ISOMA Cosmetics (Official Website)

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1962 IATSE Bulletin featuring Local 798 Make-up Artists & Hair Stylists


In the photo on the left is make-up artist Ray Voege and hairstylist Edward Callaghan. In the photo on the right are makeup artists: Robert Philipe (standing,) Bob O’Bradovich (sitting,) Local 798 Business Rep. John C. Hall (standing,) and Lee Baygan (sitting,) in 1962

You may view these videos in regard to the work of NBC’s head of the makeup department Lee Baygan from 1959 to 1990

By Filmnoir 2789

2 – THE TEMPEST – ByFunfillums


Photo credit: Theater Crafts

Bob Kelly and IATSE, Local 798 Hair designer Phyllis Della in the Bob Kelly wig-making studio were featured on the cover of
Theater Crafts Magazine

Hugh Robert “Bob” was born on October 2, 1923, and passed away on April 18, 2011, at the age of 87. He was a member of the IATSE, Local 798 Makeup Artists and Hairstylists union. Hugh Robert Kelly was born in Brooklyn, New York, and was internationally known as “Bob Kelly. His family history is interesting because his family is made up of the type of modest people that came to America and made their dreams come true at the same time they contributed to the greatness of America, as many new immigrants do today who have a dream and a wish to work hard to make their dreams a reality.

Bob was the son of Hugh Thomas Kelly and Mary Kelly. They were all born in America, but his grandparents were born in Ireland. He was the grandson of Mae and William “Bill” O’Leary. His grandmother, Mae, was from County Mayo, Ireland and his grandfather William was from County Cork, Ireland. Like many young immigrants, his grandparents came to America to make a better life for themselves in a land where many new opportunities were available, in a young country that welcomed individuals from all walks of life and afforded them the equal chance to make a better life for themselves. The same equal opportunities are available today for those in life who wish to work hard and do the same if they desire to do so.

His grandmother came to America when she was only 17 years old.  Once she stepped off the boat at Ellis Island from Ireland, she settled in New York City on Mac Dougal Street in lower Manhattan, which is today referred to as the Greenwich Village area of New York City or the West Village. William “Bill” O’Leary, her childhood sweetheart who was four years older than Mae, came to America one year later. After William and Mae married, they later moved to Pineapple Street in Brooklyn and then to 12 Webster Avenue in Brooklyn where they lived the remainder of their lives in America.  They were married on Saint Patrick’s Day, which is one of the most important holidays for Irish people. This date was also Mae’s birthday, as a result; it became a date that was celebrated by many people in her family because it was her birthday and her and William’s wedding anniversary as well as an important Irish holiday. It was a good occasion for family members and friends to get together and celebrate with one another. Mae and William were married for more than 50 years. When Mae was 69 and William was 73, they celebrated their golden wedding anniversary together with their 8 children, 17 grandchildren, various family members, neighbors, and friends whom all wished them well.

After coming to America in 1878 at the age of 21, William “Bill” O’Leary worked for others and eventually established a hair salon and wig-making business on Fulton Street in Brooklyn, New York in the 1890s (which was also referred to as the Gay ’90s.) He made wigs for his salon customers and for many stars of the stage that delighted audiences at the noted Tony Parsons Theater and the Academy of Music in Brooklyn, which is now referred to as the Brooklyn Academy of Music, which those in the industry simply refer to it as “BAM.”  Today, the Brooklyn Academy of Music is a famous landmark in Brooklyn where performances are still presented. At times, it is also rented out for the filming or taping of television commercials and motion picture productions.

One of William and Mae’s daughters named Mary met and married a young Irishman named Hugh Thomas Kelly who became a Trolley Car operator for the city of New York. Trolley Cars were the main form of public transportation before today’s fleets of buses, subway trains, and numerous taxicabs became the main form of transportation in Manhattan and its five boroughs. His wife Mary Kelly was a hairdresser in the family-owned beauty salon business on Sand Street in Brooklyn. They later had a son whom they named Hugh Robert Kelly he would later be known to millions of people around the world as “The Famous Bob Kelly.” It was a title that he gave himself to promote his products but as time passed, he did become famous and was referred to as “The Famous Bob Kelly,” the owner of a wig-making business and a manufacturer of Theatrical Cosmetics.

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

Makeup artist and hairstylist Hee Jung “Angela” Kim with one of the staff wig makers (center,) and Bob Kelly in Bob Kelly’s wig-making studio. Bob had taught Ms. Kim how to make wigs at his New York studio as he had many people during his lifetime.


Bob Kelly, like most young men of his time, he served in the U.S. armed forces during World War II. As a private first class in the Army, he served bravely in the Pacific and was awarded 3 silver stars, helping to liberate New Guinea and numerous other islands. After being honorably discharged from the service in 1944, he started to look for work. One day he noticed an advertisement in a New York City newspaper that was seeking an apprentice wig maker. This position appealed to him due to his family’s previous history in the wig-making and hair salon business, he thought he might “fit in.” As a result, he applied for the position under the U.S. Government’s “On the Job Training Program.” This was a program that the Government offered by agreeing to help former servicemen find training and eventually permanent jobs after returning home from serving in World War II. Under the “On the Job Training Program,” the Government paid half of the salary of the trainee and the employer paid the other half during his training period. After the training was complete the employer paid the full salary to the former training employee. Bob was given a salary of $55.00 per week. At this period of time, this was a well-paid position, because of the special skills that were required to perform this specialized craft.

He served as an apprentice wig maker for the legendary Ira Senz, who was the owner of the Ira Senz Wig Making Company that was located on West 46th Street, just off Broadway and near the Broadway Theaters. The theaters required numerous wigs and hairpieces to be made for their various stage productions that were located along “The Great White Way.” This term was given to the area due to the millions of electrical lights that displayed advertising messages and the theaters that brighten the area each evening. Times Square and the theater district along Broadway at night is a dazzling display of colorful lights that illuminate the area with interesting signs and instill a magical feeling in the minds of young and hopeful would-be actors, tourists, and lovers that see them for the first time when they come to New York City from various parts of America and the world.

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

Bob Kelly appears as several characters in another one of his Bob Kelly Makeup and Wig and Hair Accessories advertising brochures.
Bob never tired of creating new products and advertising literature.


As an apprentice wig maker, Bob learned how to bleach, dye, perm, blend hair, and ventilate various colored strains of hair onto lace foundations of wigs and lace hairpieces. These lace items are lightweight and invisible-like pieces of flesh-colored lace that are custom-made to conform to the areas of the wearer’s face (just as the wigs and toupees are made to conform to the wearer’s head.) Afterward, strands of hair are ventilated or knotted by hand and the use of a needle-like fishing hook tool into the small net-like pre-shaped lace foundation. Finished hair lace pieces are eyebrows, mustaches, goatees, beards, sideburns, or special hairpieces that are to be worn on the face or body of a performer. Lace body pieces can be chest or back hair, entire body hair for a performer, and sometimes a lace piece that is called a Merkin. A Merkin is a lace piece that is worn over a shaved pubic area. The origin of the use of a Merkin, dates back to the 1450s. Women would shave their public hair for personal hygiene and to combat public lice. Afterward, they would adhere to a Merkin. Sometimes prostitutes would wear a Merkin to cover up signs of disease, such as syphilis. In modern times Hollywood actors and actresses may wear a Merkin to prevent their genitalia from being seen during nude or semi-nude scenes. The camera may show brief flashes of the crotch area, which ensures that the film is given a less restrictive MPAA rating. It also prevents the actor/actress from having to display full-front nudity. Showgirls may also wear a Merkin (in various colors,) as an exotic decorative item during a performance. Since Bob Kelly served many actors/actresses in the film and theater industry, he stated that he made many Merkins during his career.

As for wigs, toupees, and lace hairpieces, Bob made such items that were worn by actors and actresses to enhance their natural appearance or to transform a performer into a character for a film, television, stage, or photographic production. Bob was also taught how to take measurements of the head and faces of individuals in order to obtain a pattern for the custom making of wigs and lace hairpieces. And he learned the art of cutting, setting, styling, applying, removing, and caring for wigs and hairpieces.

As time went by, he became very proficient at his craft and was asked by the Senz family to apply the Senz-made wigs and hairpieces to performers at the world-famous Metropolitan Opera House in New York City, which is also referred to by many in the industry as the Met. The Senz family had a business agreement of supplying, applying, and maintaining the wigs and hairpieces for the Met’s numerous opera productions. While working at the Met, Bob was required to learn the art of applying makeup for the different operas and maintain a collection of pictures in a “makeup and hair record book” that described in detail each of the opera performances, the makeup artist/hairstylist would refer to the record book of each opera and use the photos and notes as a guide for re-creating the characters makeup and hair look. In those early days of the Met’s history, the staff was required to not only apply the stage performers’ wigs and hairpieces, but their character makeup as well. Today, the staff at the Metropolitan Opera House consists of two separate departments, a makeup department, and a wig department.

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

Bob Kelly is shown as several characters in a Bob Kelly Makeup and Wig and Hair Accessories advertising brochure.
Bob was a genus in advertising his products

The Mets opera productions are very lavish and consist of large numbers of principal singers, chorus men and chorus women, ballet men, and ballet women, and individuals that are referred to as “supers or a supernumerary” (an actor that serves as an extra for stage scenes that require soldiers, town’s people, waiters, background crowds, etc. Sometimes there are a few dozen “supers” and at other times there may be as many as 150 or more for special productions such as “War & Peace or Aida,) in addition to live animals being used on the stage for additional realism and theatrical flair. As a result, of such large casts of performers and an extended opera season, two different full-time staff are hired on a regular basis to maintain the makeup and hair departments at the Metropolitan Opera House.

During the early days at the Met, it was a long and tiring day as it often is now for its dedicated staff that produces large and lavish opera productions, which are made possible due to the Met’s extensive budget, and generous donors. Bob worked at the “old Met opera house.” It was located at 1411 Broadway at West 39th Street. It occupied the entire block from West 39th Street to West 40th Street and first opened its doors on October 22, 1893, and was demolished in 1967. In 1966 a new and larger Metropolitan Opera House was built in Lincoln Center and is capable of seating over 5,000 patrons. Bob worked six days a week for three years at the old Metropolitan Opera House. He started each day at 10:00 am and stayed until 11:00 pm, setting, styling, applying, and maintaining the numerous wig and hairpieces that were used during the performances and applying makeup to the performers before each show.

As Bob was developing his career as a wig maker and makeup artist, a new medium called television was also starting to blossom. At the 1939 World’s Fair, a new invention called television was introduced. But due to World War II, it would not be popular with the general public until the late 1940s. In the early 1950s in New York City where network television originated, it was starting to catch on in popularity. Today this television era is referred to as “The Golden Age of Television.” There were few makeup artists available in those days to work in the newly created medium called television. As a result, the television studios needed to experience makeup artists and wig masters to apply makeup, wigs, and hair pieces to the various stage actors, vaudeville performers, and radio personalities who were often called upon to render their services as a few of the first on-air television performers.

One must remember that there was no such thing as experienced television actors or performers then since there had never been a television network to produce live televised shows that required such actors. The producers of the early televised shows needed to recruit local talent that had some sort of professional acting experience and they selected actors who appeared before audiences in Broadway Plays or in Vaudeville stage acts, or out-of-work actors who were always seeking work in new stage or film productions or actors who were frequent “invisible performers” that “acted out parts” over another fairly new medium called “radio.” This time period was a new era in the entertainment industry, so in order to create the foundation for this new medium and build upon it as time went by, the producers did what they had to do by hiring freelance talent whenever and where ever they could get them. 

In the 1950s, television makeup artists were respected and valued for their ability to enhance the appearances of the performers who appeared harsh, ghost-like, or fuzzy looking on the very small television screens that often displayed, reception quality that was vastly inferior to the state of reception that one is now accustomed to seeing. Soon Bob was working in television due to someone who knew him or had heard of him and as a result, they mentioned his name and he was requested because of his unique skills as a makeup artist and wig master. The first television show that he worked on was the Legendary Ed Sullivan television Show that was broadcast on CBS television in the 1950’s. He worked on this show each Sunday that was on his one day off from his regular job at the Metropolitan Opera House.

Photo credit: Hugh Robert “Bob” Kelly

Bob & Paul Ford who played Col. J.T. Hall in the” Sargent Bilko” TV show

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

Another advertising brochure for Bob Kelly’s Cosmetic & Wig line.

By trial and error, hard work, luck, determination, perseverance, and whatever else was thrown in for good measure, this early form of transmitting people as if by magic thru airwaves and viewing them on a small fuzzy screen called television in the presence of one’s own home was a modern marvel of the 20th Century. Television reception as poor as it was electronically in the early years of its birth, managed to entertain, inform, educate, and generally dazzle the first viewers who were mesmerized by this new form of mass entertainment. It would eventually become the new media that would capture the minds of viewers all over the world. Today, the lives of many people internationally are consumed by television viewing. Many start this visual process as soon as they get out of bed and continue the process each night after work until they retire to sleep. Television is a 24-hour media that still manages to entertain, inform, educate, dazzle, and mesmerize viewers as it has since its conception.

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

Bob Kelly is shown as several characters in another one of his famous Bob Kelly Makeup and Wig and Hair Accessories advertising brochure.

Photo credit: Hugh Robert “Bob” Kelly

An early picture of Bob in his wig shop. Bob was a gifted makeup artist and wig maker. His staff of wig makers supplied wigs and hairpieces for Broadway shows, motion pictures, television commercials and consumers.

In the early days of television, one was hired not for an eight-hour day, but for each show that was produced and stayed until these short shows were finished and one was paid a per-show fee of $10.00. If one worked on motion pictures at that period as a makeup artist or hairdresser, they were paid $37.00 per day for their skills. There was a big difference in salary between the two media (as there is today,) because at that time in history, television was in its infancy and it was thought by many to not be a long-lasting medium due to the poor quality of its viewing ability on a small screen, a small number of viewers (because not everyone could afford a television set which at that time what was considered an expensive commodity,) and it was not as profitable a business then as it is now (due to the huge amounts of money that are paid for television commercial advertisements that are presented between shows by different television and cable networks.) As a result, the early union members agreed to a much lower paying scale for

working in the television media as compared to working in the motion picture media. Today the rate is much higher for both media but the two are still unequal in pay scale. However, they are both enjoyable and honorable mediums to be a part of. And in all fairness, it should also be mentioned that Broadway shows pay on a much lower scale than television does. In the entertainment industry, Broadway shows, television shows, television commercials, cable television shows, motion pictures, and the advertising media for still photography all have different pay scales due to various reasons and agreements. Some salaries are low, some are moderate and some are extremely high for a few individuals, depending upon their needs, reputation, skill, and other abilities.

