were later known as the “Little Rascals” that appeared in the movies and later on television.

One may view a video on about Cecil Holland and a brief story about his work and a few of the actors/actresses that he worked with. His daughter Meg Holland-Sargent does the narrative about her father.

View the below website:

Cecil Holland Hollywood’s First Makeup Artist – William Forsche

Cecil Holland passed away at the age of 86 on July 29, 1973. Because he was loved and admired by many people in the industry, Howard Smit the former Business Agent for the California Makeup Artists and Hairstylists Guild, IATSE, Local 796, said:“Cecil Holland was a man among men; the Daddy of the makeup profession.”

Around the same time that Cecil Holland was performing as an actor and establishing the first official makeup department in a studio, another man had arrived in America from Russia and would eventually become one of Americas most famous makeup artists and manufacturer of theatrical and consumer cosmetics, his name was Max Factor.


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Above is Thomas Edison’s “1893” Black Maria film studio in West Orange, N. J.

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Above is Thomas Edison’s “1907” glass-enclosed Bronx, New York Film Studio

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Above is a picture showing Edison’s Bronx Film Making ‘Factory” sets next to one another

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Above is a replication of the original Thomas Edison “1893” film studio in West Orange, New Jersey that was named the “Black Maria.” It was given the name “Black Maria” because of its resemblance to a police patrol wagon that was used at the time period to hold offenders until they could be transported to the local jail.

The First Film Studios in the World were in New Jersey and New York City

Before Hollywood became the film capital of the world on the west coast, New Jersey and New York City were the Hollywood of the east coast for approximately 20 years. It was where Thomas Edison lay claim to have stated that he had invented one of the world’s greatest inventions, the first American motion picture camera. Actually, another man had invented it. Edison simply agreed to purchase the rights to manufacture the machine and produce the film for it as long as he could advertise the invention as his own in order to not only make money by selling copies but to also enhance his prestige and image for posterity. He renamed the invention the Vitascope machine.

In 1893, after creating one of the Vitascope cameras, Edison had the first film “studio” in the world built, on his manufacturing and laboratory property in West Orange, New Jersey so he could have his employees film scenes with the new Vitascope camera. The “studio” was a simple wooden structure that was covered with black tar paper. It cost $637.67 to build and contained one small room for filming simple scenes. The light was let in from a hinged roof that was lifted up by the use of a rope and pully in order to permit sunlight to come into the small studio and illuminate the room which enabled the camera to film the brief scenes. Because the studio relied upon bright sunlight in order to film its scenes, it was built onto a circular tract that was moved 15 degrees every hour in order to keep the sunlight coming into the studio, so the camera could capture the moving images of the actors performing inside. If it was a cloudy or snowy day, there was no filming due to a lack of sunlight. Edison did not direct or operate the camera to film his short films which (were each about one-minute long,) he had his employees make them while he was occupied with other matters. On April 14, 1894, Edison exhibited the first motion pictures in a Kinetoscope parlor in New York City, they were the first commercially exhibited motion pictures. The first films shown were scenes of acrobats, parades, jugglers, etc. The studio stayed in operation until 1901

By 1901 Edison had established a new studio where more of his employee’s made films in a glass-enclosed studio on the rooftop of a building at 41 East 21st Street in Manhattan. Around 1904, about 80% of Edison’s films told a brief story, which was more interesting than seeing people walking on the street or a trolly car moving. Such films were called actualities. People quickly got tired of boring “actuality film scenes”. As a result, that is why he started to produce “moving picture plays.” They were similar to plays performed on a theater stage but were filmed by a camera for an audience to view at a later time in the many small storefront theaters. Due to the films telling a story, they were slightly longer in length and time and were filmed on one reel of film. Such films were called one-reelers. Which were around 1,000 feet long and took about ten minutes to watch. These new picture-play films were more interesting to the viewers than the previous actuality films. It stayed in operation until 1906 and the equipment was transferred to his new studio in the Bronx.

You may view one of Thomas Edison’s 1901 short films at the below site:
It is titled: What happened on 23rd Street, New York City

In 1907, Edison had a very large glass-enclosed facility built on Decatur Avenue and Oliver Place in the Bronx section of New York. The new larger studio was referred to as a “factory” because it produced many films at the same time each day. They were all silent films since sound for movies had not yet been invented. As a result, it was not an issue for different directors to give directions to their actors that were performing right next to one another. The different film sets were separated by a simple temporary “prop wall.” Each wall not only served as a barrier to separate each of the “studio’s” floor spaces but they were used as part of the walls for each studio’s set.

In 1908, Thomas Edison formed a “Motion Picture Patients Company,” which was an attempt by him to try and control the film industry. It was referred to as “Edison’s Trust” because it consisted of Edison and several film-producing companies (Biograph, Essanay Studios, Kalem Company, George Kleine Production s, Lubin Studios, George Melies, Pathe, Selig Studios, and Vitagraph studios.) They dominated the distribution process through the “General Film company.” The Trust controlled the making of film cameras and the film used in them. Edison was trying to make various small independent film companies pay him a fee for the use of his patients. The trust was broken up and dissolved in 1915 because the court of the Federal government considered it to be an illegal monopoly. As a result, it appears that Edison seemed to have lost interest in the movie business. Maybe he thought with so much competition that it was not worth it for him to continue producing films for an industry that was perhaps only a novelty industry and he did realize that the film industry was only beginning! In 1918, Edison sold his Bronx movie-making factory and his entire film business to the Lincoln & Parker Film Company from Massachusetts.

Between the years 1893 and 1918, Thomas Edison’s three film studios produced approximately 1,200 movies, of which 54 were feature-length films, and the rest were “shorts” (which, was a term that was used to state that they were short films that averaged 15 minutes or less in viewing time.) A few of the most well-known Edison films are The Kiss – 1893, The Great Train Robbery – 1903, Alice in Wonderland – 1910, the first-ever Frankenstein film – 1910, and the first-ever “serial film” What Happened to Mary – 1912”

Around 1918, many of the film studios had left or were in the process of leaving the east coast to go make their films in and around Hollywood, California. Those that had left earlier, felt that it was far away from “Edison’s Trust” detectives (referred to as “thugs”), who would break cameras and destroy the films of those that did not pay Edison’s Trust fee. And at that time period, 3,000 miles was “far away,” and it was expensive and time-consuming to take a train to California.

The weather in California was mild, warm, and basically sunny all year round, which meant that the studios could film almost every day, compared to the cold., snowy, and dreary cloudy days on the east coast where filming depended on the sun and weather. Also, as a result of the weather being warm, there was no need to purchase expensive coal to keep the cold glass-enclosed studios heated like it had to be done on the east coast. In addition to wonderful weather, California offered mountains, lakes, beaches, hills, deserts, trees, and land that was cheap and plentiful. It was a giant win for the movie studios. It is amazing that they never thought of moving sooner!

Since California was considered a wilderness area and had fewer people than the crowded east coast cities, the film companies offered stage actors considerable sums of money and long-term contracts to come to California and perform in their films. Audiences were starting to become “fans” of specific actors and actresses and desired to see their favorite actors in films, as a result, it was desirable for the studios to have a stable of popular actors under contract to keep the “fans” coming to see their favorite star in one of their studio’s films. Just as gold had once been found in the 1800s and brought people to California, where boom towns sprung up, the Hollywood studios had created a “boom town” filled with many people from the east and was producing gold in a different form.

In the early years of movie-making in New Jersey and New York, a few people realized that they could make money by becoming makeup artists for the actors that appeared in the new films being produced. Makeup artists also served as valets, secretaries, personal assistants, and anything else that the actor desired (just as some do today!) Many of the new makeup artists were unemployed stage actors, who had applied their own makeup for their stage performances whenever they had an opportunity to work. But in those days not every actor worked much (just like today,) there are more actors than there are jobs for them (just like today.) Some stage actors realized that they could work more by applying makeup to other actors than they could as a “sometime actor” that played in bit parts in stage performances. The desire to eat and pay for one’s rent has always been the goal of unemployed actors. And if one could not be an actor, it was best to earn some money and “dream” (as actors always do,) of being discovered on a film set working as a bit player or while serving another actor.

As for why others became makeup artists, a few individuals were simply in awe of the movie business and desired to be a part of it by any means possible, just as young people are today in awe of the entertainment industry and desire to be a part of it. Makeup artists come from all walks of life. The industry welcomes all, just as the Statue of Liberty did to the early immigrants coming to America.

After many years of numerous makeup artists working as individual freelancers, later in time, a few of them got together and talked among themselves in reference to their desire to have set working hours, safe working conditions, better pay, etc. They formed a group of makeup artists and asked the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE,) for a charter. As a result of 16 makeup artists getting together to support one another, the east coast makeup artists union was formed on February 18, 1949. This was 12 years after the California IATSE, Local 706 Makeup Artists and Hairstylists Guild was formed (which was formed 10 years after the Motion picture Makeup Artists Association (MPMAA,) was formed.)


