THE WESTMORE FAMILY






Makeup artists. George: Born in Newport, Isle of Wight, England, 27 June 1879. Mont: Born Montague George Westmore in Newport, Isle of Wight, 22 July 1902. Perc: Born Percival Harry Westmore in Canterbury, Kent, 1904 (twin of Ern). Ern: Born Ernest Henry Westmore in Canterbury, Kent, 1904 (twin of Perc). Wally: Born Walter James Westmore in Canterbury, Kent, 1906. Bud: Born Hamilton Adolph Westmore in Los Angeles, California, 1918. Frank: Born in Maywood, California, 13 April 1923. Education: George and his four oldest sons left school as youths to begin work as wigmakers or hairdressers; Bud and Frank attended various military and other schools; Frank graduated from Hollywood High School, 1938. Military Service: George: served in the British Army during Boer War. Frank: 1943–45—served in US Coast Guard: makeup artist for Coast Guard touring show Tars and Spars . Family: George: married 1) Ada Savage, 1901; 19 children, including the six sons listed above, a daughter Dorothy, and others who died young; 2) Anita Salazar, 1925; daughter: Patricia. Mont: married 1) Edith McCarrier (divorced); sons: Mont, Jr., Marvin, and Michael; 2) Cora Williams; 3) remarried Edith McCarrier, 1934. Perc: married 1) Virginia Thomas, 1924 (divorced 1936); daughters: Norma and Virginia; 2) the actress Gloria Dickson, 1938 (divorced 1940); 3) Julietta Novis, 1941; 4) Margaret Donovan, 1942; 5) Ola Carroll, 1951. Ern: married 1) Venida Snyder, 1922 (divorced 1929); daughter: Muriel; 2) Ethelyne Claire, 1930; daughter: Lynn; 3) Peggy Kent, 1940 (divorced 1940); 4) Betty Harron, 1941. Wally: married Edwina Shelton; son: James; daughter: Ann. Bud: married 1) the actress Martha Raye, 1937 (divorced 1937); 2) the actress Rosemary Lane, 1941 (divorced 1954); daughter: Bridget; 3) Jeanne Shores, 1955; sons: Robert, Timothy, and Charles; daughter: Melinda. Frank: married 1) Fran Shore, 1950 (divorced 1951); 2) Johnnie Fay Rector, 1955 (divorced 1955); 3) Gloria Christian, 1968. Career: George: 1901—opened hair dressing salon, Newport, then worked in Canterbury, Kent, until after 1906, in Montreal, Toronto, and Quebec, Canada, and Pittsburgh, San Antonio, New Orleans, Buffalo, St. Louis, and Washington, D.C.; 1913—added makeup to his repertory, Cleveland; began teaching Perc and Ern the art of wigmaking when they were nine; 1917—worked at Maison Cesare, Los Angeles, then for Selig Studio (opening the first film studio makeup department), Triangle, and other studios: responsible for Mary Pickford's curls in the late 1910s. Mont: worked in lumberyard, then as busboy at Famous Players-Lasky studio; valet, then makeup artist for Rudolph Valentino (created the clean Latin look); and freelance artist for Gloria Swanson, Clara Bow, and Sonia Henie; worked for Selznick International Studios in late 1930s. Perc: worked at Maison Cesare from age 16, then worked on individual actors' hair and makeup; 1923–50—established and headed makeup department at First National (later

Bud Westmore
Bud Westmore
Warner Bros.); 1950s—regular guest on Art Linkletter's House Party show (radio and TV), and special makeup artist on Queen for a Day for 11 years; then worked at Universal for two years, and again at Warner Bros.: did the TV series The Munsters and The Bill Cosby Show . Ern: 1924–28—worked at Warner Bros., then at RKO, 1929–31, 20th Century-Fox, 1935–39, then freelance; 1950s—did Hollywood Glamour Show on TV; cosmetic salesman in New York. Wally: worked as mechanic, then at Brunton studio and Warner Bros.; 1926–69—head of makeup department, Paramount. 1935–65—Mont, Perc, Ern, and Wally set up House of Westmore beauty salon, run in later years mainly by Perc (Ern sold his share, 1939). Bud: apprentice to Perc at Warner Bros. at age 15, then worked at 20th Century-Fox and as head of makeup department at Eagle-Lion Studio; 1946–70—head of makeup department, Universal. Frank: worked at House of Westmore from age 15, then apprentice at Paramount, 1942; worked at Paramount after the war, then freelance, including the TV series Bonanza , It Takes a Thief , The Jimmy Stewart Show , Planet of the Apes , and Kung Fu . Award: Ern: Special Academy Award for Cimarron , 1930. Died: George died (suicide) 12 July 1931; Mont died of a heart attack in Hollywood, April 1940; Ern died of a heart attack in New York City, 1 February 1968; Perc died of a heart attack in Hollywood, 30 September 1970; Wally died 3 July 1973; Frank died 14 May 1985.

