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Makeup artist, spouse found dead in possible murder-suicide

Hallie D'Amore won an Emmy for her work. She and her husband had purportedly had strife.

December 20, 2006|Amanda Covarrubias | Times Staff Writer

An Emmy-winning and Oscar-nominated makeup artist and her photographer husband were found dead in their Venice home in what authorities believe was a murder-suicide.

Hallie D'Amore, 64, who was nominated for an Academy Award in 1995 for her work with two others on "Forrest Gump," apparently shot her husband, Richard D'Amore, 66, multiple times before turning the gun on herself, police said.

Police believe the shooting occurred Thursday, and the couple was found the next day by one of their co-workers.

Investigators said they did not know what drove Hallie D'Amore to kill her husband and herself but said the two, who had celebrated their 22nd wedding anniversary around Thanksgiving, were having marital difficulties.

Capt. Ed Winter of the Los Angeles County coroner's office said police found a note, but was unsure whether it was a suicide note. He did not know its contents.

The couple's many friends in and outside of Hollywood continued to mourn the loss of their talented, artistic friends Tuesday and said they could not imagine what might have led to the shootings.

Hallie was described as kind, eccentric and a "great artist" by her friend and colleague Susan Cabral-Ebert, president of Local 702, the makeup artists and hairstylists union.

"She was one of the first women in the business," Cabral-Ebert said, recalling the days when they became Hollywood makeup artists in the 1970s. "It was all men at the time. She gave me my first job."

Cabral-Ebert said the tall, fashionable blond was warm, funny and supportive of others in her field.

"She was so good to so many people," she said. "She allowed other people to bloom. It hurts us all so much. She was so loved, and the grief we're dealing with on this end.... People are calling in and sobbing."

Hallie won an Emmy for "Normal" in 2003 and was nominated for "Buffalo Girls" in 1995 and "Gypsy" in 1993. Her other credits include "XXX" and "XXX: State of the Union," "The Princess Diaries" and "Apollo 13."

Richard D'Amore was known for his moody landscapes, nudes and architectural photographs that caught the eye of Hollywood celebrities. His work is owned by Michelle Pfeiffer, Ted Danson and Rob Lowe, among others, according to his website.

"He was a very laid-back kind of guy," said photography collector Stephen White, who attended the couple's wedding more than two decades ago. "He seemed to just float along. He's nobody that anybody would dislike."

White said Richard had been scheduled to visit his house Saturday to show White a book of his work, for which White was going to write an introduction. White said they spoke on the phone for at least half an hour last week, and Richard gave no sign of any personal strife.

Richard told White that the couple were leaving Sunday for Paris, where they own an apartment.

"He gave no indication that the slightest thing was wrong," White said. "Then he didn't show up on Saturday. Usually he's a pretty reliable guy. I figured he just got busy, then he went to Paris."

The couple has two daughters and four grandchildren.

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amanda.covarrubias@ latimes.com

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