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A Salute to Hollywood's Greatest Hair Days

April 14, 2002|MARK EHRMAN

Invited to: The Third Annual Hollywood Makeup Artists and Hair Stylists Guild Awards, at the Beverly Hilton.

A little off the top, please: "At last, I'm in a room full of hair sycophants," crows the evening's host, Bruce Vilanch, upon entering the dining hall. With the Picassos of perm and pancake gathering to applaud and be seen by their peers, the portly, mop-topped comedy writer and "Hollywood Squares" panelist hardly boasts the wildest 'do in the room. The house lights silhouette a surreal array of inventive coifs sported by the evening's honorees; in their shadows (for tonight) are celebs from film, prime time and daytime who have turned out in force for the occasion. "You see each other every day for 15 hours a day. Relationships are very important," says actress Dana Delaney, who commenced bonding with a Canadian crew for her new series, "Pasadena" (only to have the Vancouver-based project go into hiatus). Director John Landis does his part to shatter that wussy hair-and-makeup stereotype. "They're the most dangerous people on the set," he points out. "They're closest to the actors. You can't [you-know-what] with them."

The kindest cut: "There has never been an Academy Award for [Best] Contemporary Hair and Makeup," notes actor's actor Ed Harris as he and wife Amy Madigan bestow that honor on David Lynch's "Mulholland Drive." ("Hustle up!" he barks when the beauty team is slow in mounting the stage.) Still, it's the style-heavy "Moulin Rouge," "Mad TV" and "Six Feet Under" (writer-creator Alan Ball and much of the HBO cast are on hand, too) that dominate the evening. In between Vilanch's antics and the video clips comes a succession of celebrity presenters, all duly genuflecting to the Jennifer Aspinalls, Linle Whites, Maurizio Silvis and other names the public never hears, in MUHS [pronounced "muse"] award categories such as "Best Innovative Hair Styling for a Television Series." The evening's star temperature maxes out at Dustin Hoffman (who was known on the set of "Tootsie" as "Dustina," co-star Teri Garr divulges). Hoffman is this year's recipient of the Barrymore award for a body of work with "profound impact on the artistry of hair and makeup in the entertainment industry." He immediately veers from the TelePrompTer script. "I'm not looking at no black box that writes George Bush's stuff," he cracks. Hoffman's extemporizing keeps the laughs coming until, "I've been up here long enough," he concludes. "You guys are the reason for our stuff. Thank you."

Celeb Quotient: Hoffman, Harris and lots of mid-level bulk--more than a simple brush with fame.

Wow Factor:

Wonderful for those in the biz; outsiders might have wished that the proceedings be given a trim.

Grazing Level:

Bev Hilton chicken dinner proves predictably sophisticated and satisfying. The cash bar, however, is barbarous.

Rating Scale:

1=ho-hum 4=yowza

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