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

Bob had a theatrical flair about himself and loved being the center of attention. He was an old fashion showman and everyone loved it

Bob eventually started to do other television shows and worked with legendary individuals such as Jack Parr, Danny Kaye, Jackie Gleason, Art Carney, and other famous icons of the 1950s and 1960s and a variety of famous television shows such as the Hallmark shows, The Perry Como Show, The Jack Parr Show, The Sergeant Bilko Show, and numerous other well-known shows of the Golden Age of Television. Also, one must remember that this was a time before the invention of color television and big television screens. It was the infancy of television Bob and others like him were part of the early creators of this legendary entertainment industry.  One had to be quick doing the fast makeup and hair changes of characters during the live shows that were presented by each of the three major networks (NBC TV, CBS TV, and ABC TV.) There were no cable television shows in existence then. One also had to be inventive, since there were few products available that were made especially for this early media. For example, if one wanted to show a person bleeding from the mouth due to a fight scene, the makeup artist would apply Hersey’s chocolate syrup to the mouth area to simulate blood coming from the mouth. Artificial theatrical blood that was commonly used in films that were in color would appear too light in the shade since everything in a black-and-white television show would appear in either white or black or in different shades of grey to the viewing audience. As a result, if something such as a red theatrical film blood was used, it would appear on the grey scale as a light shade and not dark enough to simulate a televised blood look. If one used a product such as Hersey’s chocolate syrup, it would not only taste good and was safe to use in the mouth, it would also appear dark in color and would run slowly like real blood would on the skin. Also, the lipstick shade that was used by all women in those days was a very dark shade.

Ira Senz, who was Bob’s employer and mentor in the industry, was in his 80s when he died at his home in Italy. Bob had worked for Ira Senz as an employee of Ira Senz Wig Makers for ten years. After the death of Mr. Senz, Bob decided to open his own wig-making business and did so in 1958, directly across the street from the former Ira Senz Wig Company on West 46th Street, because of its convenient location to the nearby Broadway theaters and a space that happened to be available for such a business in one of the tall buildings.

Because of Bob’s unique personality, reputation as a wig master that made quality wigs and lace hairpieces and his many professional contacts in the industry, his business quickly grew into a successful enterprise. He was capable of making any type of wig or hairpiece that could be thought of and designed. No challenge was too great for him. He always seemed to thrive on challenges, being where the action was, and the thrill of meeting people and being needed by his extended family of patrons. Because of his rapid success, he was eventually forced to move to a larger location in a building next door. The new larger space afforded him the opportunity to acquire more business and grow even larger. At the height of his career, Bob Kelly employed two-dozen wig makers who were kept busy full-time making numerous wigs and lace hairpieces for every type of production that was needed and requested from him in New York City and other parts of the country and world. 

Photo credit: Hugh Robert “Bob” Kelly

Bob applying a hairpiece and makeup to an actor

Photo credit: Hugh Robert “Bob” Kelly

Bob applying one of his custom-made beards to an actor in his wig department.
Bob was a master-craftsman and could work with any kind of hair or hairpiece

Photo credit: Hugh Robert “Bob” Kelly

Bob with “Francis the talking Mule” was used in seven popular Universal-International film Comedies

During this time, the early television programs were only visible in the home in black and white reception. However, in 1953 an NBC television correspondent, Irving R. Levine, did one of the first live colors feeds from an Indian reservation for the “Today Show,” an NBC Television network program that is still an extremely popular morning show today on television. The heads of the television networks were constantly requesting that their employees strive to invent and improve upon the ability to produce new broadcasting abilities, and better television reception and shows, so they could each year capture a bigger and bigger share of the viewing audience away from the motion picture theaters. Television had an advantage over movie theaters, it could be seen in the comfort of one’s home and was free to watch due to advertisers such as the Phillip Morris Tobacco Company (the makers of Phillip Morris Cigarettes,) and the Maxwell House Coffee Company (the makers of Maxwell House Coffee,) paying to advertise or sponsor certain popular shows that attracted a large viewing audience, who would see and hopefully buy their advertised products. As a result of the income of television networks being made from advertisers who promoted their products thru commercial breaks during the shows, it was important for each network to compete against each other by providing the type of entertainment shows that attracted as many viewers as possible in order to obtain new sponsors and maintain their current paying clients who advertised their products to viewers on their televised programs.

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

A small section of Bob Kelly’s wig Department and a few members of his wig-making staff

Newsreels of current events, travel reels, feature films, and cartoons were what appealed to most moviegoers, but modern air conditioning and movies in color were what kept the audiences coming back each week or several times per week to the theaters. However, as home air conditioning was becoming less expensive and more desirable for the average person to possess it in their home (as the television set had become since its invention,) many people desired to stay in the air-conditioned comfort of their own homes and view for free their favorite television shows with their families. The captains of the television empires were looking for a way to enhance their ability to make viewing more desirable by offering shows in color, just as the motion picture theaters had been doing for years. As a result, an exact color system was developed by the networks to be used as the system to broadcast television shows in color to the public and acquire an even larger share of television viewers for their sponsors. They knew that the first network to create and possess the ability to broadcast television programs in color would be able to capture the attention of the moving going public and compete with the movie theaters for their vast audiences. And as a result of broadcasting in color, they would have the largest share of viewers than the other networks and also the largest amount of paying sponsors or advertisers. Television was not only a form of entertainment, but it was also a business that was required to make a profit.
At the beginning of the 20th Century, there were many new technological creations such as the airplane, silent movies that showed moving images, and then the creation of talking movies that really captivated people and started the craze for movie stars. But shortly before the invention of television, the newest form of home entertainment was a new invention called the radio. In 1927 the Radio Corporation of America (which was also known as RCA,) under the guidance of its general manager David Sarnoff, debuted the first nationwide radio broadcasting organization in America from the Grand Ballroom of the famous Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City. The beginning of this newly publicized event was broadcast live to 25 local stations and as far west as Kansas City. This new media was called NBC, which stood for the National Broadcasting Corporation. Radio was the new wonder in the early part of the century and eventually, almost every home would have one. In those early days of transmitted sound, people would sit around an electronic box in their homes and listen to music, news events, and “invisibly performed shows where the characters would appear in one’s mind.” This type of free sound entertainment in the home was at the time, an unheard-of miracle of modern invention. It was to become the biggest threat that the motion picture industry had yet experienced. Just as future free NBC Television Network-produced shows would do the same to the movies and radio itself when it first started to transmit moving and talking images thru the air into a box that contained a small glass viewing screen where the images could be seen and heard. And just like a radio when it was first introduced to the public, millions of people would eventually sit in their homes around this wooden box with a viewing screen in it, but this time they would not only hear people speak, but they would also see them appear, it was more than another modern electronic marvel, it was at the time considered magical.   
RCA was involved in the making of motion pictures in Hollywood as a part of the RKO Movie Studio, the making of RCA radios which aired its NBC Radio Shows, producing RCA music and records with its RCA Victor Salon Orchestra, and eventually building RCA television sets which would receive its various television productions. As the genius that was responsible for the creation of the NBC Radio Network, David Sarnoff was also responsible for the creation of The National Broadcasting Company Inc. is frequently referred to today as the NBC Television Network or NBC TV. David Sarnoff was a man who was devoted to excellence in any venture that he was a part of and the NBC Television Network was another challenge for him to make it into the finest of such creations in the television industry. As a result, new innovations were constantly in the making.
One such innovation was the invention of all electronic color television, instead of a mechanical version that was also being offered by the CBS Television network. Because of David Sarnoff’s competitive drive-in business, and his strong personal desire to strive for advancements and excellence in the television industry, RCA was awarded the coveted honor of its color system being selected by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC,) as the standard in the industry by all of the television stations in the United States. The NBC Television Network was the network that would be the proud presenter of many colors shows in that era. Just as the NBC Radio Network was the first radio broadcasting organization to broadcast nationwide, the NBC Television Network was the first television network to broadcast Chet Huntley and David Brinkley as the first pair of Nightly News Anchors on October 29, 1956.
In 1943 a microphone was used as the first television logo. In 1954 a Xylophone and mallet was used along with the familiar sound of the N B C letters being played on it. In 1956 it was felt by the NBC Network that a fitting logo should be created to represent the Television Network and its use of the color system for television viewing that was developed by its parent company RCA. The Peacock bird is regal looking and is known the world over for its visually rich and beautiful display of colored feathers. As a result, the NBC Television Network choose to use the Peacock with 11 of its brightly colored feathers spread open as its television logo that would be used to announce to their viewing audience that “The following program is brought to you in Living Color on NBC.”  The variety of NBC television programs in the early 1960s which were in color were the modern wonder of that era. And the NBC Television Network has continued to this day to be the resident home of prestigious network television production as it continues to strive for excellence in the industry. Bob Kelly was one of the original talented and gifted artists to have been lucky enough to be a part of that exciting and honored era and his daughter, Barbara Kelly, is also a makeup artist who is the head of the makeup department for the famed “Today Show” at the NBC television network.
In the early 1960s, Bob decided to create his own line of theatrical makeup, just like the world-famous Max Factor of Russia did after he came to America and eventually settled in California as a wig maker and cosmetic manufacturer. Max Factor created the legendary Max Factor Theatrical Cosmetic line for the early motion picture industry in Hollywood and Bob Kelly was about to do the same thing for the early television industry in New York City. He felt that there was a need for a theatrical makeup line to supply the New York television makeup artists and the expanding television network shows. He formed a partnership with three fellow makeup artists and union members. The four men each agreed to invest $5,000.00 into the newly formed business. That sum in 2022 would be worth $40,472.13. As a result, you multiply the invested sum by four and you have a tidy amount of money $20.000.00 in 1961 versus $161,888.52.

Bob was very busy with his wig-making business, and two of the other partners were also busy freelancing on motion pictures, The fourth partner had worked in television and had agreed to One of the individuals started to have the products made in five-gallon containers and he would later melt and pour small batches into containers which would later be sold hopefully to fellow makeup artists and the television makeup departments. Theatrical cosmetics and sell them to makeup artists and the television studio makeup departments. However, this new partnership did not last long. The individual in charge of melting and pouring the containers informed his three other partners sand said that the profits were small and only enough for one person, So, Bob Kelly said that the partner offered to buy his three friends share of the business for $0.25 cent to the dollar of their original investment. The three partners sold their shares at a steep loss.

Bob said sarcastically as he laughed, after we sold our shares in the cosmetic line, a “miracle” happened, the cosmetic line miraculously started to be successful! The partner that bought out his three partners for very little money, became very wealthy (another miracle!) selling the cosmetic foundations that are popular and still sold today by his heirs!

However, Bob Kelly was never one to completely give up on a good idea or an undertaking that was a challenge. So, he decided to create his own cosmetic line. He started to search for a cosmetic chemist to create and make his cosmetic products. Somehow, Bob was fortunate to meet and hire a cosmetic chemist that had not only worked for the famous Max Factor cosmetic company but the man along with Max Factor Jr. is listed in the US Government Patient Office as the co-creator of the famed Max Factor Pancake foundation in 1937! The man that Bob Kelly met was referred to as “Dr.” Fisher, who had been a cosmetic chemist for the Max Factor Cosmetic Company. Oddly enough, “Dr”. Fisher after he left the Max Factor Company had also created and made the cosmetic line for the famous Westmores of Hollywood too! What unbelievable luck! Now, this was a “REAL miracle.”

“Dr.” Fisher agreed to be hired by Bob Kelly and to create and manufacture the theatrical cosmetic line that would be known around the world as Bob Kelly Cosmetics. Bob was the owner and promotional person of the successful line. “Dr.” Fisher worked as the creator and manufacturer of the cosmetic line for Bob Kelly in his Brooklyn plant until he died in his 80s.  Bob and a gifted Iranian NBC television makeup artist named Lee Baygan started to promote the makeup and wig business. Bob had a keen eye for talented people and he chose Lee Baygan to help him do free demonstrations at schools and colleges that had a theater department.

Photo credit: Hugh Robert “Bob” Kelly

Bob Kelly in an area of his wig-making studio

At that period of time, Lee Baygan was a staff makeup artist for the now famed NBC Television Network Studios and he would later become the Director of the Makeup Department at the NBC Television Network in New York City. Lee Baygan was also the trainer of the union makeup apprentices on the east coast for the Makeup Artists & Hairstylists Union, known as Local 798, IATSE. It is also referred to as the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees.) They began to promote the theatrical makeup line around the U.S. by going to colleges, schools and shows that promoted theatrical cosmetics to professionals for film, television, and stage show use and to the general public for various uses such as Halloween, special events, and costume parties. Bob was an instant success at such shows because he knew the value of entertaining people quickly with his sense of humor, down-to-earth qualities, and his unique style and ability to make fast makeup and hair applications in order to create numerous interesting character appearances on any performer.
Bob obtained his hair supplies from various parts of the world, such as Asia for long un-dyed human hair, his Yak hair was from Russia, and he obtained his Crepe wool from England. His craftspeople were hard-working Chinese women who have come to America, just as Bob’s grandparents once did, to make a better life for themselves in a land where many new opportunities were available, in a still young country that welcomes individuals from all walks of life and affords them the same equal chance as everyone else in life to make their dreams come true.

Bob Kelly’s wig business has supplied many types of wigs and hairpieces to numerous famous stage productions and was the wig-making company that was chosen by Disney to make the wigs for their original Lion King production when it was first introduced. His business has created numerous wigs and hairpieces for numerous Broadway shows such as the famed Beauty and the Beast Broadway production. Bob and his staff also made fine quality wigs and hairpieces for society wear, circus clowns, individual actors, motion picture and television commercial productions, and for cable and television networks. Television shows such as the famous NBC television comedy, Saturday Night Live, which features numerous characters each week, for years wore Bob Kelly wigs and lace hairpieces. The very popular NBC television show, The Today Show, has also featured Bob Kelly creating a custom-made toupee for its nationally known weatherman Willard Scott. A Japanese television production company produced a well-made special television show in reference to Bob Kelly and Bob Kelly Wigs.  Bob Kelly was right where he always wanted to be, where the action was.

Photo credit:

Hugh Robert “Bob” Kelly was a makeup artist, wig-maker, cosmetic manufacturer, wig & hairpiece manufacturer and a showman entertainer who lived his life to the fullest.

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Bob is shown here in his golden years and showing the same happy-go-lucky smile that was as famous as he was.

The name Bob Kelly has been a respectful and well-known one worldwide in the theatrical makeup and hair profession for more than 50 years. Bob created numerous videos that demonstrated makeup, wig, and lace hairpiece techniques, applications, and the general care of hair goods. Many young students and seasoned professionals alike have learned from these videos and his personal demonstrations over the years. Besides owning a wig business, manufacturing theatrical makeup, and creating makeup and hair videos, Bob Kelly ventured into other endeavors in life, such as building a restaurant in Arizona.