The original New York IATSE Local 798 Charter members

The New York Makeup Artists & Hairstylists, IATSE, Local 798 union was created to represent makeup artists and hairstylists in film, television, theater, commercials, and live theater events on the east coast of the United States and its jurisdictional states. Local 798’s Charter was requested by: Ira Senz, Rudoph Liszt, Harry Burkhardt, Fred Ryle, Richard Willis, Edward Scanlon, Herman Buckman, Robert Jiras, Joseph Del Russo, Edward Senz, Bert Tuey, Albert Gaston, Morgan Jones, Ms. Beatrice (Betty,) De Stephano, and Adolph Senz.

There is no mention of Dick Smith belonging to the group in 1949, Dick Smith had formed the first ever makeup department for the NBC television network in New York in 1945. He was part of management as the head of the makeup department.



Photo credit:


Richard Emerson “Dick” Smith was born June 26, 1922, in Larchmont, New York. While he was attending Yale University, he learned how to do makeup from a 1936 book by Ivard Strauss called “Paint, Powder Makeup: The art of theater makeup from the amateur and classroom viewpoint. As a result of being fascinated by the book and experimenting with various makeup products, he offered and began to apply makeup to the members of the Yale drama group.

After serving in the military during World War II, Dick tried to enter the film industry in California by submitting photographs of his makeup work but he was turned down. His father suggested that he try the new television medium that was just starting to catch on in New York. In 1945, at the age of 23, he was selected as the first-ever Director of Makeup for WNBC. Which was the National Broadcasting Corporation (NBC,) network in New York City and was located in the NBC building at 30 Rockefeller Center. He worked at NBC for 14 years applying makeup for a wide variety of actors and individuals that appeared on various NBC television shows and left in 1959 to freelance.

Many people never knew the real reason why Dick left NBC after first establishing he department14-years before. Dick Smith left the NBC studio to freelance in 1959, after a dispute over his being replaced as the operational head of the department, due to his being a union member and at the same time of his being the director of the makeup department. Many of the later-in-time makeup artists who admired everything about Dick’s fame as a special makeup effects makeup artist, never knew the simple reason of why he left NBC. Most people simply assumed that he had left to work on films and earn more money. Dick loved his title as “Director of Makeup” for the NBC television network as much as a father loved his children and would have never left his “NBC home.”

The NBC corporate executives felt that it would be in the best interests of NBC to have a non-union member be in charge of the department since it felt that having a union member be in charge, was considered to be a conflict of interest. Under the new NBC proposed arrangement, Dick would still receive the same pay scale and retain the title of being the head of the makeup department, but his company employee receptionist /secretary would now be officially his “boss” and in charge of the business side of operating the department and the scheduling of makeup, hair, and wardrobe for the various NBC programs. Dick could still request specific makeup artists for the different shows that needed makeup artists. This change naturally upset Dick, who had felt demoted and not appreciated for his founding the makeup department and working hard in making it the greatest of all of the television makeup departments. As painful as it must have been for Dick to leave at the time, it forced Dick to freelance and he did make a great deal of money and become famous as a special makeup effects makeup artist on numerous films, a successful author, and an educator that is still deeply respected many years after he has passed away.

As the Head of the NBC makeup department, he built up a staff of 25 makeup artists but often had to hire additional makeup artists for the numerous shows that were produced by the NBC network. Many of the young NBC staff makeup artists later went on to become famous in their own time. This time period was referred to as the Golden Age of television. During his tenure at NBC, Dick helped to develop and select various makeup shades that would be adopted by NBC television and the television industry as the standard for color television makeup use. One has to realize that when he started television was still in its infancy television shows were presented in black and white and shades on television appeared on a grayscale from light to dark. As a result, makeup artists had to use Hersey’s chocolate syrup for stimulating the effect of blood because it registered on the grayscale as a dark color. If one used a natural red color, it would not register dark enough. Dick also developed the use of foam latex and plastics for makeup use and created a professional makeup lab for creating prosthetics that was the envy of the east coast makeup industry. A large oven in the lab was used to bake the two-piece stone molds that held liquid foam latex, that when cured made lightweight foam latex rubber appliances that were later adhered to the actor’s skin with spirit gum adhesive.

At that time period, special effects makeup was referred to as “prosthetic makeup” and it was often used to create three-dimensional appliances for simulating old age looks, monsters, fantasy appearances, noses, scars, etc. Such items were originally made as one-piece masks that were made by using liquid latex painted into a mold. But Dick was not happy with the results of the one-piece masks because they limited the actor’s ability to express their facial features and did not look realistic enough. As a result, he started to experiment with creating three-piece foam latex pieces that gave performers more freedom of movement and a more realistic natural appearance. He also created “bladders” that blew up with air to create various effects for films. He was a uniquely gifted and inventive individual that explored many fields for products that he could use in the makeup profession.

While Dick was working at the NBC television network, he was also writing an instructional makeup book (in a small comic book style format.) The book was finally published (in 1965,) and was titled “Dick Smith’s Do-It-Yourself Monster Makeup Handbook.” It sold for $0.60, but today, original editions are currently being sold for $125.00 on His book was a special edition of Forrest J. Ackerman’s magazine series titled “Famous Monsters of Filmland.” A newer more upscale version of this book was published in paperback in 1985. The introduction to the newer book was written by his protégé and friend, famed special effects makeup artist, Rick Backer. It is currently offered for sale on for $134.04. In 1962, while he was still employed at NBC TV, he did the makeup for the film “Requiem for a Heavyweight.”

Photo credit: The author, Edward D. M. Jackson Jr.

Dick’s original “Do-It-Yourself Monster Makeup handbook”
Published by Famous Monsters of Filmland

Photo credit: The author, Edward D. M. Jackson Jr.

Above is a copy of Dick Smith’s 1985 newer version of his
“Do-It-Yourself Monster Makeup Handbook”
with the Introduction by Rick Baker.
Published by Imagine Incorporated

Photo credit: Dick Smith

Dick Smith as he appeared in the early years in his home in Larchmont, New York surrounded by the things that he loved most

Photo credit: Dick Smith

Dick applied a crepe wool bear and nose for actor Jose Ferrer for the 1949 production of “Cyrano de Bergerac.”

Photo credit: Dick Smith

This is a 1959 makeup application for the famed actor Sir Lawrence Olivier. His character is supposed to have developed leprosy for a television production titled
“The Moon and Sixpence.”

Photo credit: Dick Smith

This is one of Dicks 1960 makeup applications for a television show titled “Way Out” The actor is Barry Morse who is portraying a character who has half of his face “erased.”

Photo credit:

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Dick Smith transformed the actor Jonathan Frid into the 150-year-old vampire character Barnabas Collins for the 1970 television series titled
“Dark Shadows”

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Dick with a few pieces of his Little Big Man creations that are on display in his basement workshop/lab

Photo credit: Dick Smith

Dick is beginning the application of several foam latex appliances to the face of actor Dustin Hoffman for his role as Jack Crabb in the 1970 film
“Little Big Man”

He is being assisted by fellow Local 798 makeup artist, Reginald “Reg” Lewis Tackley

Photo credit: Dick Smith

Instead of applying a single one-piece mask (which was the common practice at the time,) to age the actor Dustin Hoffman to be 121 years old, Dick developed the unique technique of applying several individual foam latex appliances in order to give the actor natural movement of his facial expressions which a single one-piece facemask could not do.

Photo credit: Dick Smith

Besides applying several foam latex appliances Dick added very thin eyelid appliances and colored contact lenses to create a very aged appearance. It is reported that it took five hours to apply the full makeup application.

Photo credit: Dick Smith

The above photo displays the completed look of Dicks makeup age Dustin Hoffman from age 17 to age 121 for his film role.

Photo credit: Dick Smith

In the above photo from the left is Dick Smith, actor Marlon Brando and fellow Local 708 makeup artist Reginald “Reg” Tackley who worked with Dick on several films, including the making of the famed 1972 classic film, “The Godfather.”

Photo credit: Dick Smith

Dick created several old-age looks for Marlon Brando’s character, Dick applied old-age stipple, discolored Brando’s teeth, thinned and colored his hair, and inserted “dental plumper’s” inside of his mouth to create a jowl effect. As Brando was to age more so, Dick applied age spots to his skin as well as shadows

Photo credit: Dick Smith

The above picture shows Brando as the aged Mafia boss Vito Corleone

Photo credit: Dick Smith

Dick transformed actress Linda Blair into a possessed character for her character in the 1973 film “The Exorcist”

Photo credit: Dick Smith

Dick created the old-age makeup for the actor Max Von Sydow, who played Father Merrin in the 1973 film, The Exorcist.

Photo credit: The author, Edward D. M. Jackson Jr.

