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And the Best Look Is . . .

Awards ceremony is the first to fete Hollywood's unsung: hair and makeup artists.

March 21, 2000|BARBARA THOMAS | TIMES STAFF WRITER

They are "trailer people," as Oscar-winner Ellen Burstyn described them with great glee.

In Hollywood, they are indispensable, valued in equal parts for their skill and discretion. So many know, but don't tell, the real Hollywood stories--who is bald, who is cranky, who isn't blond (as if anyone really is).

"What you don't know, they do know, and in great detail," said actress and fledgling producer Sheryl Lee Ralph.

They are Hollywood makeup artists and hairstylists, and Sunday night, their guild, Local 706 of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, held its first awards ceremony. The hope was that it was the first of many.

Makeup and hair people are the ones with hot coffee in their trailers for actors who come in groggy and leave ready for their close-ups.

"Not every actor is great, but every makeup artist has to be great to get a job," said "7th Heaven's" Catherine Hicks, a presenter and wife of winner Kevin Yagher ("Sleepy Hollow").

The night was loose and without pretense. Winners thanked each other, their body makeup crews, their "day checkers" (responsible for ensuring the continuity of an actor's appearance), the awards' organizers--especially local members David Syner and Jeanne Van Phue. They thanked actors, producers . . . and their children, who allow them to be away from home on location for months at a time.

*

Indeed, when film veteran Tony Curtis presented a lifetime achievement award to Monty Westmore, a makeup legend whose 100-plus-and-counting movies include "The Big Sleep," "Spartacus" and "The Creature From the Black Lagoon," Westmore gushed about how hard-working Curtis was as a young man.

The awards were supposed to be called the Georgies, after the famous makeup industry patriarch George Westmore, grandfather of Monty. George Westmore was a London wig maker who immigrated to Hollywood in the 1920s and started the studio makeup shops. When organizers discovered the name was already taken by a construction company in Georgia, they changed it to Hollywood Makeup Artists and Hair Stylists Guild Awards.

The night was hosted by a lover of great beauty products, comedian Rita Rudner, who thanked the crowd for its devoted work, "day after day, year after year, face-lift after face-lift."

While some of the public may recognize a few of the nominees' names, such as Enzo Angileri (who redefined the bob on Renee Russo in "The Thomas Crown Affair"), the movie industry knows the rest, which explains why celebrities Billy Bob Thornton, Brendan Fraser and Holly Hunter were presenters, and why Ashley Judd sat quietly in the audience.

"Without you, we are nothing, as any actor caught shopping at Ralphs at 3 a.m. knows," said presenter Stephen Collins of "7th Heaven."

The evening was a far cry from the increasingly staged Oscars and even the Golden Globes. The Beverly Hilton Hotel rolled out a loose red carpet for the reporters, camera crews and photographers who dutifully recorded the event. But few in the media actually knew the nominees by face, and that made it more fun.

In the years to come, who knows how the awards will evolve? Feuds may break out. Gossip may spread about why so-and-so was shut out. Nominees may swap their wedgie sandals for Jimmy Choo shoes. But for this first year, the awards were real, and the camaraderie was genuine.

(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX / INFOGRAPHIC)

Winners Honored for Film and TV Work The winners of the first Hollywood Makeup Artists and Hair Stylists Guild Awards are:

George Westmore Lifetime Achievement Award: Monty Westmore.

Contemporary makeup in a feature movie: Toni G, Will Huff, Michele Burke and Michelle Buhler, "The General's Daughter."

Period makeup in a feature: Leonard Engleman, "Tea With Mussolini."

Character makeup in a feature: Kevin Yagher, Peter Owen, Elizabeth Tag and Paul Gooch, "Sleepy Hollow."

Special effects makeup in a feature: Greg Cannom and Wesley Wofford, "Bicentennial Man."

Contemporary hairstyling in a feature: Enzo Angileri, "The Thomas Crown Affair."

Period hairstyling in a feature: Vivian McAteer, "Tea With Mussolini."

Contemporary makeup in TV for a single episode of a regular series: James MacKinnon and Stephanie Fowler, "Thank You Providence," "Providence."

Period makeup in TV for a single episode of a regular series: Cheri Montesanto-Medcalf, Kevin Westmore and LaVerne Basham, "Triangle," "The X-Files."

Character makeup in TV for a single episode of a regular series: Jennifer Aspinall, Felicia Linksy and Ed French, Episode No. 507, "Mad TV."

Makeup effects in TV in a regular series: Todd A. McIntosh, Robin Beauxchesne, Douglas Noe and Brigette Myre-Ellis, "Living Conditions," "Buffy the Vampire Slayer."

Period makeup in TV for a miniseries or movie of the week: Sue Cabel, Matthew Mungle and Joe Hailey, "And the Beat Goes On: The Sonny & Cher Story."

Character makeup in TV for a miniseries or movie of the week: Douglas Noe, "A Lesson Before Dying."

Contemporary hairstyling in TV for a single episode of a regular series: Darrell Fielder, Jonathan Hanousak and Joy Zapata, "The Final Frontier," "Mad About You."

Period hairstyling in TV for a single episode of a regular series: Gabriella Pollino, Deborah Piper, Valerie Scott and Cindy Costello, "Prom Night," "That '70s Show."

Character hairstyling in TV for a single episode of a regular series: Josee Normand, Charlotte Parker and Gloria Montemeyor, "Bride of Chaotica," "Star Trek: Voyager."

Innovative hairstyling in TV for a single episode of a regular series: Josee Normand, Charlotte Parker and Gloria Montemeyor, "Dragon's Teeth," "Star Trek: Voyager."

Period hairstyling in TV for a miniseries or movie of the week: Marlene Williams and Tim Jones, "And the Beat Goes On: The Sonny & Cher Story."

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