Bob has had a lengthy and wonderful career and said that if he had it to do all over again, he would do everything the same way because he has enjoyed his life due to the fact that he has enjoyed his work. The wig and makeup business has changed quite a bit during the many years that he has been in the industry and was once a young man, but Bob himself who was 84 years old at the time of this writing has stayed the same. He was always a charming, witty, crafty, gifted, and giving man who has become the artist and legend that he is known to be internationally by his peers and customers.

The International Society of Makeup Artists (ISOMA,) honored Mr. Kelly by awarding him Its Lifetime Achievement Award in 1985. Mr. Kelly passed away at the age of 87 on April 18, 2011, in Nyack, New York. Bob Kelly was one of the legendary makeup artists and hairstylists in the multi-media entertainment industry

Below is a YouTube video of the famous
Robert Hugh “Bob” Kelly
View it at:

The Hair and Makeup Designer (Career Guides)

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

VINCENT J.R. KEHOE & THE AUTHOR (Edward D. M. Jackson Jr.) IN 1970

Vincent J. R. Kehoe was born on September 12, 1921, and passed away on August 17, 2007 (age 86.) In 1949 Vincent became a member of IATSE, Local 798 in New York. He later served as the head of the makeup department for CBS television in New York and from 1962 to 1966 he was the director of makeup for the International Beauty Show makeup competitions in New York City.

In 1962, he and four of his fellow makeup artists created the Research Council of Makeup Artists (RCMA,) cosmetic line. The line was one that possessed similar foundation shades to the famed Max Factor cosmetic line but had a different formula. It was later successful after Max Factor discounted its theatrical shades. It was also successful because it gave one a full ounce of the product when the industry standard was a one-half ounce. The foundations were priced lower than many other brands and that appealed to makeup artists. Over the years the price has risen but it still gives the buyer a full ounce of product and is popular with many makeup artists due to its wide range of shades.

Vincent Kehoe is remembered due to his several books on makeup. He was the author of: “The Technique of Film and Television Makeup, “Special Makeup Effects,” “The Technique of Professional Makeup for Film, Television, and Stage,” “and photographic Makeup for Stills and Movies.” The last book that he was a part of was published by Joe Blasco. Joe, like the author of this guide, was once a former student of Vincent Kehoe. Vincent used to give five-day makeup seminars in his home in Lowell, Massachusetts.

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Vincent J. R. Kehoe as a young man

Vincent as a young man was a former professional ski instructor, he served in the U.S. Signal Corps during World War II before he decided to become a professional make-up career in 1940 and later became a member of the IATSE, Local 798 Makeup Artists & Hairstylists union in New York City in 1949. He worked as the make-up department head fat the CBS television network in New York and designed the Ford Theatre and Studio One productions. At the NBC television network, he worked on the Hallmark Hall of Fame series. He also worked on a variety of films such as the musical Carousel, the now classic horror film The Blob, The Thomas Crown Affair, and Charly. During his career he stated that he oversaw make-up for more than 3,000 major TV, film and stage productions. He enhanced the appearance for a long list of actors such as Grace Kelly, Paul Muni, Boris Karloff, and

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The above photo shows Vincent early in his career when it was traditional for studio makeup artists
to wear a white doctors lab coat in order to give the appearance of being professional and sanitary.

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In the above photo Vincent is seen as a dapper young man applying beauty makeup

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Many makeup artists started to dress more fashionably in the 1940s
In order to distinguish themselves as being more upscale beauty makeup artists

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Vincent is seen applying makeup to actor Lon Chaney Jr.
for what is believed to be a January 18, 1952 season 1, episode 16, “Tales of Tomorrow” television program titled

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Vincent serving as a Judge for one of the IBS Makeup Competitions in the 1960s. Also appearing in the photograph and serving as a judge, is famed fashion makeup artist Stan Place. Stan Place was known as the “Makeup Man with the Magic Hands” and was the “Hot” young fashion makeup artist in the 1960s era. His work was on the cover of every fashion magazine.

At the International Beauty Show (IBS,) in New York City, Vincent served as the Director of the Makeup Competitions from 1962 to 1966. He later promoted his RCMA cosmetic line in a booth as a vendor at the yearly event of the International Beauty show, which was once held at the old Colosseum building (that was once located at Columbus Circle in New York, it was later torn down and a new construction was made for on the site for the World Headquarters of the CNN television network.) In 1986, the International Beauty Show (IBS.) started to present its events at the then newly built Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City. In 1999 Vincent served as guest speaker at the International Make-up Artist Trade Show (IMATS.)

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The makeup case used by Vincent J. R. Kehoe during his career

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One of Vincent’s IATSE, Local 798 makeup artist membership cards from 1964
It was signed by the Secretary of the union David Lawrence, makeup artist.

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“The Professional Makeup Artist” makeup book was co-written by Joe Blasco and Vincent J. R. Kehoe

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On the left is well-known Hollywood makeup artist and IATSE. Local 706 makeup artist member, the owner of a professional cosmetic line that is used around the world, owner of several professional makeup training centers, an author of several popular makeup training books, an Internet video celebrity, and a former student of Vincent J. R. Kehoe. It has been said that Joe as a young man was inspired by Vincent J.R. Kehoe, to become in some ways to be like Vincent and become known as a renaissance man as Vincent was referred to by those that knew him.

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In the above and below pictures are one of the RCMA foundation palettes


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Three of the many makeup books that were written by Vincent J. J. Kehoe

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Vincent and his wife Gina Kehoe

Vincent offered four-times a year-short makeup seminars, usually for four people in the basement of his Lowell, Massachusetts home. The seminars were a way for young students to learn a few things about professional makeup and it was also a way for Vincent to introduce them to his RCMA makeup line and hopefully create future customers. Joe Blasco was one of the many students of Vincent’s that was inspired by Vincent during his time as a young man, and he later established the first major training school for professional makeup artists. And like Vincent, he created his own fine-quality cosmetic line called “Joe Blasco Cosmetics,” which is sold and used by professional makeup artists all over the world. Joe Blasco co-authored the book “The Professional Makeup Artis” With Vincent Kehoe. It consists of three volumes.

Besides being a freelancer makeup artist, during his career, Vincent wrote twelve books about makeup and makeup artistry and a book on photography. While he resided in New England in the 1970s, he became a Revolutionary War historian and founded the “10th Regiment of Foot” (which is a British or Red Coat unit.) It is said that Vincent set the standard for historically accurate uniforms, accoutrement’s and conducting proper drill tactics, and was responsible for the spit and polish of the 10th Regiment and its professional appearance at the British Revolutionary War re-enactors that continue to this day in time.

In the latter years of his life, Vincent devoted his time to writing books and his RCMA makeup line. He eventually moved his family and business to Somis, California where the weather was warmer and enjoyed the remaining years of his life there.

You may view the below videos:




Photo credit: Victor Callegari


Victor Callegari was born in Brooklyn, New York on November 20, 1936. He was a member of the IATSE, Local 798 Makeup Artists and Hairstylists union in New York City. Victor was the son of Arturo and Laura Callegari. He had two brothers named Carlo and Arthur and a sister named Norma.

Victor started working as an apprentice at the “old” Metropolitan Opera House in 1965, which was the last year of its existence before it moved to its new location on the upper west side of Manhattan in 1966. The “old Met” was unable to obtain landmark status and was demolished in 1967.

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

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

Victor applied the above makeup application to the tenor Mr. Volker Vogel for his portrayal of
the Monostatos character in the Metropolitan Opera’s production of “The Magic Flute”

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

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

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

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

Metropolitan Opera House tenor Mr. Volker Vogel

Victor said that he was fortunate to have been taught makeup by Edward “Eddie” Senz who was the son of Ira “Papa” Senz (who had been the Director of the Metropolitan Opera House makeup department for 52 years.) Ira “Papa” Senz was also one of the founding members of the IATSE, Local 798 makeup Artists and Hairstylists union which was given a Charter on February 18, 1949.

It was the last year that the Metropolitan Opera House was there before it was torn down and the opera company moved to the “new” Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center of Manhattan. Lincoln Center on the upper west side of Manhattan between West 62nd and West 65th Streets and Columbus and Amsterdam Avenues.

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Exterior and interior of the Metropolitan Opera House at the corners of
Broadway and West 39th Street, it opened on October 22, 1883.

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The new Metropolitan Opera House opened on September 16, 1966.
It presented the world premiere of Barber’s “Anthony and Cleopatra.”
It was an extravagant production in a very grand opera house

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Above is the interior of the new 1966 Metropolitan Opera House

Victor has worked on hundreds of opera productions that include thirty-national and six-international tours with the Metropolitan House. He has graced the faces of numerous opera singers such as: Bergonzi, Corelli, Domingo, Fleming, Freni, Gedda, Ghiaurov, Giaiotti, Horne, MacNeil, Merrill, Nilsson, Pavarotti, Scotto, Siepi, Sutherland, Tebaldi, Terfel, Tozzi, Tucker, and Vickers, and many others.

A few of the famous operas that he has worked on are Madam Butterfly, Aida, Othello, Don Giovanni, La Boheme, Turandot, Carmen, The Magic Flute, Das Rheingold, Il Travatore, Rigoletto, The Tempest, Electra, Samson et Dalila, La Rondine, Il Trittico, Il Barbiere di Siviglia, La Fanciulla del West, L’elisir d’Amore, manon Lescaut, The First Emperor, Eugene Onegin, I Puritani, Francesca da Rimini, Manon Lescaut, and Hansel and Gretel, Der Rosenkavalier, Tosca, The Tales of Hoffmann, Boccanegra, Hamlet, Armida. 

After working at the Metropolitan Opera House for 45 years and being the head of its makeup department for 30 years, at the age of 73, he decided to retire in 2010. He wished to spend more time with his family and to travel and teach some. During some of his travels he gives Master Classes on opera makeup in various countries to those that are interested in the art of opera makeup. He has presented his master classes for theatrical stage makeup to opera makeup professionals and opera makeup students in Italy (very frequently,) Germany (Bayreuth,) England, Tel Aviv, Austria, at the Teatro Colon in Argentina, and in Asia.

During his master classes he not only demonstrates his theatrical stage makeup techniques but he also shares his vast knowledge of stage makeup and stories of his time at the Metropolitan Opera House. And he shows a series of photographic slides that feature a few of the numerous classic theatrical stage makeup designs that he has created for some of the most famous opera singers in the world. He says that when a singer has been asked to perform at the famed Metropolitan Opera House, they feel that they had truly “made it professionally.” For an opera singer, to perform on the stage at the Metropolitan Opera house is the greatest honor in the world. Mr. Callegari is regarded as one of the finest theatrical stage makeup artists in the world.

Victor has been a judge several times for the make-up competitions at the International Beauty Show (referred to as the IBS,) in New York. It is the largest show of its type in the world that has attracted up to 80,000 attendees in three days. He has been the recipient of numerous awards such as: five Emmy Awards for makeup for the Metropolitan Opera House productions (that have been shown on over 125 telecasts on the Public Broadcast System (PBS,) and he has been honored by the International Society of Makeup Artists (ISOMA,) by being presented with its “Lifetime Achievement Award,” for his many years of service in the makeup profession.

There is no film/video available of Victor Callegari


 Photo credit: Christine Domaniecki


Michael Ralph Thomas was born to Theresa and George Thomas on August 27, 1949, in Rahway, New Jersey. He was a combination of Czech, Portuguese, and Irish nationalities. To his friends, neighbors, and parents, he was simply known as Mike Thomas. As a young boy, he was raised for a while in the Bronx area of New York. He lived near the old Yankee Stadium Baseball Park and went to Public School 73. While living in the Bronx, Michael enjoyed watching horror films on his family’s television set that featured the old-fashioned style “rabbit ears” antenna that was used to receive the fuzzy black and white images that appeared on the screen. As for color television, it did not start selling in large numbers until the mid-1960s and by the 1970s color television sets had become standard only because of their affordability and the fact that all-color broadcasts had become quite common. However, in those days, there was no cable TV connection, High-definition television, or large flat-screen televisions, or other popular items such as an Apple personal computer, Apple smartphone, Apple iPad, or similar devices that had not yet been invented.

It was while he lived in the Bronx that Mi“hael saw a ”elevision program called Chiller Theater, it was a Saturday night show that appeared on Channel 11, WPIX-TV. The show presented horror films late at night that Michael loved to watch with his dad. At the end of each show, Mike’s father would explain to Michael how some of the scary makeup effects were created.  The Chiller Theater show was hosted by a TV character named Zackerley whose real name was John Zacherle.

John Zacherle was a radio personality and voice actor that was known for his long career as a television host that broadcasted horror movies in Philadelphia and New York City in the 1950s and 1960s. He had also recorded what was considered at the time to be a novelty rock and roll song that just happened to hit the top ten in the rock and roll music charts called “Dinner with Drack.” Although Zacherley played many character parts during his long career, he is best remembered by his fans as Zacherley, the host of the television shows “Shock Theater,” (which aired for 92 broadcasts from 1957 to 1958.) and “Chiller Theater” (which aired from 1961 to 1963.) Zacherley was included in the Chiller Theater program in 1963.
The Shock Theater show debuted on WCAU-TV in Philadelphia and presented various horror films. Zacherley would host the show wearing a long black undertaker’s coat, and ghoulish makeup and presented severed heads that were “dripping with blood” (the “blood” was actually made of Hersey’s brand chocolate syrup that appeared to look like real dripping blood on a black and white television screen.) Mike loved horror movies and fantasized about creating similar makeup looks and impressing his father by doing so. One of his favorite monster creatures was Frankenstein. The Frankenstein character was first created in a novel that was written by the writer Mary Shelly, she had it published under the title of “Frankenstein” at the young age of 20 in 1818. Her novel was later made into the 1931 black and white classic horror film “Frankenstein” by Universal Studios and starred the legendary actor, Boris Karloff. The makeup artist that created the makeup design for the Frankenstein creature was a man named Jack. Pierce. In the makeup profession, Mr. Pierce has become a legendary figure in the makeup profession because of his many iconic makeup creations and was an inspiration to Michael and thousands of other young makeup artists. The Frankenstein film was a hit with moviegoers and it has since become a cult classic with many generations of new fans that appreciate this famous film whenever it appears on television or when they may rent a Video or DVD of the movie.)

Michael had seen the Frankenstein movie numerous times and had for various reasons been inspired by the story and the Frankenstein creature, as many of us are by such a classic film because of the makeup on the creature, the tragic beauty of the story, and the creature’s sad life in the story. The Frankenstein character is a sensitive, emotional creature whose only aim is to share his life with another being like himself. This sounds very much like many of us that desire to share our life with another similar person.