The above bust of Max Von Sydow who portrayed Father Merrin in the Exorcist film was created by Dick Smith. It is one of only 12 busts that were made and given to special friends of Dick Smith at the completion of the Exorcist film. Dick Smith presented this one to his friend and fellow makeup artist Reginald “Reg” Lewis Tackley. Shortly before Reg Tackley passed away at the age of 93, he presented the bust to Edward D. M. Jackson Jr., who had been his student, long-time friend, fellow makeup artist, and author of the Guide Book “How to Become a Makeup Artist.”

Photo credit: Dick Smith

Dick created Robert De Niro’s unique makeup look for the 1976 film “Taxi Driver.” He applied a plastic bald cap to De Nero’s head to create a bald appearance and then he blew finely chopped hair onto the cap to simulate a freshly shaven head effect, afterward, he applied a Mohawk-style hairpiece on the top of De Niro’s head.

Dick preparing actor F. Murray Abraham for his role in the film “Amadeus”

Photo credit: Dick Smith

Dick preparing actor F. Murray Abraham for his role in the film “Amadeus”

Photo credit: Dick Smith

Actor F. Murray Abraham’s character appearance for the film “Amadeus”

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Dick Smith was one of Hollywood’s and New York’s legendary Special Effects Makeup Artists and was a unique inventor of techniques that benefitted makeup artists and inspired those that desired to become special makeup effects artists around the world.

Photo credit: Richard Harbaugh/AMPAS


Dick Smith worked at NBC TV from 1945 until 1964 and when he decided to resign from his position as the Director of the Makeup Department for NBC television, he went out to work in the film and television industry as a freelance makeup artist. In 1967, he was honored with an Emmy Award for the production of “Mark Twain Tonight.” He went on to create looks for many famed movies. A few of them were: “House of Dark Shadows” 1970 (he was the Special Effects Makeup Artist,) “Little Big Man” 1970 (he was the Makeup Artist to Dustin Hoffman,) “The Godfather” 1972 (he was the Makeup Artist,) “The Exorcist” 1973 (he was presented with a Golden Scroll for his work as a Makeup Artist,) “The Sunshine Boys” 1975 (he was the Makeup Artist,) “Taxi Driver” 1976 (he did the Special Makeup,) “The Sentinel” 1977 (he did the Special Makeup,) “Altered States” 1980 (he was presented with a Saturn Award for his Special Makeup,) “Ghost Story” 1981 (he did the Special Makeup,) Scanners” 1981 (he was presented with a Saturn Award for his Special Makeup,) “Amadeus” 1985 (he shared an Academy Award & a BAFTA Award with Paul Le Blanc for his aging work on the actor F. Murray Abraham,) “Forever Young” 1992 (he was the Special Effects Makeup Artist.)

You may view the below videos:

# 1 – Makeup artist Dick Smith interviewed by Jordu Schell Part 1 of 2 – By
William Forsche

# 2 – Makeup artist Dick Smith interviewed by Jordu Schell part 2 of 2 – By
William Forsche

# 3 – “Dick Smith Old Age Makeup (part 1) – By William Forsche

# 4 – Dick Smith Old Age Makeup (part 2) – By William Forsche

# 5 – Academy Award Winning MU Artist Dick Smith Discusses Age
Makeup on Movie Magic – By William Forsche

# 6 – Rick Baker and Dick Smith TV interview 1981 – By Howling1

# 7 – F. Murray Abraham discussing Dick Smith’s Academy Award
Winning Makeup for “Amadeus” 1984 – By William Forsche

# 8 – Dick Smith’s Special Makeup Effects – By Scott Essman

# 9 – Exorcist 1973 Home Movies Featuring Makeup Effects by Dick Smith
– By William Forsche

# 10 – Dick Smith on discovering stage makeup while at Yale –
EMMYLEGENDS.ORG – By Foundation Interviews

# 11 – Dick Smith on Little Big Man – By Mowhonic1

# 12 – “Dark Shadows – Dick Smith Interview O1” – By Collingsport1966

# 13 – Dick Smith – Makeup FX Interview 1980 – Altered States – By Howling 1

# 14 – Dick Smith Receives Honorary Award at the 2011 Governors Awards
– By Oscars

# 15 – Dick Smith Makeup (Movie Magic Episode) – By William Forsche

# 16 – Instant Index – Hollywood Makeup Artist Dick Smith, Dead at 92 –
By ABC News

# 17 – Godfather of Makeup” Dick Smith Dead at 92 – By Wochit

# 18 – Godfather of Makeup” Dick Smith Dead at 92 – By Makeup Artis

# 19 – The Godfather of Makeup Dick Smith Dead at 92 – By Makeup Artist

During the latter part of his career, Dick wrote a lengthy makeup artist training book in a loose-leaf binder form. It was very informative and covered all aspects (up to that time period,) of special makeup effects training. He had used all of the knowledge that he had acquired during his many years in the industry to offer to young makeup artists that aspired to be special effects makeup artists. His course was very successful. He also had a contract with a Japanese makeup training school to go to Japan to teach his style of special effects techniques to their students.


1204 Main Street, Suite 230
Brandford, CT., 06403, USA


Advanced Make-Up Course Complete

Mr. Smith was a member of the Makeup Artists & Hairstylists Union, IATSE, Local 798 in New York, and the Makeup Artists & Hairstylists Guild, IATSE, Local 706, in California. In 2011, the Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS,) presented Dick Smith with an Honorary Academy Award for his “unparalleled mastery of texture, shade, form, and illusion.” On February 15, 2014, the Makeup Artists Guild of IATSE Local 706 presented Dick with its Lifetime Achievement Award at the Makeup Artists & Hairstylists Guild Awards. Mr. Smith passed away at the age of 92 in Los Angeles, California on July 30, 2014.


Photo credit: Dick Smith

The above photo is from the left is makeup artist Dick Smith, and actress Linda Blair being applied makeup for the Exorcist movie. Makeup artist Reginald “Reg” Lewis Tackley is seen assisting Dick. Reg worked with Dick on several films.

Photo credit: Dick Smith

In the above photo from the left is Dick Smith, actor Marlon Brando and Reginald “Reg” Lewis Tackley during the making of the famed 1972 film, “The Godfather.”

Photo credit: Dock Smith

Special effects makeup artist Dick Smith is coloring the teeth of actor Marlon Brando in order to age their appearance for his role of the Maia boos Vito Corleone. Reg is assisting Dick with the application of this procedure. Reg was a long-time colleague and co-worker with Dick during their careers.

Photo credit: Reginald “Reg” Lewis Tackley

Reg working at the Metropolitan Opera House with one of its singers in 1978

Reginald Lewis “Reg” Tackley was born on February 24, 1914, and passed away on March 1, 2006, at the age of 93. He was referred to as “Reg” or “Reggie” by his friends and those whom he worked with. Reg was a talented multi-media makeup artist that worked in fashion photography, television, television commercials, films, and theater.

During his career, he did fashion, straight, character, and special effect makeup. He was born in Mexico, New York but his family later moved to Syracuse New York, where he was raised and graduated from Blodgett Vocational High School. He worked as a hairdresser in a local department store in downtown Syracuse, but he felt bored, unfulfilled, and restrained personally and artistically. Outwardly, he was basically a quiet, shy, and modest person. But deep in the soul of the Syracuse farm boy was an individual that longed to escape from his quiet and reserved life and live among the bright lights and the hustle and bustle of New York City. He felt that he was different from everyone else in his local area, just as many of us in the industry have often felt the same way when we were in the early years of our existence trying to discover who we are and what was the purpose of our existence. It is not that we think we are better than anyone else, we just feel different from everyone else because we have not yet found our meaning in life. Not everyone wishes to grow up and be the same as their father, family members, or friends and learn to be a teacher, doctor, lawyer, engineer, or whatever profession. Some of us are hard-wired to be different from birth and we march to the beat of a different drum.

Reg often said that he possessed the desire to be free to be himself and be allowed to be different from his peers that he grew up with. He said that he wanted to find where in life he “fit in.” He felt that he might find his place of “fitting in” by being an inhabitant of a sophisticated metropolitan place like New York City. Because in his mind it had a reputation for consisting of different types of people that were all searching for themselves and opportunities for a better life.

He started to save some money from his department store beauty salon job for his future move to New York. He resigned from his job once he felt that the time was right and had built up his nerve to quit his steady job and leave the secure life that he had always known. He said that for him, it was a frightening decision to leave your family, friends, and the only place you knew so well and move to a city where you knew no one and little about.

Once he came to New York City, he settled in a quiet area of the west village, at 12 Perry Street where he lived continuously for 55 years in a 6th-floor elevator apartment building overlooking Seventh Avenue. Today, the area is a desirable and expensive neighborhood for young millennial men and women to live in. Reg stated that he was at the time attracted to the unconventional and adventurous Bohemian lifestyle that had overtaken the west village section of New York. It offered one the opportunity to open up and express one’s inner self and be free to live a life that did not conform to the established rules of the society that he was brought up in. Local coffee shops littered the village and were filled with young poets that read their newest pieces of poetry, those that were pursuing a career as a writer often read chapters from their latest literary work and artists displayed their latest artworks and talked about various art techniques and other artists. They were the early beatniks of the 1950s. Reggie said that he immediately felt like he was finally living among his peers and fitting right in with them.