Films as Hairdresser or Makeup Artist (selected list):

George:

1922

Smilin' Through (Franklin)

1924

Secrets (Borzage)


Mont:

1922

Blood and Sand (Niblo)

1923

Monsieur Beaucaire (Olcott)

1924

A Sainted Devil (Henabery)

1925

Cobra (Henabery); The Eagle (Brown)

1926

Son of the Sheik (Fitzmaurice); The King of Kings (DeMille)

1929

Mexicali Rose (Kenton)

1932

Scarface (Hawks)

1934

The House of Rothschild (Werker)

1935

Mutiny on the Bounty (Lloyd)

1939

Intermezzo (Ratoff); Gone with the Wind (Fleming)

1940

Rebecca (Hitchcock)


Perc:

1925

Stella Dallas (H. King); The Lost World (Hoyt)

1934

Bordertown (Mayo)

1935

Captain Blood (Curtiz); A Midsummer Night's Dream (Reinhardt and Dieterle)

1936

Cain and Mabel (Bacon); The Story of Louis Pasteur (Dieterle); The Walking Dead (Curtiz)

1937

The Life of Emile Zola (Dieterle); Dead End (Wyler)

1939

The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex (Curtiz); The Return of Dr. X (V. Sherman); Juarez (Dieterle); The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Dieterle)

1941

Kings Row (Wood)

1942

Casablanca (Curtiz)

1951

The Blue Veil (Bernhardt)

1956

The Catered Affair (Brooks)

1966

Munster, Go Home! (Bellamy)

1969

The Arrangement (Kazan)

1970

There Was a Crooked Man . . . (Mankiewicz)


Ern:

1926

The Sea Beast (Webb)

1930

Cimarron (Ruggles)

1931

Way Back Home ( Old Greatheart ) (Seiter)

1932

A Bill of Divorcement (Cukor)

1937

Lost Horizon (Capra)


Wally:

1931

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (Mamoulian); Island of Lost Souls (Kenton)

1933

Alice in Wonderland (McLeod)

1936

The General Died at Dawn (Mielstone)

1938

Spawn of the North (Hathaway); Professor Beware (Nugent)

1942

The Great Man's Lady (Wellman)

1961

Breakfast at Tiffany's (Edwards); One-Eyed Jacks (Brando)

1962

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (Ford)

1963

Hud (Ritt)

1964

The Carpetbaggers (Dmytryk); Lady in a Cage (Grauman); Robinson Crusoe on Mars (Haskin)

1965

Harlow (Douglas)

1966

The Oscar (Rouse); This Property Is Condemned (Pollack)

1967

Barefoot in the Park (Saks)

1968

The Odd Couple (Saks); Will Penny (Gries)

1970

The Molly Maguires (Ritt); There Was a Crooked Man ... (Mankiewicz)


Bud:

1948

Mr. Peabody and the Mermaid (Pichel)

1954

The Creature from the Black Lagoon (Arnold)

1955

Tarantula (Arnold); This Island Earth (Newman)

1956

Creature Walks among Us (Sherwood); The Mole People (Vogel)

1957

Deadly Mantis (Juran); Land Unknown (Vogel); Man of a Thousand Faces (Pevney)

1961

Flower Drum Song (Koster); Lover Come Back (Delbert Mann)

1962

Lonely Are the Brave (Miller); That Touch of Mink (Delbert Mann); To Kill a Mockingbird (Mulligan)

1963

The List of Adrian Messenger (Huston); Captain Newman, M.D. (Miller)

1965

I Saw What You Did (Castle); The War Lord (Schaffner)

1966

Madame X (Rich); The Plainsman (Rich)

1967

Thoroughly Modern Millie (Hill); The War Wagon (Kennedy)

1968

Madigan (Siegel)

1969

Death of a Gunfighter (Smithee); Sweet Charity (Rosse); Tell Them Willie Boy Is Here (Polonsky)

1970

Airport (Seaton); The Forbin Project (Sargent)

1973

Soylent Green (Fleischer)


Frank:

1942

Beyond the Blue Horizon (Santell)

1946

Tars and Spars (Green)

1947

Unconquered (DeMille)

1948

Let's Live a Little (Wallace)

1950

Storm Warning (Heisler)

1952

Rancho Notorious (F. Lang)

1953

All I Desire (Sirk)

1954

Abbott and Costello Meet Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (Lamont)

1956

The Mountain (Dmytryk); The Ten Commandments (DeMille)

1957

The Joker is Wild (C. Vidor); The Buster Keaton Story (Sheldon)