Because the Frankenstein creature was created from the parts of many dead men, it was more than eight feet tall, had a yellowish translucent skin coloring, black lips, and was hideously looking. The creature is rejected by everyone that he encounters and after seeing his own reflection, the creature realizes that he too cannot even stand to see his own image. Eventually, the heartbroken creature renounces all of humankind and swears revenge on his creator Dr. Frankenstein. Besides being a frightening movie to see, especially when one is young, impressible, and is seeing it in black and white, which is capable of enhancing the mood and fear in a darkened room. The film is also entertaining because the underlining story is tragic and sad and one that makes the viewer feel compassion for the lonely monster. The human goodness that is in all of us is displayed when we feel compassion for the creature and his unfortunate life.
Mike could draw an exact replication of the Frankenstein makeup look that was created by the Hollywood makeup artist Jack Pierce. During Michael’s life, he many times re-created the Frankenstein look for fun, and several work assignments and he personally wore it with pride at many horror or movie-themed conventions that he loved to attend.
In the third Frankenstein, film made in 1939 by Universal Studios titled “Son of Frankenstein” which featured the Frankenstein creature played for the last time by the actor Boris Karloff, there was a character named Ygor (often pronounced as Egor or Igor,) that was played by famed horror actor Bela Lugosi and the makeup was also created by the makeup artist Jack Pierce. In this movie, the Ygor character befriended the Frankenstein creature. Ygor was a demented hunch-backed blacksmith that had been executed for stealing dead bodies. Ygor managed to survive his execution due to the fact that his neck and back were broken and twisted because of a botched hanging. Michael in true form loved this film too and the ugly character of Ygor. Michael would often apply makeup to his face and don a messy-looking wig, wear artificial teeth (that he had made,) in order to look like Ygor. Mike would appear as Ygor and entertain his friends by speaking and acting like Ygor in a realistic and comedic manner. Michael had an amazing resemblance to Ygor when he made himself up to appear as this famous character and was fully costumed and wearing a hump on his back.

One other famous horror film that was also made by Universal Studios was a blood-sucking vampire movie titled “Dracula” which starred the actor Bela Lugosi. Makeup artist, Jack Pierce was also the makeup artist for this character too. Mike would often convincingly turn himself into the Dracula character. Because of Mike’s fondness for these classic horror characters and the happiness that they brought to him whenever he would portray them so well at the numerous horror or movie-themed conventions that he often attended around the country, he would be associated with them for the rest of his life. For a brief moment in time, dressed as these characters at the conventions, he was the center of attention and was someone that everyone loved and admired.

As a teenager, Michael had wanted to attend Bronx Science High School and possibly pursue a career as a scientist. Unfortunately, when Michael was 16 years old, he and his father were riding on a motorcycle when a car ran into it and them. His father was killed and Michael was hospitalized with severe back and shoulder injuries that would cause him severe pain for the rest of his life. After the death of his father, his mother decided to move back to New Jersey to live in the small town of Hazlet. Michael was one of the kids that were born during the baby boomer generation; such children were part of an increase in births after World War II. Each baby boomer was one of 76 million Americans that were born during the demographic Post World War II period. This was an amazing time for many young people in America. They grew up in an era when many new innovations like television had become household staples. Michael’s generation was exposed to a wide variety of technological inventions that their parents never had or could not have previously afforded if they had been available. So for many young people like young Michael, regardless of how much wealth one’s family may have had or not had, this was a period of prosperity for Americans and such wealth trickled down to many of ’hem in various ways. For example, many individuals that worked in manufacturing plants in or near large cities could afford to purchase a television set that was being mass-produced as the main form of entertainment for the average American family. And when air-conditioning became affordable, many American families could purchase one and stay home in the comfort of their air-conditioned homes/apartments and be entertained by simple television shows like “I Love Lucy” and the “Honeymooners” that was being shown on their television sets. One could escape from their everyday life of a 9 to 5 type of existence. 
After the death of his father, Michael went through a period of uncertainty as many young people do after suffering an emotional loss, physical pain, and having to adjust to a new life in an unfamiliar area and school. Mike was fortunate during high school to have met three teachers by the names of Pete Runfolo, Ted Kurdyla, and George Del Monte (these three men later went on in life to become successful film producers.) Without realizing it, they had influenced Mike’s life by forming the Horizon Players. The Horizon Players were mainly students who were interested in acting, performing music, and being part of theater production. As a theatrical group, they presented plays for local high schools and community theaters. Michael was interested in becoming a part of these thespians and became a performer because of his previously having become fascinated by the horror movies that he had seen as he was growing up. As a result, he joined the Horizon Players and acted in several plays and he even taught himself how to apply makeup to his own face for his appearances in them. After appearing before a live audience a few times and hearing their applause, he was as the saying goes “addicted to performing before others and receiving their applause and appreciation.” Michael loved to perform, especially wearing character makeup, and costumes and being noticed and appreciated by others.

During his senior year in high school, Michael received a telephone call from a friend that informed him that his TV idol, Zacherley, the former host of the two television shows “Shock Theater” and “Chiller Theater,” was now the host of a teenage dance show called “Disc-O-Teen.” The show was broadcast on television in black and white in the mid 1960s. The show was taped in Newark, New Jersey, which was a distance from where he lived. But the distance was not a problem to Mike, he was excited to hear about it and he decided to attend it and meet Zacherley. Michael still loved to watch horror films, and read fan magazines like the classic “Famous Monsters of Filmland” (which was started in 1958 by publisher James Warren, owner of the Warren Publishing Company, and editor Forrest Ackerman.) The Zacherley character appeared in many of these magazines. As a result, Michael made himself up to look like the horror character, Count Dracula, complete with homemade fangs. Mike also made up his friend to look like

Photo credit: Christine Domaniecki

Michael appeared as the Scarecrow character in the 1970 “Wonderful Land of OZ”

the Jack Pierce Wolfman character that he also admired. They both went to the show dressed as these characters and managed to convince the stage manager to let them appear on the show. Because of their unique appearance they were featured guests. Zacherley appeared on his show wearing his usual trademark look, which consisted of a long black funeral directors coat, wearing his hair split down the middle of his head and flattened on the sides, and on his face, Zacherley wore an unusual makeup application that was both ghoulish and funny looking. Zacherley also presented the show in a dramatically ghoulish but comedic manner too. This helped to attract and impress the young and impressible people.

From 1964 to 1967 Zacherley hosted the Disc-O-Teen dance show. He used many of his teenage participants in his skits on the show, one such eager teenage participant was none other than 17-year-old Michael Thomas. Mike was impressed by Zacherley’s stage appearance, unusual humor, love of horror movies, and unique style of presenting horror movies, as well as his kindness to Michael. The Disc-O-Teen show and its unusual host were a magnet for Michael and his desire to be in some way like Zacherley. Un-be-known to Michael at that time and to a young female regular (named Christine Domaniecki,) that he had met on the show, they would meet again in future years and marry!  However, when the Disco-O-Teen show closed, they lost contact with one another because they lived a considerable distance from each other. And because young Mike and Christine realized as all young teenagers do, life moves on. Both of them had graduated from high school and were facing uncertain futures.

That summer while he was still 17 years old, Michael designed the makeup for and played the part of the Frankenstein creature in a low-budget independently produced monster movie. He also later played the part of the Scarecrow and also did the special effect makeup for another low-budget movie titled “The Wonderful Land of OZ.” However, Mike was at a crossroads in his life, the Horizon Players had disbanded, his beloved Zacherley show had closed and Mike was an unemployed high school graduate with no employable skills. He was at a loss for what to do with himself and his life. He realized as many teenagers do at that time in their life, that he was out on the streets in the real world and was no longer in the secure womb of high school. And like many young high school graduates, he felt alone, insecure, frightened, and was worrying about what to do with himself. Mike tried working in a mental health facility but found it too depressing. He also tried working in a sheet metal factory and even started his own car waxing business. But no matter what Mike did, his personal and professional life was boring and unhappy. And in Michael’s mind, the future looked even direr. He secretly desired to become a makeup artist.

Suddenly by fate, Michael received a telephone call from one of his old teachers, Paul Runfolo (who was later the producer of the Equalizer film.) Michael was offered a job! He was offered the highly glamorous position as a “production assistant” doing various jobs at several New York film studios. This meant that he worked long hours doing mundane work, earned very little money, and basically starved while waiting to make his dream of becoming a makeup artist and creating monsters come true. Michael was motivated to follow his own yellow brick road to happiness. Mike was ambitious and due to his inquiring mind, in 1970 he was fortunate enough to find out about an opening as a makeup apprentice at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City. He applied for the position and was accepted as the Met’s new makeup apprentice. In those days the Metropolitan Opera House and all of the television studios offered a three-year makeup apprentice system.

Photo credit: Christine Domaniecki

16-year-old Michael in makeup and costume as Count Dracula in 1965

Having a television celebrity like Zacherley that was a kindly father figure, role model, and a person that had befriended Michael and made Mike feel that it was OK to follow his childhood dream and be what he wanted to be in life as an adult was the ultimate gift to Michael from Zacherley. They became life-long friends.

Later in life when Michael was a professional makeup artist, Michael stated in a video as he was applying makeup to the face of his friend Zacherley for the first time. Mike had waited 40 years to apply the special Zacherley makeup design to the face of his dear friend and inspiration. It was a deeply special and moving moment for Michael to apply the makeup to his celebrity friend for the Zacherley Archives.

The IATSE, Local 798 union apprentice system permitted each unionized establishment (such as the Metropolitan Opera House,) to hire a makeup apprentice at a salary that was lower than the traditional “Journeyman” salary. The apprentice person would work full-time for a three-year period and learn many makeup techniques on the job. Also, the makeup apprentice position permitted the makeup union to train young people that would eventually be eligible to become full members in the IATSE, Local 798 makeup artist union in New York City. Television and opera makeup apprentices were paid a weekly salary plus union benefits and were required to abide by union rules and requirements, attend union meetings, pay union dues, and attend weekly makeup craft classes for three years before being permitted to take the union exam for the Journeyman position. The IATSE, Local 798 union makeup apprentice classes were taught once a week for three hours by the well-known and respected Mr. Lee Baygan, Makeup Department Head of the National Broadcasting Company (NBC,) Television Studios in New York City and author of two makeup books called “Makeup for film, Television & Theater” and “Techniques of Three-Dimensional Makeup.”
The Metropolitan Opera House makeup apprentice position allowed young Michael Thomas to work under two of the most highly skilled stage makeup artists in the world. Their names were Mr. James Pinto and Mr. Victor Callegari. They were heavy taskmasters that gave strict discipline to each new makeup apprentice. Mike was a very enthusiastic and likable person and became well-liked by everyone he met. While working at the Metropolitan Opera House, Michael was also able to encounter and ask questions of other gifted freelance makeup artists who occasionally worked at the “Met” on various productions that had large casts and needed additional makeup artists to apply makeup to the principal singers, chorus men/women, ballet dancers, and supers (stage extras,) when makeup was required for some or all of these various stage performers. 

After successfully completing his three-year makeup apprenticeship and union Journeyman examination Michael decided to go out into the professional makeup world as a freelance Journeyman makeup artist. This means that you are an unknown and all-alone, frightened, unemployed person that is always seeking work as a makeup artist for hire, for a day, a week, a month, and hopefully for a longer period of time. Michael was talented enough, likable enough, and was lucky enough to soon have found a freelance job on a new show called “Saturday Night Live” at the famed NBC Television Studios in New York City. Saturday Night Live (which was also referred to as SNL,) was a comedy show that was presented on live television, each Saturday night. In 1975, it was an instant success with young viewers because the show featured a wide variety of young, energetic, comedic performers presenting numerous silly comedy routines. One of the famous routines was the “Coneheads,” which were suppose-to-be a group of Alien beings that had heads shaped like a cone. Many devoted fans often showed up at the show each week wearing similar style Coneheads to emulate their favorite characters, just as similar fans do for various movies today (such as the Rocky Horror Show, Star Trek, Avatar, etc.) Michael was a sensitive, emotional person that had come into a professional world where he could meet and share his professional makeup life with other individuals like himself. Michael had finally come home to where he “fit in” and felt that he belonged.

Photo credit: Christine Domaniecki

Michael as an older “Count Dracula” with his friend Zacherly in 1994

Photo credit: Christine Domaniecki

Multi-media makeup artist Michael R. Thomas is applying makeup to his friend Zacherley for the Zacherley Archives

Photo credit: Christine Domaniecki

Zacherley and Michael enjoying themselves as celebrities at a Chiller Theater Convention

Photo credit: Christine Domaniecki

Mike & his future wife, Christine at a “Disco-o-teen Dane Show”

Photo credit: Christine Domaniecki

1981 – Michael & comedian Dan Aykroyd

Photo credit: Christine Domaniecki

1982 – Michael & comedian John Belushi

Photo credit: Christine Domaniecki

Michael applies makeup to the hands of Phil Hartman, a comedian for his appearance on the NBC TV show
Saturday Night Live

Michael worked on Saturday Night Live as a freelancer for 20 seasons. He also rendered his services on numerous other assignments such as television commercials, soap operas, news shows, the Metropolitan Opera productions, various videos, and films as the department head or as a freelance makeup artist. One of the movies that he had worked on was called The Wiz.” It was directed by Sydney Lumet for Universal Studios in 1978 and featured the famous singer/entertainer Michael Jackson as the Scarecrow character in the movie. The Scarecrow character consisted of applying a bald cap to cover Michael Jackson’s hair, which had been previously braided in small braids. In 1978 when this movie was made, many young African/American men and women wore their hair in large Afros, which was quite fashionable at the time. However, Michael Jackson had his hair purposely braided in advance in order to keep his hair as flat as possible in order to wear the bald cap as best as possible for his role as the Scarecrow. After Michael had applied the bald cap, he would next apply six foam latex pieces which consisted of a forehead piece, two cheek pieces, a nose piece (which was suppose-to-look like a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup wrapper,) a chin piece, a neck ruffle piece.

Photo credit: Christine Domaniecki

Mike with singer Michael Jackson in 1978 on the set of the film “The Wiz,”
showing their sense of humor.