Photo credit: Reginald “Reg” Lewis Tackley

The Hollywood Academy of Hair and Beauty Culture was established in 1920. It occupied an entire city block and was located at 1465 Broadway at 42nd Street. Reg was employed there from July 1947 to September 18, 1950. Afterward, he freelanced as a makeup artist in the early film and television industry in New York City. C. 1950

He acquired a job as a cosmetology teacher and taught hairstyling and makeup to students at the famed Hollywood School of Beauty that was located at Times Square in Manhattan. From talking to friends, he soon learned that young aspiring photographers were often in need of a makeup artist and hairstylist to work for free enhancing the faces of young wishful models. In exchange, he would (like the models,) receive a few free photographs of his work. He could later use the photographs to show to seasoned working photographers that would pay him money for rendering his services. He was like all of us, we like to earn extra money in our free time doing what we know best. Reg enjoyed working with photographers and models and started to occasionally freelance as a hairstylist and makeup artist for photographers that paid a fee for his services.

For a formerly quiet and shy farm boy from Syracuse, New York, Reg had during his stay in New York, slowly started to metamorphose into a confident person with a very popular outgoing personality. He had also grown as an artist due to his meeting and sharing knowledge and ideas with others about their craft. He slowly built up a stable of well-known photographers and advertising agencies that frequently requested his services. Life was going well for Reg because in a few short years after arriving in New York, he had found an apartment, acquired many new friends that worked in many artistic professions, and was doing the kind of personally rewarding and enriching work that he had long yearned to do in his dreams.

Because of his friendliness and artistic abilities, he eventually was invited to join a small group of individuals that he had met, which comprised the membership of the Makeup Artists and Hairstylists Union, Local 798 in New York. He was invited to join them.

As a result of becoming a member of this group of talented craftspeople, he started to work in a new industry called “television.” He enjoyed working with actors and actresses many of whom would later become famous stars in the television and film industry. They were all young people at that time and no one was famous in the early days of television production. The work was challenging because black and white television programs that were shown on the early television sets were harsh appearing.

On black and white television sets colors did not appear as colors, they appeared as various shades of gray on what is called a “Gray Scale” that ranges shades from very light to very dark. For example, a red color would appear on a black and white program as a pale shade of gray. In order to give the lips definition, a black lipstick product was applied to the lips to make the lips appear to be a dark shade of lipstick.

As a new union member, Reg decided to give up being a hairstylist and just work as a makeup artist. New union members were asked to decide which craft, they preferred to do most because one was not permitted to do both crafts. Doing both crafts would take work away from a fellow member. And as an individual that performed only one craft, one could devote their entire attention to performing and maintaining the look of continuity for each of their actors during their performance. The union membership was comprised of two separate crafts (makeup artists and hairstylists,) and having each craftsperson perform their individual craft saved the production company time, and money, and better enhanced the over-all-look of their productions.

As a result, when one entered the union one was given the opportunity to select the one craft that they preferred to do most and agreed to only do. Reg chose to be a makeup artist because he felt that it represented the true artistic side of his mind. He felt working in television was interesting because it was new and exciting, and it was always challenging his ability to solve the many problems that were always popping up in the newly created industry. Also, during the time that he had lived and mingled with his new friends in the bohemian west village, he had met many artists and learned to paint and sculpt which made him feel more like the artist that he envisioned himself to be. By being a makeup artist in the union he could sculpt, mold and paint things, such as prosthetic appliances that the actors would wear for character looks. He enjoyed the creativity of it all, especially period productions such as the classic mini-series “The Adams Chronicles.

Reg stated that he loved his work and being a union member because being a union makeup artist or hairstylist was rewarding financially. In the early days of the 1950s and 1960s, one could do several work assignments a day. He was paid $20.00 a day for their services, which was almost as much as an average person made in a week. And one seldom spent an entire 8-hour day at each job assignment unless it was a film job. As a result, he said on a busy day one could do several assignments and earn $60.00 a day by going to NBC television and working on an early morning news show and then rush over to CBS television and working on a soap opera for a few hours and then finally go to ABC television or the Metropolitan Opera House and do another news show and afterward one may not have worked a full 8-hour day!

Because of his artistic abilities, and his reserved and friendly disposition Reggie made many friends in the industry and was often requested by his fellow members to work on their various commercial, film, and television productions. He worked on numerous motion pictures such as Hercules in New York, Night of Dark Shadows, Been Down So Long It looks Like Up To Me, Serpico, Dog Day Afternoon, and the Exorcist. He did thousands of television commercials, every daytime drama (Another World, Search for Tomorrow, The Doctors, Guiding Light, Dark Shadows, etc.) in New York, and numerous other television programs.

Reg also served as the Business Agent for the IATSE, Local 798 Makeup Artists and Hairstylists union, and during the last years of his career, he joined the staff of the famed Metropolitan Opera House where he worked until he retired in his late 70s.

During his career, he often traveled across the United States and around the world on his many work assignments. Reg was a member of the International Society of Makeup Artists (ISOMA,) and was presented with its Lifetime Achievement Award in 1993. He often stated that he had enjoyed a remarkably successful and rewarding career that was filled with friends, fun, and adventure. He helped mentor numerous young aspiring makeup artists that later became successful makeup artists in the profession that he loved dearly.

Photo credit: Reginald “Reg” Lewis Tackley

Reg during his freelance work period. C. 1960

Photo credit: Reginald “Reg” Lewis Tackley

Reg c. 1970

Photo credit: Reginald “Reg” Lewis Tackley

Reg c. 1970

Photo credit: Reginald “Reg” Lewis Tackley

Goto and Reg getting ready to fly to Japan for a work assignment with the
Metropolitan Opera House. C. 1980s

You may view the below video:

It is in reference to the famed 1973 motion picture “The Exorcist.” It is a home-made movie that was filmed during eth, making of the film “The Exorcist.” It features makeup effects by Dick Smith.” The video is offered on the Internet by William Forsche

This video also features makeup artists Reginal Lewis “Reg” Tackley and Robert “Bob” Laded as well as the Exorcist hairstylist William “Bill” Farley. It is like looking back in time through a picture window.


Photo credit: Marilyn O’Bradovich


Robert “Bob” O’Bradovich was born on February 3, 1919, in Crosby, Minnesota, and passed away on May 3, 1993, in New York City at the age of 74. He was an early member of the IATSE, Local 798 Makeup Artists and Hairstylists union in New York. Bob was an inspiration to numerous professionals in the industry, because of his outstanding reputation as a master craftsman who could accomplish almost any assignment with little budget money, time, materials, etc. He was an inventive, quick-thinking, and gifted makeup artist.

Although he was born in Crosby, Minnesota, he was often asked how he had acquired his odd surname, with its Irish prefix and Slavic suffix. Bob would often say that the name was originally O’Brady, which is Irish. When his ancestors left Ireland during the 19th-century famine, they settled for a generation or so in the Balkans, which is where they added the “ovich” to the last part of their name. The O’Bradovich name stuck to the family members that later migrated to America. As a result of his ancestors marrying Serbians, he was of Irish and Serbian extraction. He possessed the strong muscular features of the Irish and their love of life and the dark-haired handsomeness of the Serbians. His rugged good looks and cavalier attitude made him likable to those that he encountered in life.

Photo credit: Marilyn O’Bradovich

Featured in the photos is Mr. Bob O’Bradovich posing with two of his most treasured loves, his trumpet and his first Emmy Award. The second photo shows Mr. O’Bradovich about to kiss his wolf man makeup creation which he designed for a still photography assignment.

Mr. O’Bradovich served in the Army Air Force during World War II and came to New York to study acting under the G.I Bill. While learning to act, he also learned to apply makeup on himself for the various roles that he portrayed. As an actor, he appeared in more than 20 television shows, such as “Martin Kane,” and “Big Story.” During his search for work as an actor, he frequently supplemented his income by playing the trumpet with small orchestras. A beginner’s infrequency of steady acting assignments, or as Bob would later say “just plain starvation,” caused him to look into other areas of the theatrical industry for some sort of regular employment opportunities. As a result of his having studied the art of applying makeup while attending acting classes, he applied for a position as a makeup artist at the National Broadcasting Company (NBC) television network in 1950 at the age of 29. It is said by many in the industry that the NBC makeup department was the most famous television makeup department of its time in the 1950s and 1960s due to its gifted makeup artists and the demanding shows that they had to perform their services for.

