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Actresses' Lips Made Lasting Impression on Makeup Man

March 13, 1986|HERBERT J. VIDA

Looking at S. Clay Campbell's small workshop studio in his Corona del Mar home, you get a picture of his pastime: oil paintings, etchings, a wax head of John the Baptist, a ukulele, thousands of lip autographs.

Lip autographs?

Actually, Campbell most likely is the only lip imprint collector in the world. The lips belong to some of the most beautiful actresses in the world who not only provided the lips and the autographs, but also wrote some memorable words to him.

For instance, Marlene Dietrich wrote on her lip print: "To Clay: My One and Only Love." Campbell, smiling, said: "She really didn't mean that."

Many of the more than 1,000 lip-o-graphs are kept in a file drawer although some are individually framed. He also has a large framed card of the more famous stars.

"There used to be a restaurant in New York City that had lip prints on the ceiling," Campbell, 84, a retired studio makeup man, said, "but that closed, and I just don't know of anyone else that collects these things."

Thirty-four years as a makeup man at Warner Bros., Columbia and 20th Century Fox studios provided Campbell the opportunity to collect lip impressions.

"After we finished applying makeup," he said, "we would make an impression on a piece of paper or a Kleenex so we could duplicate it for the next day's shooting.

"Since no one else was saving them, I decided to create the collection, which became easier to develop after word got around and actresses wanted to become part of it."

He hasn't placed a value on the collection, replying that "it's not for sale."

Campbell noted that makeup men were responsible for many of the famous lips on actresses. "Some actresses were beautiful on screen," he said, "but that was due to the work of the makeup men. We saved a lot of careers."

Campbell said actress Judy Holliday "was really wanted by the studios for her acting ability" but was signed to a long-term contract "only after we made her up."

Campbell feels that the late actress Donna Reed had about the most perfect lips, but others such as Dietrich and Rita Hayworth, were in that category. In fact, he has given descriptions to some stars' lips, such as: Hayworth, intoxicating; Ann Sheridan, glamorous; Janet Blair, petulant; Claire Trevor, inviting, and Olivia De Havilland, angelic.

And what about today's stars? "There really aren't any stars today," he said. "They're all new, and most of them are on television."

Bernice E. Chabot and Albert V. Finn, both of Placentia, are meant for each other. They both like many of the same things, especially dancing, which drew them together.

They kept seeing and dancing with each other for two years and were once named King and Queen of the Ball at a dance party. The courtship continued for two years, and true love blossomed. They married and earlier this month celebrated their first anniversary with a cruise to Mexico. "It's been a fantastic fairy tale," Chabot said. "This is the most perfect marriage there ever was."

And fittingly, they returned to Backs Community Center in Placentia to dance their final waltz in their yearlong reign as King and Queen of the Ball.

Chabot (now Finn) is 72 and Finn is 70.

The City of Westminster is offering a white-water rafting trip on the Kern River for $200 that includes gourmet meals along the way.

"The meals aren't French cuisine," spokeswoman Charlene Lent said, "but you get Egg a la Kern for breakfast, buildup sandwiches (you build them) of ham, turkey and other meats on pita bread for lunch and a delicious hot dinner." No doubt any meal after a zippy trip down the river is a gourmet delight.

When Joe Massimino, 50, of Santa Ana first became part of the ever-changing entertainment world, he knew he should plan on a second career, just in case.

"That's the reason I'm in the salami business today," said the former musical director of the defunct Mike Douglas television show, a role he played for 15 years. "There aren't that many shows using live music anymore."

Although he still writes music for some stars and oftentimes accompanies them on shows, his San Remo Italian Market and Delicatessen in Tustin is his main interest. "I've never worked so hard for so long for so little," he said of the market business. Besides the market, Massimino teaches cooking classes. "I knew food would be the next best business I should go into."

He clearly misses show biz. "You can't not miss that kind of life after being in it for so many years," he said. But he added: "You meet as many interesting people in my delicatessen."

Acknowledgments--Hermosa Elementary School student Nicole M. Erickson, 9, of Fullerton, who won her age division in the Elks California free throw championship, defeated finalists from Utah, Nevada and Arizona to win the Western Regional finals in Las Vegas, advancing her to the national finals in Indianapolis April 17-19. She swished in 22 of 25 free throws.

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