The famous Stan Winston Studio in Van Nuys, California designed, made, and shipped (as they were needed) a fresh batch of foam appliances for each of the main characters (the Scarecrow, the Cowardly Lion, the Tin Man, etc.) to wear in the movie. Each of the character’s appliances was kept on Vac-u-Forms that had been molded from that actor’s face. Vac-u-Forms are made of a plastic material that has been Vac-u-Formed over a plaster life mask that was cast from the actor’s face.  The Vac-u-Forms basically act as a “support” or “coat hanger” for the lightweight foam appliances so they will keep their basic shape and not bend, fold, wrinkle, or move about, especially as Michael was pre-coloring them on the forms. Michael would bring the Scarecrow appliances home and he would lightly attach the foam latex appliances to the Vac-u-Form pieces and pre-color each of them. By doing so, it saved Mike quite a bit of application time when he was applying them on Michael Jackson each morning in the makeup room at the Kaufman Astoria Studios in New York. On the inside of the Vac-u-Forms were a few swatches of grease paint color to be used as a guide for applying the Scarecrow’s makeup character. Michael duplicated the grease paint makeup for the neck ruffle piece of the Scarecrow character in the artist’s acrylic because if he had used grease paint on the neck ruffle piece, it would have rubbed off onto the costume. At the end of the movie, Michael was allowed to keep the five Michael Jackson Vac-u-Forms as a keepsake.
Michael Thomas would apply the prosthetic appliance pieces in the early morning hours and he had to maintain them during the day, which was a difficult task to do. Because the Scarecrow character was a very cartoon-type character, and the fact that Michael Jackson made a lot of exaggerated facial expressions in order to bring his Scarecrow character to life, it was difficult to maintain the appliances as well as one wished to do. Michael Jackson’s facial movements made his character look wonderful on camera, but they wreaked havoc on the foam appliances by making the appliances loosen up from the skin. Michael was constantly having to re-clean, re-glue the prosthetic appliance pieces, and then re-paint them to match Michael Jackson’s face coloring so they would look perfect at all times while filming.

At the end of each day, Michael would slowly and gently remove all of the facial appliances from Michael Jackson. He would do so by going behind Michael and gently loosening the back of the bald cap with a small brush and a mild adhesive remover. As he did so, he would lightly lift up on the bald cap in each of the sections that it was adhered to and soon he would be able to pull the cap over Michael Jackson’s head and down the front of his face. By doing so, he was often able to remove the ball cap and all of the attached appliances in one piece. As a result of being able to do so, Mike said he would duck down behind the makeup chair that Michael Jackson was sitting in, so he was unable to see Michael Thomas’s reflection in the makeup mirror. After Mike had done so, he would slip the whole head mask over one of his hands and slowly raise it up behind the makeup chair so only that it was seen in the makeup mirror and Michael would say OOODLE-OOODLE-DOOODLE-DE-OOOHHH!!! And at that point, Michael Jackson would laugh out loud at his makeup man’s antics. Both the actor and the makeup man were children of the theater and life and shared many similar moments of friendship and laughter. 

On another shoot day, during their conversations to help make the time pass by, Mike had stated to Michael Jackson that he had taught himself how to draw, which was the early stages of his decision to become a professional makeup artist. When Michael Jackson was informed of this fact, he asked to see an example of his work. So Michael used one of his pens to quickly draw a very quick sketch of his favorite horror creature, “the Frankenstein monster.” Michael Jackson liked it very much and stated that he and his brothers had a game that they would all play together in order to fight boredom at times when they were on the road touring. One of them would draw a few lines on a piece of paper, just a few abstract lines, and then give it to another sibling and say, OK, now make a fire engine out of this, or make a tree out of this, etc. And it was up to his brother or sister to take a pencil and “complete” the drawing in a certain amount of time. Both Michael’s enjoyed playing this game together many times while working together on The Wiz movie. One time Mike said that he tricked Michael Jackson by drawing a few curvy lines that he felt did not suggest a cat. And as far as Mike was concerned, the curvy lines did not look anything like a cat. So, he said, “go ahead, make a cat out of these lines!’ And within 30 seconds Michael Jackson had produced a drawing of a cat! Not as Mike Thomas would have pictured one, which would have been standing on all four legs, but he had used the curvy lines to draw a cat that was all curled up and sleeping. Then Michael Jackson made a few drawings on the paper that was presented to him. Mike kept them with Michael Jackson’s blessings and that is how Michael Thomas came to have a few drawings that were personally drawn by Michael Jackson. One of the drawings was of a man’s face. It is pretty sketchy and kind of impressionistic, but there are a couple of eerie similarities between the drawings that Michael Jackson made and his own real face after he had, later on, had so much plastic surgery done to it.
Michael Thomas like many of us know, always felt that there is a phenomenon that frequently occurs when a makeup artist and an actor work together and it is called “instant intimacy or intimate friends.” We often spend many hours in close personal contact with an actor for several days, weeks or months while working together on a production. We tend to share conversations about ourselves, and our lives with one another. As a result, some of us become intimate friends on a social level with talent. Because, as glamorous as the lives of the actors and our jobs as makeup artists may appear to be to others outside of our industry, we know that our lives and the lives of the talent are not always glamorous. Since we are each away from our loved ones, friends, and our everyday environment for days, weeks, and months at a time when we are working on a production. As a result, we can become lonely. Sometimes we are often more interested in getting some extra sleep, having our laundry done and simply being with a friend or two in a social setting where we feel totally relaxed and free to be our real selves and not our work selves. Michael Jackson wanted the same things as the rest of us, he wanted to be with a few friends and just be another human being and laugh and enjoy himself as any other person would do among friends.

One day during the making of The Wiz movie, Mike asked Michael Jackson if he would like to sometime come to his home and have dinner with h and his wife Christine, and to Mike’s delight, Michael Jackson (who was already a world-famous singer/entertainer at the young age of 19,) was surprised and also delighted to be invited into the personal intimacy of his makeup man’s home for a home cooked meal. Most individuals would never have thought of asking such a famous person to come to their home and share a home-cooked meal. But Michael Jackson was just as real and humble as Michael Thomas was. As a result, Michael Jackson and his personal bodyguard “Spence” discreetly arrived at Michael and Christine’s house in Belleville, New Jersey to enjoy a home-cooked meal of Cornish game hens and Stove Top Stuffing. Michael Jackson had requested lots of “dressin” as he referred to the stuffing, since where he came from (Gary Indiana,) it was called “dressin.” As a result, Christine had made an extra-large batch of Stove Top Stuffing so the young singer would have as much as he desired of it. As a result of both Michael’s knowing one another so well and becoming friends, due to their having worked together for a lengthy period of time on the Wi’ movie, they were able to just be two young guys enjoying some relaxing time together, by talking and laughing a lot.

Mike played his guitar a little and he showed Michael Jackson how to play a few easy cords on his acoustic guitar. Michael Jackson said that he had always admired people who could play musical instruments and that he had often fantasized about being a lead guitarist in a rock band. Mike had told Michael Jackson, that there was a comedian named Robert Klein who once did a comedy skit on the comedy television show called Saturday Night Live. The show presented him playing his harmonica, and as he did so, Robert Klein gave the show band the downbeat by stomping his foot and crying, “lemme hear some Blues!” The band struck up the introduction to a blues number and Robert Klein began playing his harmonica with them and continued to stomp his foot and pumping his leg at the same time. After the opening 16 bars of the number, he pulled the harmonica from his lips and continued his foot stomping, as he soulfully sang, “I can’t stop my leg, little darling,’ I can’t stop my leg, little guurr!” After hearing this, Michael Jackson thought that this was hysterically funny. So, while Michael Thomas played a blues chord progression on his guitar, Michael Jackson stomped his foot and sang, I can’t stop my leg!” He was having a lot of fun and continued to sing, “Now listen to me people,” both Michael’s broke out into silly laughter together. These were just two average young men relaxing and enjoying themselves by acting as two young men do in their youth.

Photo credit: Christine Domaniecki

Michael Jackson being taught by Mike how to play the guitar in Mike’s home

Michael Jackson stated during their conversations together, that when he worked on a project, he devoted all of his energy and passion to that project. No matter what the project was or what he was doing, Michael Jackson wanted to give his up-most-best to that project. This was an extremely young, gifted man that was destined for the greatness that he had worked hard to achieve as a singer/entertainer and did achieve. Basically, Michael said that he was just a big sweet kid that was shy and gifted and enjoyed laughing. Both of these Michael’s got along so well because they were both two big, sweet kids. They were also both artistically gifted and shy and they loved to entertain others.

Photo credit: Christine Domaniecki

Michael Jackson playing a few notes on Mike’s guitar.


1 – I Am Legend (2007 Movie) Makeup Artist – uncredited. 
2 – Enchanted (2007 Movie) Makeup Artist – uncredited
3 – American Gangster (2007 Movie) Makeup Artist – uncredited
4 – The Life Before Her Eyes (2007 Movie) Makeup Artist – uncredited
5 – George and Martha Washington: A 40 Year Romance (2006 – Short Film for the
Museum) Makeup Department Head
6 – An Erotic Werewolf in London (2006 Video) Makeup Artist
7 – Nowhere Man (2005 Movie) Key Makeup Artist
8 – Bite Me! (2004 Video) Makeup Artist  
9 – The Step ford Wives (2004 Movie) Makeup Artist – uncredited
10 – Dr. Horror’s Erotic House of Idiot’s (2004 Video) Makeup Supervisor
11 – Ultrachrist! (2003 Movie) Special Effect Makeup Artist
12 – The Lord of the G-Strings: The Female ship of the String (2003 Video) Special
Makeup Effect Makeup Artist
13 – That 70”s Girl (2003 Video) Special Makeup Effect Makeup Artist
14 – People I Know (2002 Movie) Makeup Artist – uncredited
15 – Play-Mate of the Apes (202 Video) Special Makeup Effect Makeup Artist
16 – Zoolander (2001 Movie) Makeup Artist – uncredited
17 – The Fanatical Teachings of Julian Tau (2000) Makeup Artist
18 – One Special Night (1999 TV) (Hair designer: Ms. Andrews) – As Michael Thomas
at Michael John
19 – Beloved (1998 Movie) Makeup Artist – uncredited
20 – The Zachery Archives (1998 Video) Makeup Artist
21 – “Soul Man” (1997 TV Series) Makeup Artist unknown episodes
22 – Wayne’s World 2 (1993 Movie) Makeup Artist
23 – “Behind the Scenes” (1992 TV Mini-Series) Makeup Artist
24 – Loose Cannons (1990 Movie) Makeup Artist
25 – Ghost busters II (1989 Movie) Makeup Artist: New York
26 – Fatal Attraction (1987 Movie) Slashed wrist makeup effect – Makeup Artist)
27 – My Demon Lover (198 Movie7) Special Makeup Artist – New York 2ND unit
28 – Fear City (1984 Movie) Special Makeup Effect Makeup Artist
29 – Ghostbusters (1984 Movie) Makeup Artist – New York
30 – Neighbors (1981 Movie) Makeup Artist
31 – Wolfen (1981 Movie) Gore Makeup – Makeup Artist – uncredited
32 – Fort Apache the Bronx (1981 Movie) Key Makeup Artist
33 – 3-2-1 Contact (1980 Video TV Series) Makeup Artist – unknown episodes
34 – The Wiz (1978 Movie) Makeup Artist
35 – Saturday Night Live (TV Show – 20 seasons) Makeup Artist
36 – The Wiz (1978 Movie) Makeup Artist
37 – The Sentinel (1977 Movie) Makeup Artist – uncredited
38 – Serpico (1973 Movie) Special Makeup Effects Makeup Artist – uncredited
39 – The Wonderful Land of OZ (1969 Movie) Character Makeup Artist – uncredited

Photo credit: Christine Domaniecki

1990, Mike standing beside a car on the set of “Loose Cannons”
featuring Dom DeLuise, Gene Hackman, and Dan Aykroyd.

1 – House of the Wolf Man (2009) Appeared as Dracula
2 – Sculpture (2009) Appeared as Father Frank
3 – Skin Crawl (2007 Video) Appeared as Nalder
4 – Shock-O-Roma (2005 Video) Appeared as Frank/The Brian – Zombie This/Lonely
Are the Brain
5 – The Ghosts of Angela Webb (2005 Video) Appeared as Alexander Steward
6 – Bite Me! (2004 Video) Appeared as Ralph Vivino
7 – Rectuma (2004) Appeared as Wanger
8 – Dr. Horror’s Erotic House of Idiot’s (2004 Video) Appeared as Frank Mannering
9 – Spiderbabe (2003 Video) Appeared as Dr. Dowell
10 – Vampire Vixens (2003 Video) Appeared as (Michael Thomas) the Boss
11 – Ultrachrist! (2003) Appeared as Vlad the Impaler
12 – The Lord of the G-Strings: The Femaleship of the String (2003 Video) Appeared
as Smirnof the Wizard
13 – The Erotic Mirror (2002 Video) Appeared as the Antique Man
14 – Witchblade: The Erotic Witch Project 3 (2001 Video) Appeared as himself.
15 – Purgatory Blues (2001 Video) Appeared as Jack’s Dad
16 – Mistress Frankenstein (2000 Video) Appeared as the Monster/Gypsy/the
Burgomaster/Karl the Inspector
17 – Erotic Witch Project 2: Book of Seduction (2000 Video) Appeared as himself.
18 – Titanic 2000 (1999 Video) Appeared as Eegor/Captain Skimmer
19 – The Wonderful Land of Oz (1969 Movie) Appeared as himself & the Scarecrow
20 – Fanny Hill Meets Dr. Erotico (1967 Video) Appeared as the Monster


1 – That’s Independent! (2004 Video) Appeared as himself
2 – Ripley’s Believe It or Not! (2003 – TV Show – one episode) Appeared as himself
3 – Episode # 4, 7 (2003 TV episode) Appeared as himself

Photo credit: Christine Domaniecki

Michael as “Count Dracula” in 2002 

In 1991 Michael received a telephone call that reunited him with many of his “Disc-O-Teen friends and brought him to his first Monster Convention which is now known as Chiller Con. At these conventions, Michael met many new individuals from all walks of life who shared a passion as he did for Classic Horror Films. Michael felt free (as other attendees did and still do,) to attend such conventions dressed as one of his favorite characters. He would often attend the conventions dressed in character as the Jack Pierce-designed version of Frankenstein and the Jack Pierce-designed version of Ygor the hunchback (from the 1939 Universal Studio film titled “Son of Frankenstein,”) the Jack Pierce designed Bela Lugosi version of Count Dracula (from the 1931 Universal Pictures film titled “Dracula,”) the Jack Pierce designed Bela Lugosi version of Dr. Felix Benet (from the 1936 Universal Pictures film titled “Invisible Ray,”) and the Maurice Seiderman designed Bela Lugosi version of Dr. Eric Vornoff (from 1955 produced, directed and co-written by Edward D. Wood Jr. and distributed by Banner Pictures titled “Bride of the Monster.”)

For 15 years Michael appeared at the

Chiller.Con Convention (

And the Monster Bash Convention
( )

And the Martha Stewart television shows annual Halloween Show.

