Readers will want to take a giant step back in time with Academy Award–winner Westmore’s amiable and intimate look at his family, a Hollywood makeup dynasty for four generations, and the stars they’ve been making look good since 1917. His own career began in 1961 with a Universal Studios apprenticeship, all the time being “watched like a hawk” by family elders. Readers of a certain age will lap up stories about Bobby Darin and Sandra Dee’s budding romance, Desi Arnaz’s (emergency) horsehair mustache, and Ernest Borgnine’s doomed marriage to Ethel Merman. As the book progresses, younger readers will recognize more names and productions, including Harrison Ford in Blade Runner and Sylvester Stallone (whose fight scene injuries Westmore created) in Rocky. Westmore dishes occasionally but usually has a nice word to say about his clients. He even shares Elizabeth Taylor’s chili recipe. Later sections concentrate on Westmore’s decades-long association with the Star Trek series. Tighter editing might have eliminated the book’s “Snippets,” a miscellaneous closing collection of reminiscences, but most of them are just as entertaining as the book proper. (Mar.)
Headline: A peak behind the Hollywood mask by one of its foremost makeup artists
In Hollywood’s heyday, almost every major studio had a Westmore heading up the makeup department. Since 1917, there has never been a time when Westmores weren’t shaping the visages of stardom. For their century-long dedication to the art of makeup, the Westmores were honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2008. In this lively memoir, Michael Westmore not only regales us with tales of Hollywood’s golden age, but also from his own career where he notably transformed Sylvester Stallone into Rocky Balboa and Robert DiNiro into Jake LaMotta, among many other makeup miracles.
Westmore’s talent as a makeup artist first became apparent when he created impenetrable disguises for Kirk Douglas, Tony Curtis, Burt Lancaster, Robert Mitchum, and Frank Sinatra for the 1963 film The List of Adrian Messenger. He later went on to become the preferred makeup man for Bobby Darin and Elizabeth Taylor, and worked on such movies and TV shows as The Munsters, Rosemary’s Baby, Eleanor and Franklin, New York, New York, 2010: A Space Odyssey, and Mask, for which he won an academy award. The next phase of his career was to create hundreds of alien characters for over 600 episodes of Star Trek in all its iterations, from The Next Generation to Enterprise.
Replete with anecdotes about Hollywood and its stars, from Bette Davis’s preference for being made-up in the nude to Shelley Winters’s habit of nipping from a “little bottle” while on the set, Makeup Man will satisfy any Hollywood’s fan’s appetite for gossip or a behind-the-scenes look at how tinsel town’s most iconic film characters were created.
Academy Award-winning Michael Westmore has been making up the stars for over fifty years. He frequently appears on the SyFy channel show Face Off with his daughter McKenzie Westmore.
|Publisher:||Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.|
|Product dimensions:||7.00(w) x 10.10(h) x 1.20(d)|