1958

Hot Spell (Daniel Mann); Houseboat (Shavelson); The Match-maker (Anthony); The Buccaneer (Quinn)

1960

The Rat Race (Mulligan)

1962

My Geisha (Cardiff); Two for the Seesaw (Wise)

1963

Irma La Douce (Wilder)

1964

What a Way to Go! (Lee Thompson)

1965

The Flight of the Phoenix (Aldrich)

1970

Two Mules for Sister Sara (Siegel)

1971

Fool's Paradise (McLaglen); The Beguiled (Siegel)

1972

Kung Fu (Thorpe)

1974

The Towering Inferno (Guillermin and Allen); Mr. Ricco (Bogart)

1975

Farewell, My Lovely (Richards)

Publications

By WESTMORE family: book—

Westmore, Frank, and Muriel Davidson, The Westmores of Hollywood , Philadelphia, 1976.


By WESTMORE family: articles—

Westmore, Perc, "Make-Up and Coiffure," in Movie Merry-Go-Round , edited by John Paddy Carstairs, London, 1937.

Westmore, Perc, in Hollywood Speaks! An Oral History , by Mike Steen, New York, 1974.

Westmore, Frank, in Photoplay (London), January 1977.

Westmore, Frank, in American Cinematographer (Hollywood), July 1984.

On WESTMORE family: articles—

Elkins, M., "The Westmores: Sculpting the Faces of the World," in American Cinematographer (Hollywood), July 1984.

Laimans, S., "In Laimans' Terms: George Westmore, Movie Makeup Magic," in Classic Images , no. 203, May 1992.

Essman, S., "Behind the Masks," in Cinefex (Riverside), December 1996.


* * *


A family of makeup artists all working in Hollywood would deserve a place in film history on this basis alone. However, while the six sons of George Westmore (himself best known for restyling Rudolph Valentino's hair) may not have all achieved the same degree of prominence, their careers offer more than mere curiosity value. Employed at different studios, most of their work was of the kind that does not attract attention to itself. The best known of the brothers, Bud and Wally, gained their fame through work in the horror/fantasy field where the makeup artist has the most scope for the creation of spectacular effects.

Bud Westmore had the best opportunities to make a name for himself, in that from the mid-1940s until 1970 he was head of makeup at Universal Studios (he took over from Jack Pierce, the man responsible for Boris Karloff's monster makeup in Frankenstein [1931]). The studio's move from horror to science-fiction brought about the need for bizarre new creations. Of these, the monster in The Creature from the Black Lagoon , co-created with Jack Kevan, is Bud Westmore's most famous work. Though obviously a man (Ricou Browning) in a rubber suit, the design is striking, and some of the eerie underwater scenes are well enough staged to make audiences suspend their disbelief. Less well known, but almost as impressive, is the Metaluna Mutant from This Island Earth , with bulging eyes, visible brains and pincers. Perhaps the most ambitious assignment on which he worked was one outside the fantasy genre, the 1957 bio-pic of Lon Chaney, Man of a Thousand Faces . If ultimately he failed to recreate the latter's makeup designs for James Cagney, it is no reflection on his skill. No one but Chaney would be willing to endure the extremely painful devices he employed to distort his face for the required grotesque effect.

The lurid designs created by Bud Westmore for 1950s science-fiction sagas work well within the context of the overall films. Wally Westmore's work in fantasy films, while exhibiting talent, does on occasion go over the top. His makeup for the 1932 version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde , which helped Fredric March win an Oscar, is hopelessly overdone, making the embodiment of the doctor's perverse desires look like a comical ape-man. The ugly "manimals" in Island of Lost Souls are far more effective.

Perc Westmore seems by and large to have pursued a more mainstream career in the makeup field. His most notable departure into the outlandish was Charles Laughton's makeup in the 1939 remake of The Hunchback of Notre Dame . Aided by George Bau, Westmore created an image of extreme ugliness (to the extent of having one of Quasimodo's eyes lower than the other) which, in conjunction with Laughton's acting, is at the same time very touching.

It may seem unfair to acclaim work that by its very nature must draw audience attention to itself while more subtle effects go unappreciated. There might be a case for arguing that The Creature from the Black Lagoon required no more skill than Frank Westmore's transformation of Shirley Maclaine into a Japanese girl for My Geisha . Had none of the brothers ever ventured into the realms of the monstrous or bizarre, however, it is unlikely that they would be so well remembered, whatever their talent. Not even membership in a Hollywood family dynasty can compare with bringing to life an archetypal screen monster.

—Daniel O'Brien



User Contributions:

George Moore
Report this comment as inappropriate
Jun 23, 2008 @ 10:10 am
I believe that's Mont Westmore playing an actor and applying a crepe beard to himself in a backstage sequence in Buster Keaton's "Spite Marriage." My source for this was Buster's widow, Eleanor.

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