In 1991 Michael attended a Disc-O-Teen dance show reunion party and was once again re-united (after 23 years apart,) with his lady friend Christine Domaniecki, who also attended the party. In 1966, when Michael and Christine first met, Christine was a budding makeup artist. She was applying makeup for fashion shows, and Halloween parties and she was the makeup artist for her high school production of West Side Story (which was a successful 1961 film.) They were two young individuals who shared many of the same interests. However, Christine said that Michael had continued to pursue a career as a makeup artist and she did not. When they reunited at the dance reunion, she was at the time selling real estate for a living. Mike and Christine quickly rekindled their friendship and fell in love with one another. On December 30, 2003, Michael and Christine were married and they began another adventure in their lives. Mike continued working as a multi-media makeup artist. Christine started to demonstrate cosmetics by working for several cosmetic companies in the tri-state area. Afterward for several months, Mike began taking her with him to a few of his assignments as his assistant so she could learn a variety of on-the-job techniques and skills. At their home, Mike taught Christine the techniques of theatrical makeup by showing her how to create highlights and shadows, old age makeup, cuts, scars, bruises, applying bald caps, casting and mold making, etc. She said that it was a training process that took several years of working with him as his personal makeup apprentice. 

As a result of being together so much, Michael and Christine shared a love for one another, a passion for makeup, the movies, movie characters, horror, and movie-themed conventions. They did everything together Michael would dress up in makeup and costume as one of his favorite horror movie characters and Christine would also dress up as the female character Elvira.  They would both attend many of the movie-themed conventions dressed as their favorite characters and have the thrill of their lives together.

At that moment in time, Michael’s life was in complete harmony. He was married to a very sweet loving woman whom he shared a great love with as well as his varied interests, and he was enjoying the life of being a makeup artist and working in an industry where he had always felt at home and belonged in.  

Photo credit: Christine Domaniecki

Former “Saturday Night Live” show actor Steven Colbert and Michael in the 8 H makeup room at the NBC television studios in New York.
Steven Colbert is now the host of the popular CBS talk show “The Late Show with Steven Colbert.”

Photo credit: Christine Domaniecki

Christine, comedian/actor Dana Carvey, and Michael at the “Dana Carvey Wrap Party”


Photo credit: Christine Domaniecki

1996 – Dana Carvey show sketch of “If only I had an Ass”

Photo credit: Christine Domaniecki

Christine and Michael at the 1996 Emmy Awards

Photo credit: Christine Domaniecki

 Christine as Elvira and Michael as Frankenstein at a Halloween Party in 1995

Photo credit: Christine Domaniecki

Michael and Christine dressed up for a New Year’s Eve Party in 1993

The party theme was titled “I’ll be seeing you 1943” The men wore World War II period uniforms and many women wore evening gowns circa 1943. Everyone danced to the sound of “swing Music” which was provided by long-playing 78 records on an old RCA Victrola record-playing machine. Christine wore a USO uniform and Michael wore a British officer’s naval uniform because Michael did not wish to shave off his beard. That branch of the military was the only one that allowed men to have facial hair.

Michael truly enjoyed being a makeup artist and being married to his soul mate in life. He said that he is only regret was that his declining health had kept him from continuing in the industry. In July 2009, he was asked by his union to be the instructor of makeup for two of the IATSE, Local 798 Makeup Artist union craft classes. Michael happily accepted and was in makeup heaven sharing his love of his craft with other young individuals. It was his last assignment as a makeup artist. After several operations and a long illness, Michael passed away on August 24, 2009.

Mr. C. Robert Erdman, the Executive Director of the International Society Of Makeup Artists (ISOMA,) posthumously presented Michael Thomas, the ISOMA Lifetime Achievement Award for his lifetime of love, devotion, dedication to his profession and for having strived to achieve professional knowledge, growth, and excellence for himself, his profession and for society and finally for representing himself and the makeup profession in an exemplary manner to others and being an inspiration for others to emulate. The ISOMA award was accepted by Michael’s wife, Ms. Christine Domaniecki-Thomas. Christine is a makeup artist and a successful member of the IATSE, Local 798 Makeup Artists & Hairstylists union in New York City.

Photo credit: Christine Domaniecki

Michael in makeup and costume for one of his favorite characters “Ygor”

One may see a variety of videos that feature Michael Thomas appearing in makeup and costume as a few of his favorite horror movie characters as well as Michael appearing as himself. The videos show Michael’s unique sense of humor and his love of horror movies and the makeup profession.

You may view the below videos:

1 – The below You Tube video is titled: “Mike Thomas Tribute Presentation”

2 – The below You Tube video is titled: “Mike Thomas: Old Ygor”

3 – The below You Tube video is titled: “Michael Thomas as Ygor at Monster Bash”

4 – The below You Tube video is titled: “A Dear friend is gone, RIP Michael Thomas” Featured Michael Thomas.

5 – The below You Tube video is titled: Michael Jackson “La Magia dietro The Wiz” cosi lo ricorda Michael Thomas (Make-up Artist)


Photo credit: Deborah Paulmann


Deborah Paulmann was born on the daughter of a man that owned a coffee shop/luncheonette in the Bronx borough of New York. In the early 1940’s her father was drafted into to the Army and shipped off to England so he could serve in World War Two in Europe. Her uncle took over the business until her father returned. At the end of the war her father like many servicemen came home and married. Her father had met her mother and after a brief courtship they married when he was 37 years old and her mother was 18 years old. Deb said that she was born two years later in New York City and was the oldest of three children (she had two younger brothers.) Her family moved from the Bronx to Westchester County, NY when Deb was 3 years old.

Her Uncle kept the coffee shop/luncheonette store in the Bronx, and her father opened another coffee shop in Westchester County, which he did well with. But after living in Westchester County for about 13 years her parents decided to divorce when Deb was 13. Deb continued to stay with her mother and go to school during the day and work with her dad at “the store” as they called it after school. Deb maintained a close relationship with her father.

She said that she had wanted to become a lawyer, but she knew that there was no money for her to go to college. She struggled to find her place in life and asked herself what she would like to do for a living in order to support herself. During her soul-searching time, she recalled having fun when she was a young girl and putting on makeup on her face and fixing her hair so she could look like the beautiful women that she saw on television. As a young woman, she still enjoyed putting makeup on her face to lift her spirits. As a result of desiring to do something that she liked doing as a child and something that still brought a little happiness to her life, she decided to attend one of the Wilfred Beauty Academy training centers that taught individuals how to become a hairdresser.

After she graduated High School early (with generous help from the Vice-Principal and her teachers) she enrolled in her nearby cosmetology school. She attended beauty culture classes during the day and continued to work in her father’s store at night. After a year of training, she graduated from the Wilfred Beauty Academy and applied to take the State Board of Beauty Culture test in order to obtain a cosmetology license so she could work in a beauty salon.

Deb stated that her father once confided in her that he had when he was a younger man, secretly desired to be an actor. But he said that the war and the aftermath of marriage and having a family and the responsibilities of running a business put off the dream forever. He encouraged Deb to chase after her career dream. Deb stated at that time period her dream was to get her cosmetology license and be creative as a hairstylist and not be stuck running a small-town coffee shop like her father had been doing.

Upon obtaining her cosmetology license, she went to work in a small beauty shop in a very wealthy nearby town. However, it wasn’t long before she realized that she disliked working with bored wealthy ladies that came to her weekly for the same thing over and over. She also admitted that she did not like working with the general public. She said that she felt drained of energy and desired freedom away from the salon life and clients. She stated that little by little I specialized myself out of that job, by taking numerous night classes in hair coloring, and advanced hairstyling classes hoping to work elsewhere. She also had a part-time job waitressing to supplement her tiny beauty salon paycheck.

Photo credit: Deborah Paulmann

Deb with famed NBC sportscaster Bob Costas

Photo credit: Deborah Paulmann

1980’s Saturday Night Live cast members, Back row left to right: Nora Dunn, Randy Quaid, Robert Downey Jr., Joan Cusac, Jon Levitz. Front row left to right: Daniyta Vance, Anthony Michael Hall, and Terry Sweeney.


She stated that she like most young women had met a young man and sort of fallen in love. He was part of a band, and the lead singer of that band had a girlfriend who was the lead singer in an all-girl band. She became friends with both groups of band members and started doing their hair and makeup for their local gigs. When they started to go on tour, she was asked to travel with them as their personal makeup artist and hairdresser. She immediately said yes because it was an opportunity to travel the country and most of all do what she liked doing best which was “beautifying people.” She could not believe her good fortune at being paid to perform her craft and travel around the country.

As a result of this opportunity to become a part of the show business industry, she desired to become better at what she was doing and learn as much as she could. She started to learn more about theatrical makeup and bought the only two professional makeup books that were available at that time period. They were “The Technique of Film & Television Makeup by Vincent J. Kehoe” and “Stage Makeup by Richard Corson.”  While on tour she studied each book carefully and was excited to do many of the various makeup techniques that she was reading about.

Photo credit:

Famed gossip columnist Liz Smith as “The Grand Dame of Dish.” She regularly appeared on WNBC’s Live at 5 Show and wrote for the New York Post, The Washington Post, and Cosmopolitan magazine.

Photo credit: Deborah Paulmann

Deb & the Saturday Night Live makeup room crew being entertained by
comedian Jon Levitz in the makeup room.


When Deb returned from touring the country with the bands, she contacted various photographers in Manhattan and asked them to do test work with them so she could build a portfolio and eventually be paid for applying makeup on models. After obtaining a portfolio and working for a few photographers and getting paid to do so, she realized that she liked doing this type of work and realized that she could also do it as a full-time paid career.

She also searched the classifieds section of a publication called “Backstage Magazine” which was an entertainment–industry related publication. She was looking for work in the ads and noticed an ad that stated: a “Television Makeup Seminar was being taught by Mr. Bert Roth, the Director of Makeup for ABC Television.” It was a five-day seminar covering a brief introduction of television makeup techniques. During her attendance she learned of a makeup and hairstylists union for television and films. She applied to the union and was told that although it would take time to become a member that it was possible to do so. This gave her hope and something to look forward to as she continued to struggle as a young makeup artist.

After repeatedly trying to become a member, she was given a three-day assignment as a “Permit Worker” for a soap opera called “As the World Turns.” A Permit Worker is one that was given a permit (permission,) by the union to work on union jobs when all of the current union members were busy working and extra help was needed. When this happened, the union would contact those on its waiting list to become a union member and that person would immediately work on whatever assignment was being offered.

While working on the daytime drama “As the World Turns,” she met a senior makeup artist member of the union named Barbara Armstrong. In the three long work-hour days that she worked with Barbara, and they became good friends. Barbara was a strong-willed woman but underneath her tough exterior Barbara had a kind heart for others in life that had it tough. Barbara herself had a tough life as the single mother of a blind daughter. Barbara was known as a workhorse in the industry and put in long hours whenever she was asked. There was no job that she could not do and she never turned down any job. Deb said that Barbara liked her personality and her work and became amazingly supportive of her and instantly became her mentor.

Although Barbara Armstrong was working at As the World Turns for three days, Barbara was also one of the top makeup artists that were employed at NBC Television during the early morning hours, she was helping a friend out by filling in for her while her friend was out sick. He was working two full-time jobs in a day. As a result of Barbara working full time at NBC television network, she asked Deb to come to meet her at NBC the following week so she could introduce her to a woman named Sadie Hall. Sadie Hall was the Director of Scheduling of the Makeup, Hair and Wardrobe departments and booked the various professionals that worked on the NBC productions. 

Photo credit: Deborah Paulmann

Deb, actor Will Farrell in the character as President George Bush, and hairstylist Michael Radcliff in the Saturday Night Live Makeup Room.

Photo credit: Deborah Paulmann

Deb applying a bald cap to one of the Conan actors that were appearing on the show

NBC had studios that were located in Rockefeller Plaza in New York and in Brooklyn, New York. With Barbara’s introduction to Ms. Hall Deb was offered an apprenticeship position. NBC at that time was the last network to offer an apprentice position that consisted of a three-year period of employment. It was a reduced rate of pay ($10.00 less per day than a full union member.) The position also afforded her the opportunity to become a union member after waiting 13 long years to become one. As an apprentice, she was required to attend weekly union makeup classes, and monthly union meetings and be ready and willing to work at any job assignment that was offered to me by the director of the NBC makeup department.

Photo credit: Deborah Paulmann

Deb touching up Conan O’Brien on location

Deb stated that she enjoyed the apprentice program because she was being paid a good salary for doing what she loved to do and was also able to attend the weekly apprentice makeup classes that were offered by the union and instructed by the Director of the NBC Makeup Department Mr. Lee Baygan. She said that Mr. Baygan was a highly talented artist that possessed a kindly demeanor and a serene spiritual sense.  She admired his professionalism, artistic skill, old-world charm, and gracious manners. This was a time when senior makeup men such as Lee Baygan (who had been a part of the original union members when the union was founded,) wore a three-piece suit and tie to work each day. Deb was the last NBC makeup apprentice.

While Deb was serving her apprentice-ship she enjoyed working in the NBC Makeup lab and learning to do special effect makeup techniques.  It was a thrilling time for her but also a very tiring time. She was on call to work on whatever shift was available and often was required (after finishing her own shift,) to fill in for others who had called in sick. She worked on all of the NBC shows that NBC produced in its New York studios and said she was in heaven doing it. She had finally found a home where she felt welcomed and needed. After she completed her apprenticeship period, she went to take the Union

Photo credit: Deborah Paulmann

Conan O’Brien & comedian/actress Aisha Tyler for a Star Wars sketch for a
Comic-con Show.

Makeup Examination in order to become a senior, full member or Journeyman status in the IATSE, Local 798 Makeup Artists and Hairstylists Union in New York and its jurisdiction.  After taking the examination that lasted all day and consisted of every facet of makeup artistry it was finally over. The stress that one places on them self during such an exam was exhausting and nerve-wracking. She went home to wait for the test results. She was later informed that she had passed and she was offered a staff position at NBC which she accepted.

Photo credit: Deborah Paulmann


She worked at the two NBC studios (in Manhattan and Brooklyn,) for several years and wondered what it would be like to freelance on movies and television commercials. She decided to leave the security of her staff job at NBC and started to freelance as a film and television makeup artist. It didn’t take long for her to realize that she hated working on films and commercials. The hours were long hours and when she was not applying makeup she was dying of boredom. She also disliked working in the steamy heat of summer and the bitter cold of winter. Her legs ached from standing on concrete floors and streets and she disliked lugging her numerous makeup bags and cases to location assignments. Her health was suffering from working 18-hour days for six to seven days a week and looking for her next job.

Deb said she was making a ton of money but she was constantly afraid to say no to any job that was offered to me for fear of never being asked again to work. Freelancing for her was an unstable life and as a result of working so much she had no personal life. She preferred a steady job with time off from work. As a result, these thoughts Deb went back to work in television in 1989. She started to work at the ABC Television soap opera called “One Life to Live.” It was a soap opera that she had watched daily after high school with her best friend and her mother. She said that she would never forget her first day working there and seeing the sets and some of the same actors that she grew up watching after high school. She said that she felt like she knew each one personally. She won her first Emmy nomination working on the show. She left the production in 1991. Unfortunately, her husband died in an automobile accident before her 32nd birthday. It took her about two and a half years before she felt emotionally able to return to work. Deb said that due to my unhappy childhood, she had come to always put her work first above family and friends last. It took her time to learn to balance her life and work.

