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Make-Up Women (Glamour & Guts)

  • Jill Manges Smith, Director
  • Jill Manges Smith & Stanley A. Smith, Producer

Thirteen elderly White  women sit around a white patio table facing the camera.

About the Project

The Untold Story of Hollywood's first Make-Up Women.

Perhaps one of Hollywood’s most unknown & ironic stories- Women were not allowed to apply make-up to the actors face or accepted into the Union as Make-Up Artists until the 1970s! From the male-only Studio, Make-Up departments to the Hollywood Make-Up Union established 1937; women were discriminated against for nearly 50 years, ineligible to choose the profession, for no other reason than being a Woman.

In a collection of interviews and personal conversations with Hollywood's first and earliest "Make-Up Women, each share candid and personal stories about navigating the long-standing “Boys Club,” learning and perfecting the art of Studio Make-up, to the actors and shows they worked on. This doc features Hollywood's first three Pioneer Make-Up Women, officially admitted into the Union- Bernadine M. Anderson (first Woman & African-American), Charlene Roberson & Dee Manges, whose contributions ultimately open the door for all future Hollywood Make-Up Women. Also featured: Ve Neill (3X Oscar, BAFTA, Emmy Winner, Face Off Judge & first Woman Lifetime Achievement) and Dorothy "Dot" Ponedel (posthumously). With Christina Smith, Bari Dreiband-Burman, Melanie Levitt, Cheri Minns, first Make-Up Woman Union President Susan Cabral Ebert as well as first Latina & Japanese members-Nora de la Torre & Kaori Turner among the list.   Vintage behind-the-scenes stills, Film & TV clips, Awards footage, and a Dinner Party Reunion. Also included are interviews with legendary Make-Up Men-Rick Baker & Thomas Burman and Writer|Producer|Activist-Norman Lear (additional talent interviews TBA).  

These Pioneer Make-Up Women literally changed the face of Make-Up in Hollywood forever.