Photo credit:


Photo credit: Marilyn O’Bradovich

In the above photo is Bob O’Bradovich applying a facial appliance to actor Peter Ustinov over his full beard! This was for a 1957 Omnibus series titled “The Life of Samuel Johnson”

The NBC television network did a variety of live television shows and needed makeup artists who could not only make the performers look natural (especially for the early days of black and white television when individuals appeared unnatural,) but also needed artists who could quickly transform the talent into character looks. While performing his duties with great success, Bob quickly found his forte in life and became a master quick-change artist.

Bob often said that he could not complain about a lack of variety in his assignments. Bob created numerous looks and every type of show possible. One of the shows that he worked on was the NBC Operas. He often joked about having nightmares concerning the singers who had to wear mustaches, especially very thin mustaches, which had a small adhesion area. Even though he used an excellent adhesive and took his time to properly apply them, he constantly worried about one coming off during a live close-up performance when the singers stretched their mouths very wide to sing. Bob felt that he was lucky and never once, in 12 years of opera performances, had one come off during a live telecast.

Another show that he worked on was “The Life of Dr. Samuel Johnson,” an Omnibus Television Production, starring the famed British actor Peter Ustinov (who was 36 years old at the time). Mr. Ustinov had a real-life beard and refused to shave it off for the role of the clean-shaven Dr. Johnson. Bob in his usual quick-thinking manner, suggested the application of a prosthetic face appliance to cover the hair areas of his face. Mr. Ustinov liked the idea and agreed to the appliance, which worked well for every show. Very few people (if any) would have suggested the use of an appliance or even accepted the assignment of adhering one to a star’s face and having to remove it each day. The appliance was a success no one realized that he was wearing it over a beard and mustache. Mr. Ustinov was described as the goutiest, twitchiest, most scarred, scrupulous gulf of a man to wobble across the TV screen.
Bob loved challenges he loved living on the edge of life. He loved being a problem solver, technical or emotional. For the television play “The Turn of the Screw,” he was requested to work with the acclaimed actress, Ingrid Bergman. Before the production started, she had asked Bob to locate and use a makeup base that she did not recall the name of, only that it was referred to as “Pancake Liquid or something.” Being anxious to please her and wanting to avoid having an unhappy actress on his hands, he thought of the idea of melting a stick of makeup into a container and labeling it Bergman # 1. Upon presenting the foundation base to her and informing her that the base had been named in her honor, she was instantly happy with the product. Another actress that was easy to please was the famed sex goddess Jane Mansfield. Bob said she was never fussy or demanding, she only wanted a little foundation and some eye makeup, and she was naturally attractive and pleasant.
Mr. O’Bradovich also appeared in front of the camera as an actor. While secretly working as a makeup artist, He was a cast member of Kraft’s Fifty Grand Show, directed by noted film director Sidney Lumet. The actor, Ralph Meeker, played a prizefighter, who had to absorb a great deal of physical abuse. Bob played the ring attendant who was supposed to doctor his wounds, but he was actually creating the cuts, open scar tissue, and black and blue marks, while his back was facing the live television camera. The viewing audience thought that the ring attendant (O’Bradovich,) was merely “doctoring’ the fighter and never knew what was actually taking place. O’Bradovich loved the intrigue and excitement of this type of makeup application. Such accomplishments as this and many more like it, made him a living legend among those in the industry.
In 1954, Mr. O’Bradovich designed and created the makeup for the Robert Montgomery production of the Victor Hugo classic “The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” which was shown in two installments on NBC television. Mr. Robert Ellenstein was the actor who played the part of Quasimodo, the deaf and deformed bell ringer of the ancient cathedral. The show featured 75 actors who were cast as thieves, beggars, and gypsies. It was quite a production for television, which at that time was still in its developing years. The show was merely one of many that required Bob’s special artistic expertise and personal energy.

In 1959, when Dick Smith, the Director of the Makeup Department resigned to freelance, Bob was selected as the new Director of Makeup for the NBC Television Makeup Department. During his years with NBC, he created counterparts of many historical notables, including Thomas Jefferson, Genghis Khan, Oliver Wendell Homes, Ulysses S. Grant, and dozens of Abraham Lincolns, Hitler, Stalin, Napoleon, and Alexander the Great, among others. He did extensive research and used paintings, photographs, written descriptions, and sketches to create his makeup designs.
Two of the most famous early television shows that Mr. O’Bradovich worked on was the Hallmark Hall of Fame Shows. The first was the classic television production of the “Tempest.” It was William Shakespeare’s fanciful play made into a 90-minute adaption for television. It aired on NBC television Wednesday, February 3, 1960. The (now famous) all-star cast featured Richard Burton, Roddy Mc Dowell, Ms. Lee Remick, Maurice Evans, and Tom Poston, in addition to a talented cast of others.

Photo credit: Tony & Marilyn Carp

Actor Richard Burton as Caliban
And notice the crew man’s head popping out of the floor!

Mr. Burton’s character, Caliban (the grotesque hybrid of a man and monster,) had webbed feet, a wide flattened nose, body scales, hair, feathers, and fangs (which were later removed, because his character looked too fright4ning.). It was a wonderfully unique creation for a wonderful and unique actor. Mr. Burton gave an unforgettable performance as the monster Caliban.

Richard Burton had to have his body hair shaved (legs, arms, and torso.) He then had to wear a heavy costume that included the application of makeup, spirit gum adhesive, prosthetic scales, and feathers. Mr. Burton suffered a great deal of skin irritation. However, Bob said, “Mr. Burton never once complained, he was always pleasant and joked a great deal.”

Photo credit: Tony & Marilyn Carp

Actors Tom Poston (as Trinculo the Kings Jester,)
Roddy Mc Dowell (as Ariel the Spirit,)
Richard Burton (as Caliban,) and
Ronald Radd (as Stephano the King’s drunken butler)

In the above photo, the face of Ariel (an airy spirit that is invisible,) is staring from bushes at Trinculo, the monster Caliban and Stephano as they hatch a plot to kill the sorcerer Prospero and take over the remote island of where they have been shipwrecked in Shakespeare’s play “The Tempest.”

Everyone who saw the “makeup tests” for this unique production, felt that the show was going to be very successful production. As a result, a “senior makeup artist” that also saw the “makeup tests” saw an opportunity to be a part of this soon-to-be successful production and at the same time enhance his career. The “senior makeup artist” liked the appearance of Roddy Mc Dowell’s “Ariel character,” and wanted to apply the makeup for the character.

Photo credit: Tony & Marilyn Carp

Actor Roddy Mc Dowell as Ariel the Spirit

Robert “Bob” Laden who was the NBC television makeup apprentice at the time, stated to the author years ago, that he had sculpted, cast, made the foam appliances, and pre-colored them for the Ariel character and applied them for the “makeup tests.” They were the same makeup tests that the “senior makeup artist” had seen.

Photo credit: Tony & Marilyn Carp

Actor Roddy Mc Dowell as Ariel the Spirit

Bob Laden further stated that the “senior makeup artist” spoke to Bob O’Bradovich and stated that he should be permitted the one to apply the Ariel appliances and makeup and be credited for doing so. The “senior makeup artist” also stated that Bob Laden should not be permitted to apply the prosthetic appliances and makeup since he was only an “apprentice” and that he was a senior member of the union.

As a result of the “senior makeup artist” using his “senior status” in the union, stating that he should be the one entitled to apply the appliances to Roddy Mc Dowell, he was granted permission to apply the makeup and be credited for doing so.

Once Bob Laden became a senior member, he went left NBC Television to work as a freelance makeup artist and he made a successful name and career for himself as a makeup artist. He was well-liked and respected by his fellow members and will always be remembered fondly by them. He worked on numerous productions such as the Exorcist. If one looks at the video that is tilted:

Exorcist 1973 Home Movies Featuring Makeup Effects by Dick Smith

One may see senior makeup artist Bob Laden applying the makeup appliances to Max Von Sydow, who played the part of Father Lankester Merrin.

Bob is also mentioned in the IMBD film credits. Unfortunately, Bob Laden was only listed as a “special makeup effects artist “uncredited” due to the “Key” or the “Department Head Makeup Artist” being listed as “Makeup Artist” for the film, which is common.

Robert “Bob” Laden has always been remembered as a highly respected individual and a true artist by his fellow members.

The Ariel makeup design that was worn by Roddy Mc Dowell has since become a famous makeup design. Mc Dowell wore several appliances on various parts of his body. Embedded in the appliances were more than 150 “barbs” (Bob Laden said he used turkey quills without the feathers.) The “barbs” create the look of thin spines protruding from his skin and his face and body was painted white. The finished look was a striking appearance, especially when combined with the sets and lighting of the Tempest Production. The Tempest was directed by George Schaffer, whose various productions during these early years of television had won 13 Emmy Awards.