Photo credit: Deborah Paulmann

Deb applying makeup to Conan O’Brien

A fellow makeup artist named Michael Thomas, who was a dear friend and extraordinary makeup artist had called and asked Deb to fill in for him on a job for a “Penn and Teller Show.” She felt like the Universe was giving her permission to return to her career. She continues to this day to thank Michael for pushing her to fill in for him. He knew that I needed to come out of my shell and he appeared at the right time in my life.

As a result of filling in for Michael Thomas on his ‘Penn & Teller” job, Deb knew that it was time for her to go back to work again as a full-time makeup artist. She started to freelance again and eventually ended up working on the CBS soap opera “As the World Turns” as the Makeup Department Head. It paid well but the hours were very long. For the first few years, she was ok with doing long hours, she did not have a personal life at the time. But when one does the same kind of work for a few years the newness wears off and like all artists, Deb was looking for the excitement and fulfillment of being creative again. Her show consisted of applying beauty makeup each day. She loved working with the talent on the show and she said that each one was a delight to work with. But she secretly started praying for the show’s writers to come up with anything different that would permit her to do some occasional special effect makeup. She would like to have done a few cuts, scars, and bruises, or have one of the actors be in an automobile accident so she could do some effect for them. Artistically, she felt that it was time for her to move on to another job. Shortly afterward, Deb heard that another soap opera called “Another World” was being canceled and that that show’s Executive Producer and his staff would be moving into the As the World Turns show as if the two shows were being combined into one. And it was moving to the Brooklyn studios where “Another World” and “The Cosby Show” were filmed. That was when she knew it was time to leave.

She realized that traveling to or moving to Brooklyn was something that she was not interested in doing. She announced to the show’s producer that she had decided to leave the production.  The show moved to the Brooklyn studio after its Christmas break and Deb left the show during the same time.  

Deb says she was never one for saying goodbye and felt that it was too emotional for her. She had had many emotional pains and losses in her life and no chance to say goodbye, but this time she knew that she had to do so, for herself, and for her “family” of actors on the show. She knew that it would bring her closure. She is happy that she said her goodbyes to the show’s cast because she is still in contact with several of her friends/actors after 19 years.

Photo credit: Deborah Paulmann

A small side section of Deb’s makeup work table

Soon afterward Deb was informed that her father was very ill. He was never one to go see a doctor, so when she (and her brothers) found out how serious his illness was, there was very little time left to spend with him. Deb says because she had resigned from her job that she was blessed with the opportunity to spend time with him. He passed away 6 months before her marriage to her second husband Alan Perla. She was also grateful that her husband-to-be had the time to get to know her father. Deb said that she lost one special man (her father,) but got another one (her new husband.)

Photo credit: Deborah Paulmann

Deb was often called upon to do a variety of quick makeup applications for the Conan O’Brien show various sketches

Deb later started freelancing again, and soon ended up at NBC Television again. She was working on the “Saturday Night Live” show with Louie Zakarian, who was the head makeup artist for the SNL Makeup Department. She says that Louie was one of the nicest guys you could hope to work with and learn from because he is a makeup genius. She says each of the SNL cast members had one hair, one makeup, and one wardrobe person assigned to them for their quick changes.  She had originally worked on the SNL show in the 1980s when she first came to work at NBC and was familiar with the show and loved working on it. It was a fast-paced, exciting, creative, and fun-to-work show. This time, she was assigned to work with Will Ferrell, Deb said Louie wanted an experienced makeup artist that was quick and could work with high-profile talent so he chose me to be Will Ferrell’s makeup artist. Will Ferrell usually had more sketches than even the guest hosts did, and the quick changes usually of 10 to 30 seconds were not a problem for Deb. She enjoyed the challenges of working with Will and the other members of the SNL show. She says Will appreciated her and the entire staff that worked on the SNL show.

Photo credit:

An advertisement for the Conan O’Brien program on TBS

When Will Farrell was not busy during the live show, Deb was chosen to work with Jimmy Fallon, who was also another appreciative performer Louie also sent me out to do “outside” jobs with Will, for special events such as “The Concert for New York City” at Madison Square Garden where Will was portraying his usual character of President George W. Bush.

Deb said that most of the exciting moments of her career were at NBC Television because it was a network that offered makeup artists a wide variety of assignments that required one to be a multi-media makeup artist and use all of the training that they had acquired during their career. She did every show possible at NBC and did numerous productions for NBC outside of its studios. Due to her working at NBC she sometimes traveled to work with numerous television and film stars, celebrities, politicians, sports figures, and numerous individuals of importance. She traveled to work with First Lady Nancy Regan, and to work with Norma Quarrels for the Vice-Presidential Debates and was sent on a job that she thought and thought was meant to be top secret till she got to the location to apply makeup to “Smith”, who turned to be Jean Kennedy Smith. Deb said she is a big Kennedy fan so going to work with her at her townhouse was a pleasure.

Another so-called secret assignment was with Joey Buttafuoco and his wife Mary Jo, following Mary Jo’s recovery from being shot in the face by Joey’s former “Long Island Lolita” girlfriend. 

In late 2000 Deb was offered to try out working on the “Late Night with Conan O’Brien” show. She said that she did not at the time know who he was, but the hours were the best that she had ever had as a makeup artist, and the salary was above scale. There were 10-12 “dark weeks” of no taping, so she could work elsewhere if she wished to do so. But at that point, she was the Makeup Supervisor at NBC-TV and as a result, she would often fill in elsewhere in the building or do supervisorial work and have some downtime to herself. Will Ferrell had decided to leave SNL, so she would leave the show too

Photo credit:

Actor George Takei is best known for his role as Sulu, the helmsman of the spacecraft
the USS Enterprise in the original Star Trek television series.

In 2009 Conan O’Brien replaced Jay Leno as Host of ‘The Tonight Show” with Conan O’Brien. Deb and a large group of her Conan O’Brien co-workers moved to California to continue working with Conan, who was now the prestigious host of “The Tonight Show,”

it was a huge and exhilarating change. At first, it was quite exciting seeing the different historic movie lots, especially since she was a tremendous fan of old movies and the history of the industry. Living close by and going to work on a daily basis at Universal Studios was a special treat.  She and her husband had family and friends living in Los Angeles, which made the move a bit more comfortable, as well as Deb’s co-workers with whom she now became closer to and socialized much more than they had in NY. It all made the move from home in NY a lot less stressful, and more exciting to their new home, now in California.

Photo credit: Deborah Paulmann

Actor George Takei in geisha makeup for a sketch on the Conan O’Brien show.

Working on the Conan show was often hectic and was like working on a mini version of Saturday Night Live, it had a lot of last-minute requests and changes for special effects makeup and hair. While working in Los Angeles she met and worked with numerous actors, celebrities, politicians, authors, musicians, sports stars, etc. Deb stated that she was actually excited to meet and work with a few of them that she had for years long admired. There were a few individuals who worked as extras on the show that would soon make their own way to stardom like Jack McBrayer on the “30 Rock” show, Miss Ellie Kemper, and Kevin Nealon. She also had her personal favorites, such as Seth Green whom she met years earlier when she first worked at NBC, when he was about 8 to10 years old and was trying out for a part in a show. She was the first one to ever put makeup on him and she was always excited to see him on the Conan show. Deb says she has many wonderful memories and professional experiences due to her years of working for NBC in New York, and her continued employment at the NBC studios in Los Angeles.

Photo credit: Deborah Paulmann

Will Farrell in character as “Ron Burgundy Anchorman” with Conan O’Brien

Deb said that Conan as the new host of The Tonight Show” was a contractual agreement that had been negotiated five years earlier in 2004, Jay Leno agreed he’d retire from that position. Conan hosted the new Tonight Show for eight months from June 2009 until January 22, 2010, which is when Conan left The Tonight Show and created his own show titled “Conan” for the Turner Broadcasting System (TBS) for their first Cable TV late night show November 8, 2010 through present day. Deb continued with Conan on the new show, in their new home at Warner Brothers Studios in Burbank, California.

Photo credit: Deborah Paulmann

Deb & a few crew members of the Basic Cable Band” for the 2018 Conan O’Brien show: James Wormworth, Mike Merritt, Richie Rosenberg, and Scott Healy.
Missing are band members: Jerry Vivino and Jimmy Vivino.

During the time that Deb was waiting for Conan to start his new show at the Turner Broadcasting System cable program, Deb desired to do something special with her makeup craft. Makeup for celebrities and television was a great career, but she wanted to give back to society. Deb soon began working with The Phoenix Society of Burn Survivors, donating her time and expertise in their program to teach Burn Survivors how to make themselves up by applying camouflage makeup products. Many Burn Survivors become virtual shut-ins, emotionally incapable of being seen out in public. These makeup lessons were life changing for many men and women, who now felt comfortable enough to venture back outside of their homes and into the public. It was also life changing for Deb, doing such special work for these people was awesomely spiritually rewarding for her. 

Photo credit: Deborah Paulmann

Deb is shown with actress Ellie Kemper

Photo credit: Deborah Paulmann

Deb is seen with wardrobe man Bruce Brumage (left,) and hairstylist Jeffrey Swander (right.) Rolled up on the carpet is Conan O’Brien who was the host of
the 2006 Emmy Award Show.

During this time Deb also discovered Permanent Makeup, which is professionally referred to as Micropigmentation. She began learning Permanent Makeup under a teacher from The American Academy of Micropigmentation (AAM) and received her Certification from this Academy, along with other credentials such as from the California Board of Health; this became her true passion and ultimately more rewarding than she ever expected it could be for so many men and women for so many different reasons. She continued doing Permanent Makeup even after the new Conan show resumed. 
As for her union affiliation, she says that she is happy to have been a part of a union that has benefitted her in many ways during her lengthy career and states that it will continue to benefit her long after she retires. Deb says that she is like many union members that have worked on numerous non-union and union assignments she says working on union jobs is much better for the artist than it is working on a non-union assignment. Union members are entitled to numerous employee protections and benefits. Each day that a member works for a union signatory employer they earn points towards healthcare, eye vision, and dental coverage, as well as a pension, and an annuity plan. She says that being presented with her Union cards to the IATSE Local 798 (New York) and Local 706 (Los Angeles) were two of the proudest moments in her career. She has always been proud to be a part of an international organization that was created especially for the benefit of its members. She states that when the membership of each local chapter stands together the union is strong and will benefit all of its members. Deb says that she is grateful for her union apprentice makeup training and being afforded the opportunity to work with numerous seasoned union members that were extremely talented. She has always tried to emulate them and perform her craft in a professional manner that would earn her the respect of younger members that she gave to those that she admired during her youth as a young member in the union.

She feels that all union members should take advantage of any classes or any means of educating themselves. This industry is constantly changing and one needs to stay current in order to make oneself employable. One should never think they know enough. She also states that young union members should attend union meetings and be involved and network with one another. Deb was formerly on the negotiating board for union contracts when she worked at the NBC network in New York. She says each television network has its own contract and that members employed at the various networks should be involved in their future by becoming a part of the negotiating team. As for freelancers, one should also be involved in union matters to protect the union and themselves. One should always support the union and promote fellow members.

For Deb, this industry has been an awesome career for her. It has not always been glamorous or easy but she says that it is the best job in the world for a makeup artist. She says you get back what you put into it. One should bring dignity and respect to their craft and have moral ethics. Be the best that you can be as an artist and as a person.

Deborah Paulmann has often offered her Micropigmentation services to the faces of those in need in order to enhance their lives.


Photo credit:

Lee Halls applying makeup to actor Paul Newman

Lee Halls is touching up the makeup of actor Paul Newman in 1969 at the NBC television studio for his role as Host of the show “From Here to the Seventies” It aired on August 7, 1969

Lee Halls was born on August 3, 1923, in Scotland, United Kingdom, and passed away on December 14, 2005, in Bronxville, New York at the age of 82. She was a member of the IATSE Local 798 Makeup Artists and Hairstylist Union in New York.

Lee’s first recorded makeup assignment was working on the British espionage television series “The Avengers” which was created in 1961. She was the un-credited supervisor and makeup artist for 30 episodes from 1962 to 1964. In order to hold such a position, she had to have been working for several years before that time in order to gain experience in the industry no recorded evidence is available here in the U.S., but the British had wonderful training for its makeup artists.

The author first met Lee Hals when she came one evening to substitute for the regular union apprentice makeup instructor Lee Baygan. Lee Baygan was selective in reference to who was going to teach his class whenever he was not available to do it himself. He would sometimes earn extra money to work for Bob Kelly Cosmetics and Wigs by going to a college to teach one or two days of makeup classes and use Bob Kelly’s theatrical line of cosmetics and wigs and hair products to demonstrate with them. This promoted the Bob Kelly products and Lee Baygan earned much more than his weekly television salary as the head of the NBC television makeup department.

When Lee Halls came to fill in for Mr. Lee Baygan, she was a wonderful instructor of makeup. She was very professional in her manner, excellent at what she knew and taught, and was a no-nonsense type of person. She informed a few “entitled” attendees that she was not there to permit them to “goof off” and quickly informed anyone that if they wished to go home to do so and not waste their time in the class. Upon hearing this type of talk, everyone quickly paid attention to what she said. That evening’s apprentice class was well taught by Lee Halls. She had been trained in England and like many British makeup artists, she was very business-like in her profession and mannerisms. I personally admired her style, skill, professionalism and her kindness. We remained friends for years and I had the pleasure of working with her on several productions.

From 1963 onwards her work credits were: The Avengers, 3-2-1 Contact, Happy Days (TV movie,) The Catherine Wheel (TV movie,) Cross Creek, Don’t Eat the Pictures: Sesame Street at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (TV movie,) Heartburn, The Ellen Burstyn Show (TV series,) I/m Glad I’m Me (Video,) Fraggle Rock (TV series,) A Muppet Family Christmas (TV movie,) September, Sing Along (video short,) Learning to Add and Subtract (video short,) Sesame Street Special (TV movie,) The Alphabet Game (video short,) Big Birds Favorite Party Games (video short,) Count It Higher: Great Music Video from Sesame Street (video short,) Sesame Street; Oscar’s Letter Party (video game,) The Best of Ernie and Bert (video short,) Let’s Learn to Play Together (video game,) Sesame Street: 20 Years & Still Counting! 1969-1989 (TV special,) Sing Yourself Silly! (a video short,) Sesame Street Home Video Visits the Hospital (video short,) Sesame Songs: Dance Along! (video short,) Three Men and a Lady, Sesame Street Home Video Visit’s the Firehouse (video short,) Sesame Songs: Rock & Roll (video short,) Sesame Street: Monster in the Mirror (video short,) Big Birds Birthday or Let Me Eat Cake (TV movie,) Roundhouse (TV series,) Sesame Street (TV series,) and Sesame Street Stays Up Late! (TV movie)

Lee was awarded a Daytime Emmy Award in 1979 for Outstanding Achievement for a Drama Series “Love of Life.”