Photo Credit: Tony & Marilyn Carp

Photo credit: Tony & Marilyn Carp

Actor Roddy Mc Dowell as Ariel the Spirit

Actor Roddy Mc Dowell played the part of Ariel and Maurice Evans as Prospero
In 1968 Maurice also starred in the Planet of the Apes film as Dr. Zalus

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Above is Maurice Evans as himself and as Dr. Zalus in the movie Planet of the Apes

Photo Credit: Tony & Marilyn Carp

Actor Roddy Mc Dowell as Ariel the Spirit & actress Lee Remick as Miranda

Photo credit: Marilyn O’Bradovich

Actress Julie Harris as Queen Victoria

The following stages of special makeup aging appearances, when looked at up-close may appear to be rather primitive compared to today’s productions. But one has to remember, that this program aired on NBC television on Wednesday, February 3, 1960. That was more than 60 years ago! Many new products, materials, and techniques have been invented and introduced to makeup artists today, that were not available 60-plus years ago. As a result, these makeup looks when looked at from that point of view, are really remarkable and impressive looking, just as they were then!

Photo credit: Photo credit: Marilyn O’Bradovich

Photo credit: Photo credit: Marilyn O’Bradovich

Photo credit: Photo credit: Marilyn O’Bradovich

In the above four photos, one sees the actress Julie Harris who played Queen Victoria as she aged throughout the production

The actress Julie Harris played the role of Queen Victoria in the Hallmark Hall of Fame production of “Victoria Regina.” Ms. Harris was transformed by Mr. O’Bradovich from an 18-year-old woman into middle age and then finally into the 78-year-old Queen. The appliances made the performance very believable. A remarkable achievement, remembering that this was during the early days of television, and the development of early foam appliance materials and techniques that were not as advanced as they are today.
Mr. Schaffer also directed Victoria Regina, the Hallmark Hall of Fame television show that presented Mr. O’Bradovich with the opportunity to earn recognition for his makeup wizardry. This show starred a young actress called Julie Harris, who went on in life to become a world-renowned film and television actress. Mr. O’Bradovich transformed Ms. Harris from a lovely 18-year-old woman into a 78-year-old corpulent-aged Queen Victoria. In the climactic Diamond Jubilee scene, in which Victoria Regina is 78, he used vintage photographs of the real Victoria to guide him through the sculpting of her aged prosthetic appliances. Famed Broadway and television hairdresser Ernest

Adler created the hairstyles for Ms. Harris’s character. Noted New York wig maker, Mr. Ira Senz created the wigs for the show. Mr. O’Bradovich won his first Emmy Award for makeup for his work on this 1961 television play.


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Above is a 1962 IATSE Bulletin featuring Local 798 members who were also members of the NBC television network makeup department. The head of the department was Bob O’Bradovich and NBC makeup artist Lee Baygan (who later became the head of the department after Mr. O’Bradovich resigned.) Both are seen applying the prosthetic appliances to Julie Harris for her role as Queen Victoria in the Hallmark Hall of Fame production of Victoria Regina.

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Bob O’Bradovich (left) at the Emmy Awards

Bob O’Bradovich is shown with others at the 1965 Emmy Award ceremonies. Holding their Emmy’s for their work on the Emmy Award-winning show, “The Magnificent Yankee.” Is (starting from the left) Mr. O’Bradovich – Makeup Designer; Warren Clymer – Set Designer; Phil Himes – Lighting Director; Actor Melvin Douglas accepting for Actor Alfred Lunt; Actress Joan Crawford accepting for Actress Lynn Fontanne; and George Schaffer – Director. 
Bob earned his second Emmy Award for makeup for the 1965 production of the “Magnificent Yankee,” starring Mr. Alfred Lunt and Ms. Lynn Fontanne as Chief Justice and Mrs. Oliver Wendell Homes. In 1979, he received his third Emmy Award for makeup, for the Halloween classic, “The Halloween that Almost Wasn’t”. It is still frequently shown around Halloween time (October 31st,) in America. It features Mr. O’Bradovich’s personal humor and unique skill as a makeup artist. He creates several likenesses of classic horror characters which are very comical and humorous. It was a showcase of Mr. O’Bradovich’s special talent and emotional expressions. 
In 1966, Mr. O’Bradovich left his makeup home at NBC television to seek a freelance makeup career, in order to earn more money than many freelance makeup artists were currently earning on higher-paying assignments in the industry. He worked on a variety of successful film, television, commercial, industrial, theater, etc. assignments. Some of the films that he worked on were: Three Days of the Condor, Boys in the Band, Applause, Auntie Mame, Far Country, and Beatlemania to name a few. 

He graced the faces of numerous stars, celebrities, and politicians, such as: Eva and Zsa Zsa Gabor, Walter Mathau, Judy Garland, Stacy Keach, Ingrid Bergman, Rip Torn, Lauren Bacall, Hal Holbrook, Carol Lawrence, Sammy Davis Jr, Greer Garson, Johnny Carson, Lisa Minnelli, Ralph Bellamy, Rachel Welch, James Dean, and President of the United States, Lyndon B. Johnson. 
In 1977, he traveled to Africa and met famed anthropologist Richard Leakey. He was asked to create a head mask that a native African volunteer would wear to re-create the look of the two-million-year-old Homo habilis, for the cover of the November issue of Time Magazine. Mr. Leakey was impressed by the Time Magazine photography/story idea, which the photographer, Carl Fischer, saw as a pictorial as well as an anthropological challenge. The photograph featured on the cover of Time Magazine was photographed in the desolate Rift Valley, outside of Nairobi. The idea of the noted anthropologist posing with a live, two-million-year-old replica of Homo Habilis was a big success for Time Magazine and O’Bradovich. He came back to New York and continued to happily perform his feats of magic for the various employers that frequently requested his artistry.

You may view the below videos:
Bob O’Bradovich, ahead of the NBC makeup department from 1959 to 1966

By Filmnoir 2789

2 – THE TEMPEST – ByFunfillums

3 – Richard Burton delivers Caliban’s dream from the Tempest –
By The Hero of Solferino


Photo credit: Elaine Baygan

Director of the NBC TV Makeup Department, Lee Baygan, and actor Basil Rathbone

There is no known date of Lee Baygan’s birth, but it is estimated that he was born in 1920. In the above photo, he would be about 41 years old. A handsome man for his time period. Lee Baygan was the third makeup artist to be the Director of the Makeup department for the famed NBC Television Network. Out of the three major networks in the early years of television, NBC was considered to be the best network. It had the best makeup artists and the best crews and was run the best Leader, “General” David Sarnoff, who was the President of NBC. He was dedicated to making the NBC network the best network in the history of the television industry. “General” Sarnoff was the same type of person to Television that Louis B. Meyer was to the greatness of the MGM motion picture studio. That is the simplest way to describe NBC television, “as the best!”

The NBC Television network in New York City was known for having established the first television. makeup department when a young makeup artist named Dick Smith (at the age of 23,) became its first head of makeup in 1945. Like Cecil Claude Holland, who is credited with establishing the first official full-time makeup department for the MGM film studio, George Westmore who briefly headed the first temporary makeup department for the Selig Film Studio, and his famous Westmores of Hollywood sons, who had all become the heads of various movie studio makeup departments, Dick Smith wanted it to be the best as those that he had admired.

After 14 years, Dick Smith left the NBC studio to freelance in 1959, after a dispute over his being replaced as the operational head of the department, due to his being a union member and at the same time of his being the director of the makeup department. Many of the later-in-time makeup artists who admired everything about Dick’s fame as a special makeup effects makeup artist, never knew the simple reason why he left NBC. Most people simply assumed that he had left to work on films and earn more money. Dick loved his title as “Director of Makeup” for the NBC television network as much as a father loved his children and would have never left his “NBC home.”

The NBC corporate executives felt that it would be in the best interests of NBC to have a non-union member be in charge of the department since it felt that having a union member be in charge, was considered to be a conflict of interest. Under the new NBC proposed arrangement, Dick would still receive the same pay scale and retain the title of being the head of the makeup department, but his company employee receptionist/secretary would now be officially his “boss” and in charge of the business side of operating the department and the scheduling of makeup, hair, and wardrobe for the various NBC programs. Dick could still request specific makeup artists for the different shows that needed makeup artists. This change naturally upset Dick, who had felt demoted and not appreciated for his founding the makeup department and working hard in making it the greatest of all of the television makeup departments. As painful as it must have been for Dick to leave at the time, it forced Dick to freelance and he did make a great deal of money and become famous as a special makeup effects makeup artist on numerous films, a successful author, and an educator that is still deeply respected many years after he has passed away.

Robert “Bob” O’Bradovich was NBC’s second director of makeup. He was previously a staff makeup artist under Dick Smith. Bob served as the director of makeup for the NBC television network from 1959 to 1966. Bob left to freelance and also became more famous for his work in films. Lee Baygan, who was also an NBC staff makeup artist for many years, then become the head of the makeup department in 1966. He remained the director for 24 years until he passed away in 1990. Lee was happy and content to stay at NBC, he had had a taste of freelancing on various outside assignments and preferred a steady position and hours at the NBC television network.

Lee was a quiet reserved man, he was referred to as a “gentleman makeup artist,” because he was always well dressed in a suit and tie and treated everyone that he encountered in a very respectful dignified manner. Because he was such a private person, not much is known of his personal life. I personally knew and studied under Lee when I was a young makeup apprentice who looked up to him and admired him for artistic abilities, professionalism, and his gracious manners. In my simple young immature mind, he represented the high standards and many professional qualities that a makeup artist should possess … but I later found out that many in the industry simply lacked such qualities. Such encounters with others in the industry made me realize that it is up to each individual makeup artist to set the highest (or lowest,) standards for themselves in the industry and in life.

As a young union makeup apprentice, I was required to attend union meetings, pay my dues on time, accept any and all work assignments at any time of the day or night, and attend makeup classes once a week for three years that were given by Lee Baygan at the NBC studios in Manhattan. I loved attending the classes, so for me it was a privilege. The classes were often held in the Saturday Night Live makeup room on the 8th floor or in its makeup lab which was behind the makeup department office on the 6th floor. The makeup department office (which is now a studio) featured a long hallway, you were met by Helen Murphy, the makeup department receptionist/secretary, after her desk you passed (on the left side,) the office of Sadie Hall (who was Dick Smiths former receptionist /secretary and who was now the non-union NBC management employee in charge of scheduling staff and freelance people for the makeup, hair and wardrobe departments. After her office was the office of Lee Baygan (who was the director of the makeup artists for NBC,) and then you finally came to the NBC lab room. The lab room was a wide room where all of the sculpting and special prosthetic appliances were filled with foam latex and baked in its lab oven. Off to the right of this room, was the storage room. The storage room was where all of the makeup products and lace hairpieces were kept. The entire lab and storage room were as neat and tidy as a messy workplace could be. Everything was labeled and placed in a specific location for when it may have been needed. Both were very organized.

Lee was as thorough as an instructor of makeup as he was a wonderful human being. He was quiet, soft-spoken, and explained everything to you in a very minute detailed manner. He wanted you to be knowledgeable and successful. In one of his apprentice training classes, after noticing that a few individuals were “joking around” and not taking his class seriously, he politely stated to all of us “some of you are on staff here at NBC and the rest of you are freelance, but all of you represent the union and the makeup profession and you should be the best there is and act like a professional at all times, so I hope that each of you takes your classes here seriously for your own benefit.” It was his quiet, short, and gentlemanly way of saying stop goofing off and pay attention!

Many of the apprentices (13 out of 16,) were the sons and daughters of union journeyman members and some felt entitled and tended to not take the classes as seriously as Lee felt that they should. The rest of us were “tokens,” a slang term to mean that we were not related to anyone in the union. In the “good old days,” membership in the union was difficult for non-relatives to achieve. But fortunately for me and a few others, the federal government required unions to admit non-relatives into the union whenever they took in new members. We three “tokens” were selected out of over 600 “non-token” makeup artists that were applying for union membership. I felt very fortunate to be one of the three “tokens” to be admitted after my having to wait and serve as a “permit worker” for nine long years. Today, it is much different, and is easier for individuals to become a member of unions.

I admired and looked up to Lee and knew from talking to him that he was an Iranian by nationality. He was married to an attractive woman named Elaine, that he deeply loved and referred to her affectionately as “Charli” in all of his book dedications to her. I do not recall him ever mentioning that they had any children together. He and his wife lived in an upscale doorman building on the corner of West 67th Street and Amsterdam Avenue in Manhattan.

Lee was a simple man and led a simple life which he seemed to prefer (and now that I am older, I prefer such a simple life too.) Lee’s life consisted of going to work each day and coming home at the end of his day to be with his wife Charli. In the early part of his career that is recorded, he worked on several television movies such as: Ten Blocks on Camino Real, Barefoot in Athens, Blithe Spirit, Dead of Night: Darkness at Blaisedon, Great Performances, First Ladies Dairies: Martha Washington. He had been a staff member of the NBC makeup department for many years. I am assuming that Lee may have been one of the original NBC staff members that Dick Smith had hired during his tenure as the head of the makeup department at NBC. Dick had a staff of 25 makeup artists and often hired many more freelance makeup artists to work on the different productions that NBC produced each week. I never asked Lee any personal questions about him or his life, because it was not the proper thing to do. Everyone likes their privacy to be respected.

As for Lee having worked on any outside productions while being employed at NBC, I know that he did use his vacation days, personal days, and perhaps a few sick days too, in order to work on outside productions. NBC had a nice habit (at that time period,) of permitting its makeup artists to do outside productions in order to keep them emotionally happy artistically, and financially. It was felt that one would not quickly leave their staff position to earn extra money freelancing if they were permitted to work on a few outside productions during the year. This was done in the early days of the television industry because television paid a lower daily rate than television commercials and films did. It was said that television paid less because it was to help the newly created television industry to get started when it was struggling to establish itself as a new entertainment media. Now almost 80 years later, the pay scale is still lower than television commercials and film rates. Today, television networks make millions in profit, unfortunately, they are now controlled by big corporations. In the corporate world of television, it is all about corporate profits, thank goodness for unions to help and protect the interests and welfare of makeup artists.

At NBC, Lee worked on the network’s various productions, which was an extremely busy network in the 1950s and 1960s, and it still is today. Makeup artists like Dick Smith, Bob O’Bradovich, and Lee Baygan were still figuring out how to apply makeup for black-and-white television programs. One has to realize that in 1945 and up to the mid-1960s, the television studio and television broadcasting equipment was also in its infancy and its equipment was quite primitive. Although at the time it was described as being the latest and most advanced technology in modern television broadcast equipment! NBC was the first network to broadcast a color program, which was a performance of the opera “Carmen” on October 31, 1953. It was not until NBC announced its prime-time schedule in the fall of 1965 that almost all of its prime-time programs would be entirely in color. Max Factor Jr. of the Max Factor Cosmetic Company, had invented the first color makeup foundation for television in 1954 with the help of the NBC staff testing it on camera in the NBC studios and its control room monitors. With their help and guidance, the Max Factor Company eventually developed a series of 12 Pan Stik shades of cosmetics that ranged from light to dark (CTV-1 W to CTV-12 W.) 

Photo credit: The author, Edward D. M. Jackson Jr.

Max Factor Pan Cake Makeup (invented in 1937,) was the first foundation used by television makeup artists on the NBC television network. It was applied with a natural sea sponge, which the makeup apprentice devoted a lot of time to washing hundreds of sponges.

Photo credit: The author, Edward D. M. Jackson Jr.

Max Factor Pan Stik

Max Factor Pan Stik Makeup (invented in 1947,) was the next foundation that was used by NBC makeup artists. It was applied by a sea sponge too until foam rubber that was used inside furniture sofas and chairs was discovered as a better substitute. Foam rubber sponges were selected as a makeup applicator because it was inexpensive to purchase and was disposable after use. Sanitation in makeup was becoming an important part of the craft as new technology was made available.

In the 1930s, television sets were called “Television receivers” and featured 5, 9, and 12-inch screens, which were rather small for viewing. However, the cabinets that the television receivers came in were large cabinets that made them appear as attractive pieces of furniture in one’s home. Television reception was very poor and those that appeared on it often looked ghostly or fuzzy on the small screens. Also, there was not much programming to watch since there were only a few shows that were offered at certain times of the day. And there were not many buyers of the early television receivers because they were extremely expensive to purchase, prices ranged from $200.00 to $600.00 and the average annual salary was $1,368.00.

Television in the 1930s was in its infancy and was rather primitive despite the fact that at the time, it was considered a “very modern invention.” Every section of the industry (television sets, broadcasting equipment, and receiving stations, as well as planning programming, requiring stage actors to adapt to performing for the new media of television, and the simple slow process of developing the proper makeup, clothing, and studio sets to appear on a grayscale in order to be properly viewed.

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Photo credit: NBC Television

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Courtesy of Phil Dudley – It was published in Modern Science in 1938

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Here again, is Betty Gable having her makeup applied by Wally Westmore for a “motion picture.” Notice how different a television makeup application was from motion pictures.

Above are a few photos of the early makeup applications that were worn by those that appeared on early television broadcasts. One must remember that the first television programs were shown in black and white, as a result, everyone and everything such as makeup, clothing, and background sets had to be made to appear as various shades of gray in order to be properly seen. Appearances that looked well in motion picture films did not appear the same on black-and-white television sets because television programs were shot with the use of an Image Iconoscope camera tube (which was used for broadcasting in the US up until 1946.) The cameras had a very low “Line standard” than those that would later be developed and used after World War Two. Due to the war, television development was slowly developed, but new sets were not offered until after the war since television sets were not sold much, and many of the sets that had already been produced were put in storage until after the war due to few sales.)