See the below video in reference to Lee Hall’s work as a makeup artist.

1 – Fraggle Rock 1983 – By Lady Thunder


Photo credit:

Francis “Fanny” Bettschen-Arvold is shown in one of the anchor booths at the 1984 Democratic Convention in San Francisco, California.

Francis “Franny” Arvold was born on December 16, 1921, in Fargo, North Dakota and passed away on October 9, 1992, in Fargo, North Dakota at the age of 71. Francis was a member of the IATSE Local 798 Makeup Artists and Hairstylists Union in New York. She worked as a makeup artist for CBS television Network as a studio makeup artist at the CBS Broadcast Center on West 57th Street in New York. Francis was born and raised in Fargo, North Dakota, and was a graduate of North Dakota State University.

There were few women makeup artists in the film industry in the 1930s. Some worked for the Max Factor beauty salon in Hollywood beautifying wealthy clients and preparing young screen actresses in the early morning hours for their filming that would be done someplace later on at a location site or studio. The first television broadcast did not happen until 1939 at the World’s Fair in New York and regular television programming did not become more common until the 1940s. There were few female makeup artists in the industry in the 1930s and in the 1940s and the few that there were, were generally referred to as “technicians,” instead of being called makeup artists. “Women technicians” applied beauty and natural makeup and did not do special theatrical makeup that consisted of cuts, scars, bruises, etc. At that time period in Hollywood only makeup men that were employed by the movie studios applied special types of makeup applications for actors performing in the early films. Movie makeup artists were often required to perform such special makeup applications in addition to hand-laying hair to create beards, sideburns, mustaches etc. for various character actors.

As the makeup profession became well known it attracted more and more people that desired to do this special kind of work. Such knowledge and application skills were often referred to as “secrets of the trade” that experienced makeup artists only wished to share with their family members or close personal friends. This is why such skills were often referred to as “trade secrets.” Such secrets were not freely shared with others in order to keep the current professionals working and the industry rates of pay high in order to prevent the film industry from becoming flooded with thousands of people that would come into the industry and offer to undercut one another in pay in order to work.

Photo credit: Francis “Fanny” Bettschen-Arvold

Francis is seen above with poet Carl Sandburg in 1961 during the making of two documentaries in Gettysburg, Pa. and later in Galesburg, Illinois. The CBS filming of the story of Abraham Lincoln in honor of the centennial of his election to the Presidency, titled the Prairie years.

In 1961, Francis traveled from New York City by “airliner” as she referred to flying in those days to Gettysburg, Pa. to apply makeup to the two television talents that were appearing in the documentary titled “The Prairie Years.” A CBS reporter named Howard K. Smith was going to interview the famous 84-year-old poet Carl Sandburg. Once there she was going to be working in a spacious makeup room, the back seat of a rented automobile with the car’s heater on full blast. It was wintertime and it was too cold outside for Francis to apply her Max Factor Pancake makeup in the open air. She feared that her moistened makeup sponge would freeze in the cold air before she could even apply it to her talent’s skin. In 1961, there was no luxury makeup camper for her to work in as there are today for makeup artists.

As an experienced makeup artist, Francis could work anyplace and she knew her talent. She knew that if a person was silent when she was applying their makeup, they were deep in thought about what they were going to say or how they were going to act. She said, “those types generally do not wish to talk and instead prefer to meditate.” Francis also knew that if they were the talkative type they were relaxed and enjoyed conversing. So she waited until she could “feel out” her talent’s mood. Fortunately for her, she said “Sandburg was the talkative type and he made the makeup session enjoyable and relaxing for both of us,” during their work schedule.

During their many conversations Sandburg asked Francis where she had learned her craft, she replied that she “learned how to apply makeup at the Max Factors Makeup studio in Hollywood during World War Two.” She said, “my husband was a technical writer in an aircraft factory. Francis was an English major in college, she loved to read and often wrote pieces of poetry for her own pleasure, as a result, she enjoyed working and talking with the famous 84-year-old poet.

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Francis is seen on January 4, 1954, in New York applying makeup to “personality” Mike Wallace before he became the legendary journalist and one of the hosts of the “60-Minutes” television show for 37 years.

Photo credit:

Francis is seen watching President Dwight D. Eisenhower delivering the “Report to the Nation Address” on TV in New York on January 4, 1954.

During the 1960 Presidential debates between Richard Nixon and Jack Kennedy, Nixon was offered the makeup services of Frances but since Jack Kennedy had declined makeup so did Nixon. Unfortunately, Nixon needed the makeup more than the younger and handsome Kennedy did. However, Francis worked with a wide variety of people during her lengthy career at the CBS Television Network in New York such as President Truman, First Lady Nancy Reagan, Edward R. Murrow, Walter Cronkite, Dan Rather, Douglas Edwards, Mike Wallace, Eric Sevareid, Morley Safer, Harry reasoned, Ed Bradley, Ed Sullivan and his show guests, seventeen years on the show “60-Minutes,” “What’s My Line show,” and many more noted individuals and shows.

Francis retired in in 1990 and passed away in October of 1992. A memorial service for Francis was held on November 23, 1992 at the CBS News Broadcast Center on West 57th Street in Manhattan. “Franny” as she was lovingly referred to by her long-time close friends, fellow makeup artists, and her CBS family was a legendary makeup artist at CBS due to her more than 40 years of working at CBS. Among the many CBS speakers at her memorial service was Dan Rather (CBS News Anchor,) Mike Wallace (Journalist, game show host, actor, and media personality with seven decades in the industry,) Howard Stringer (President of CBS,) Andy Rooney (long time CBS writer and on-air personality), Don Hewitt (CBS producer and executive known for having created the “60-Minutes” TV show,) and James E. Wall (the CBS stage manager who played Mr. Baxter on the now classic CBS Television show “Captain Kangaroo.”

Her friends and colleagues at the CBS News Division dedicated the makeup room at the New York Broadcast Center In France’s name, “The Francis “Franny” Arvold Room.” It was a highly distinguished honor that is usually reserved for other well-known and famous individuals such as Eric Sevareid a well-known author and CBS Journalist that was honored by having the “Interview Room” overlooking Studio 47 named in his memory. And legendary CBS newsmen Edward R. Murrow and Douglas Edwards had been similarly remembered, so Francis the makeup artist has been remembered in the same manner as other CBS Television greats. It is truly a nice tribute for a makeup artist to be honored in such a manner.

View the below video in regard to Francis Arvold’s work.

1 – 60-Minutes Interview (TV Land) Johnny Carson – By SBC Archive

1 – CBS News Break with Douglas Edwards – By Sean Mc




There are numerous makeup artists that work in the multi-media makeup industry around the world and they have all loved what they do and it does not matter if they made any big or small accomplishments, they simply loved their profession with a deep passion. And that is the major key to one’s measure of success, passion and happiness for what one does.

No matter if one lives in America, China, England, Japan, India, France, South Korea, Germany, Australia, Mexico, Canada, Italy, or any country. Doing what one loves most is the key to inner happiness.

The below makeup artists from around the world have all contributed in their own way to the success of the makeup profession by being the professionals that they have been because they loved their craft.


Below is the Code of Ethics that is from the International Society Of Makeup Artists (which is also referred to as ISOMA,) which is an association of international makeup artists. Their Code of Ethics is a code of high moral standards that the International Society of Makeup Artists requests their members to abide by. Every individual who desires to become a makeup artist should, after reading this Code Of Ethics, should adopt it as their creed to guide them through their professional career.


By the International Society of Makeup Artists

As a makeup artist, I am a member of a select group of highly skilled professional artists that render their craft to individuals in need of personal enhancement for medical reasons or for individual beautification for society wear or for the enjoyment of the masses of people who may see our creative work as part of their viewing pleasure during stage, film and television performance’s, I shall upon my honor:

Strive to achieve professional knowledge, growth and excellence for myself, my profession and my society.

Conduct myself and my profession with dignity, perform my craft in an ethical and professional manner.

Be ever mindful to treat with decorum and esteem other professionals and those that I encounter in my professional career.

Share in a like manner, with other giving professionals concerning artistic knowledge, techniques and abilities.

Bestow upon others the same professional kindnesses and courtesies that I would desire for myself.

Try in some meaningful way to give back to other professionals and society in return for the professional and personal enrichment that I have enjoyed and benefited from my profession.

Promote the advancement of the makeup profession in every manner and deed possible, knowing that I as well as other professionals shall benefit from such promotion.

Create goodwill not only within my own circle of friends and community, but contribute in some way to the promotion of international goodwill, which will benefit all of humankind.

(Also known by her Korean name as HUN YUP KANG)

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

Artistic Director of the International Society of Makeup Artists

In the above photograph is a young Japanese competitor and Joyce Kang at the Beauty Fusion Show in New York City. Ms. Kang (as the Artistic Director of International Society of Makeup Artists,) presented the ISOMA Award for Artistic Excellence and the Beauty Fusion Award to this artist for her entries in the Evening Fashion and Avant-Garde Makeup Competitions.

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

Joyce Kang with actor Al Lewis who is known to his fans as “Grandpa Munster”

Joyce Kang served as the International Artistic Director of ISOMA and was an internationally known, multi-award-winning hair stylist/hair-cutter/makeup artist/nail artist. She was presented with more than 60 medals, awards, and honors during her long professional career, to which she devoted her life to. Ms. Kang had been a member of the International Society of Makeup Artists (ISOMA) since its inception and had been its International Artistic Director of ISOMA for more than 20 years. She was also a member of the National Cosmetology Association (NCA), the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATA&S), the Asian Beauty Association (ABS), and the Korean American Women’s Alliance (KAWA).

During her professional career, Ms. Kang has enhanced the appearances of a variety of society members, beauty contestants, individuals of importance, celebrities, and stage, film, and television stars. Joyce Kang started her beauty career in 1968 as a young cosmetology student in Pusan, Korea, where she was born. She came from a modest family of hard-working individuals. Upon graduation from beauty school, she immediately went to work as a hairdresser in a local salon. Because of her inquisitive mind and interest in her profession, she continued to grow professionally by learning as much as she could from seasoned members of her craft, and by attending seminars, and professional beauty shows. As she advanced in knowledge and as her artistic skills blossomed, she quickly moved up the ladder of success to work in salons that were the best in her city.

As time went by, she felt that she had advanced as far as she could in the city of Pusan. As a result, she moved to Korea’s largest city, Seoul, to work in salons that catered to an upscale clientele that desired the latest fashions and the highest standards of beauty services. As a professional, she was quite advanced by this time, but she continued to acquire additional knowledge and skills that she could use for further growth in the beauty industry. Joyce had her heart set on a much bigger professional goal in life. Her artist’s mind was restless and her inner drive to do more and to succeed at anything she tried was unstoppable. So, she continued to attend numerous training sessions, seminars, and trade shows that were offered to Korea’s community of more than 600,000 beauty professionals who take their profession very seriously.


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

In Actor John Lithgow, Joyce Kang, and model/actress Brooke Shields

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

Prince Michael of Greece and Joyce Kang 

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

Joyce Kang and actress Mia Farrow 

She especially enjoyed attending seminars, beauty expositions, and trade shows that showed the platform work of skilled artists from her country as well as those of the visiting artists from other countries. Every time she attended such shows, she said “I was inspired and invigorated by their creativity and wished to emulate their work by creating my own unique styles and high standards of creativity.” She started to envision her future career as an international beautifier and wanted to travel, learn more, do more, and be more than the one-dimensional artist that she felt that she was. She felt that she was a multi-tasked artist and wanted to do as much as she could and go as far as she could. She wanted to soar with the eagles of her profession and be all that she felt that she could be in life. Like many young artists of every generation, she was inspired by the artistic creations of others at the various beauty shows and the artistic makeup photos that she saw in magazines. As a result of such a burning desire, she decided to plan her future as one would plan for a long road trip and decided on a course of achievement for herself. While working in the beauty salon and earning a profitable living, she decided to start her plan by first entering various professional competitions and becoming recognized for her creativity. She focused on designing a “look” and entering one of the upcoming competitions as the first step toward her vision for her future.

She entered the first of her many competitions for professionals in the beauty industry, and in 1980 was awarded by the Mayor of Seoul, Korea, the Grand Prize, a Gold Medal for her hairstyling artistry at the Seoul Beauty Show. In the beauty industry, Ms. Kang has been presented with numerous honors, she was presented the First Place Award for Hairstyling in Seoul, Korea at the Seoul Beauty Show; she received a Gold Medal for her Makeup Artistry in Korea at the Seoul Beauty Show; she received the Nationwide Korean Beauty Art Conference Gold Medal for Haircutting; she received a Gold Medal from the Asian Federation Haircut Group; she received a Gold Medal from the C.I.D. Haircut Group; in Japan, she was awarded a Gold Medal for Haircutting at the Festival Mondial De La Coiffure; she was nominated as one of the Committee for the Royal Palace Hairstyle in Korea; in Taiwan, she was awarded the Silver Medal at the Asia Conference Haircutting Group; in various years in New York City at the International Beauty Show (IBS), she was awarded the Fourth Place Medallion of Merit for her entry in the Evening Fashion Makeup Competition; she was awarded the Fourth Place Medallion of Merit for her entry in the Avant-Garde Hairstyle Competition; she has also been presented with numerous First, Second and Third Place Awards for her entries in the Hairstyling, Makeup and Avant-Garde Nail Competitions at the International Beauty Show in New York City, the Long Beach Beauty Exposition and the International Cosmetology Exposition (ICE) in Los Angeles, California. Joyce has been honored with various awards for her entries in numerous other competitions nationally and internationally.

Joyce was a designer/trainer for a variety of international competitors who have won numerous First, Second, Third, and Fourth Place Awards in various national and international competitions. For more than 15 years she served as one of the distinguished judges for the International Beauty Show in New York City, the Long Beach Beauty Exposition in Long Beach, California, the International Cosmetology Exposition in Los Angeles, California, and the Beauty Fusion Show in New York City. They are the oldest, largest, and most influential shows of their kind in the world. They are considered to be the Academy Awards of the Beauty Industry. Because of her artistic abilities, keen eye, and appreciation of beauty and unique art styles, she was the only Asian woman to have been a permanent member of the judges for these shows.

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