The Image Iconoscope camera tube produced a picture image with a low definition and they registered “color images” in shades of gray. As a result, Max Factor and his makeup artists worked to develop makeup and makeup applications that would appear on a grayscale as various shades of gray in order to appear properly to the viewer. Clothing and background sets also had to appear in various shades of gray. Television was slowly being developed in every section of the industry through a trial-and-error process. Today young viewers take the complex invention of television and television broadcasting for granted and tend to think of it as always basically being the advanced and picture-perfect invention that it now is.

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The above picture shows an RCA Iconoscope Prototype Camera, that was developed by Dr. Zworykin around 1932 for the RCA television network (which later became the NBC television network.)

Photo credit: and NBC Television

In the above photo (seated in the center,) is “General” David Sarnoff who headed the Radio Corporation of America (RCA,) throughout his career until he retired in 1970 at the age of 79.) Mr. Sarnoff presented the first all-electronic television broadcast by RCA & NBC, on July 7, 1936.

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The above picture displays a GE Broadcast Television Receiver atop an RCA Radiola (a radio in a wooden cabinet that looked like a piece of furniture.) It was an experimental television receiver that was used in 1928.

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Lent by Jack Davis

The above Television Receiver is a 1938 GE Model 185. It featured a five-inch viewing screen and three channel-tuning. At the time, it was the latest in television development.

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Lent by Arnold P. Chase

This is the 1954 RCA CT-100 Color Television Receiver, it was the most advanced television receiver due to the fact that it could both receive black and white as well as color broadcasts, that was required by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC.) It sold for the amazing price of $1000.00 and was the first television receiver that had met the required standards of the FCC.

NBC television produced some of the best television programs in the early years of television programming. An average week of programming consisted of: The Four Star Revue, The Colgate Comedy Hour, The Philco Television Playhouse, Garroway At Large, Take a Chance, Armstrong Circle Theater, Robert Montgomery Presents, Texaco Star Theater, Fireside Theater, The Original Amateur Hour, Kraft Television Theater, Break the Bank, Stars Over Hollywood, You Bet Your Life, Hawkins Falls, Kay Kaiser’s Kollege of Musical Knowledge, Martin Kane, Private Eye, The Wayne King show, Quiz Kids, We The People, Bonny Maid Versatile Varieties, The Big Story, Gillette Cavalcade of Sports, The Hank McCune Show, One Man’s Family, Country Style, The Jack Carter Show, Saturday Round-up, Your Show of Shows, and Your Hit Parade.

On November 30, 1961, Basil Rathbone played the part of Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli in NBC’s Hallmark Hall of Fame classic television production of “Victoria Regina.”

Photo credit: Local

Above is a 1962 IATSE Bulletin featuring Local 798 and NBC’s makeup department head Bob O’Bradovich and NBC makeup artist Lee Baygan applying the makeup to actress Julie Harris for her role as Queen Victoria in the Hallmark Hall of Fame production of Victoria Regina.

Photo credit: Local

Above & below is the completed hair and makeup look of actor Basil Rathbone
to show one the appearance in black and white and in color.
The above picture is from a photograph

Photo credit: Victoria Regina –

The above image is not from a photograph … it is from an early television telecast
Viewing in the early years of television development was not as clear as it is today

Photo credit: Local

Lee Baygan working on actor Basil Rathbone in the 8H makeup room


Photo credit: Victoria Regina –

Actress Julie Harris as a young Queen Victoria

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Actress Julie Harris as a young Queen Victoria

Photo credit: Local

Actress Julie Harris in her role as Queen Victoria in the
NBC Hallmark Hall of Fame production of Victoria Regina.

Photo credit: Local

Bob O’Bradovich, Lee Baygan applying prosthetics appliances to actress Julie Harris for her role as Queen Victoria in the Hallmark Hall of Fame production of Victoria Regina

Photo credit: Local

Actress Julie Harris as an aged Queen Victoria

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Actor James Donald as Prince Albert with Julie Harris

Photo credit: Victoria Regina –

Actress Julie Harris as a young Queen Victoria

Photo credit: Local

Actress Julie Harris as a younger Queen Victoria

Photo credit: Local

Actress Julie Harris as a middle-aged Queen Victoria
and later in an older age

Photo credit: Victoria Regina –

Actress Julie Harris in a color photo as an aged Queen Victoria
and later as an extremely old Queen Victoria
The above image is from a television telecast and is not a photograph

Photo credit: Local

Actress Julie Harris as an aged Queen Victoria
and later as an extremely old Queen Victoria
The above picture is from a photograph and is not a television image
See the difference of a TV image compared to a photograph

Photo credit: Victoria Regina –

Actress Julie Harris in her final stage of aging as Queen Victoria
The above picture is the type of blurry TV images that one saw on television
in the early years of television development

Photo credit:

Actress Julie Harris with her Emmy Award for best actress as Queen Victoria

Photo credit: Victoria Regina –

Actor James Donald as a middle age Prince Albert

Photo credit: Victoria Regina –

Felix Aylmer as Lord Melbourne in Queen Victoria

The NBC production of Victoria Regina was an amazing piece of entertainment for the time period. It gave the viewing public an opportunity to watch performances that would normally be presented in an expensive film presentation or on the stage of a lavish Broadway theater production. The average television viewer at the time had never been exposed to the various productions that NBC presented in the early 1950s. Not only did the viewer get to see such shows for free, but they could watch them in the comfort of their living room on a TV set which brought into the homes a new era of entertainment.

In the 1960s, Lee Baygan continued to work on various shows that NBC presented. Today Show, Huntley-Brinkley Report, The Tonight Show (with Jack Parr & later with Johnny Carson,) Another World, The Doctors, Howdy Doody, Jeopardy, Play Your Hunch, Reach for the Stars, NBC Sports Shows, The Who, What, and Where Game, The Match Game, He Said, She Said, Say When, and many more.

In 1972 Lee Baygan and Bob Kelly (film, television, and theater makeup artist and owner of Bob Kelly Wigs and Bob Kelly Theatrical Makeup,) were invited to Rochester, New York. They were asked to present a two-day seminar to the Nazareth College theatre students and the Rochester Institute Technology film students. These two schools had been working together to perform and film performances that would be beneficial to both student bodies. The Eastman Kodak Research Laboratories had also been working with both groups of students to try and solve a few problems in reference to makeup, for film and television. The three groups decided to invite the two professionals to demonstrate professional makeup for film and television as well as for the theater. Both Lee and Bob had many years of knowledge in reference to the three media.

Lee Baygan talked about using black lipstick and yellowish-and-grey makeup products for the early black-and-white television shows that makeup artists worked on when television production first came into existence in the mid-1940s. He stated that these bizarre products were used because the early lighting and television cameras for black and white television programs were not very good due to television production being very new and nothing had yet been perfected for the new media. It was basically a trial-and-era process.

At that time Lee also stated: “television makeup artists now use a great deal of color cosmetic products because the lighting and television cameras have been greatly improved in order to present natural appearances.” Afterward, Lee gave a step-by-step demonstration of what a natural-looking makeup application for television should look like. After Lee gave his demonstration and answered questions, Bob Kelly gave one of his famous makeup demonstrations for theater.

Lee was the quiet, reserved makeup man and Bob was his exact opposite. Bob was very entertaining because he was a natural-born showman that loved to perform in front of an audience. If Bob had not become a makeup artist. Wig maker, hairstylist, and the cosmetic manufacturer that he became, he would most likely have become an actor! Bob was witty and funny as well as a fast and talented artist with makeup and any kind of hair goods that one applied to an actor. Bob told numerous jokes and stories during his demonstration and offered advice and several useful tips to the students. Both men were well-received and appreciated by the students. It was a highly informative and enjoyable event for all that attended.

In the 1970s Lee started to work on the Daytime Drama called “The Doctors” in studio 3A on the 3rd floor of the NBC television network that was located inside the Rockefeller Center building. Daytime Dramas were generally referred to as “soap operas” because they were sponsored by advertisers that represented manufacturers that made and sold soap products that were advertised on the shows. The program “The Doctors” was where a young actor named Alex Baldwin started his acting career in 1982 by playing the character “Billy Aldrich.”

In the last part of Lee Baygan’s career, he was the makeup artist for the famed NBC news anchor Tom Brokaw who appeared each night on the television program “Nightly News with Tom Brokaw.” During this time, Lee wrote two makeup books that are still popular and widely used today. They are titled: “Techniques of Three-Makeup” and “Makeup for Theater, Film and Television.”

Lee Baygan was born sometime in the year 1920, he passed away in 1990 at the age of 70. His beloved wife Charli who was born on November 23, 1923 passed away on September 18, 2011.

Lee Baygan is remembered by those that knew him as a true professional, “a gentleman,” an excellent makeup artist, a benevolent makeup department head, an exacting makeup instructor, and an author of two successful makeup books. He was the kind of professional makeup artist and decent human being that other makeup artists should look up to, admire, and use as a role model by which to set their standards to.

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