Home
In this issue
April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Oct. 12, 2007 / 30 Tishrei 5768

King of Monster Makeup

By Greg Crosby


Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The undisputed king of Hollywood monster make-up was a man born in Greece in 1889 by the name of Janus Piccoulas. Doesn't ring a bell? Well, maybe you're more familiar with the anglicized version of his name, the name that appeared on Universal movie credits through the 1930's and 40's - Jack Pierce.


There's no question that Jack Pierce was one of the true pioneers of 20th century movie making. Pierce was the genius who created the classic movie monster makeup for Universal Studios' horror films and subsequently influenced generations of make-up artists ever since. His creations are still enjoyed to this day and as popular as ever to fans of horror films and trick or treaters every Halloween.


After immigrating to the United States around the turn of the century, Pierce attempted to play baseball, unsuccessfully trying out for a semi-professional team in California after achieving some success as a shortstop in Chicago. After that he got jobs in the young motion picture industry during the 1910s and '20s, doing everything from early nickelodeon manager to stuntman to assistant cameraman.


Jack Pierce even tried his hand at acting, and then finally went into makeup, working at Vitagraph and the original Fox Studios in the 1920s. By 1928, after Lon Chaney had left Universal to freelance, the studio made Pierce department head of makeup where he worked on the last of the silent films made at the studio. His fortune was made, as they say, when Carl Laemmle named his son, Carl Laemmle, Jr., head of production as a 21st birthday present.


Encouraged by Chaney's huge successes with The Hunchback Of Notre Dame and Phantom Of The Opera at Universal in the mid-'20s, Carl Laemmle, Jr. decided to produce film versions of the classic horror novels, putting Jack Pierce in charge of the makeup. From 1930-1947, Pierce created some of cinema history's most distinguishable screen characters.


In 1930 "Dracula" was first produced, and though Bela Lugosi refused to let Pierce apply his makeup (the actor had come from the stage where he always did his own work), Pierce came up with the styling for the vampire character and his many female victims. Immediately following the success of Dracula, Laemmle, Jr. wanted a follow-up, which led to the production of "Frankenstein" in 1931.


Film fans still argue as to whether director James Whale, actor Boris Karloff, or Laemmle himself contributed to the makeup, but the driving force behind the overall look of the Frankenstein monster unquestionably belonged to Jack Pierce. Each morning Karloff sat for four uncomfortable hours, suffering the makeup's high levels of toxicity, as Pierce and his assistants applied the head, facial buildup and layers of padding and costume modifications that would make him into the movies' most memorable monster. The following year Pierce and Karloff teamed to create "The Mummy."


Then in 1935 came "Bride Of Frankenstein" in which Pierce refined his first version of the monster and also created the famous makeup and designed the electric hairstyle for Elsa Lanchester's bride. Later on Pierce created the makeup for "The Wolf Man" with Lon Chaney, Jr. in the title role. Though the two did not reportedly get along--Chaney did not like wearing the makeup or undergoing the lengthy application and removal period--Pierce excelled again with his werewolf concept. Originally intended as a B movie, "The Wolf Man" was a true horror classic, and Pierce's version of the character has been the model for the numerous werewolves that have come to the screen ever since.


The last original Jack Pierce makeup was in 1943 with "Phantom Of The Opera" starring Claude Rains. This would be the only Jack Pierce monster movie shot in color. Even though his treatment of Rains' makeup--revealed only at the end of the film--was cut down at the request of the producers (Pierce's original concept was considered too hideous!), it nevertheless stands as another horror movie landmark.


Today's Hollywood makeup men and women still study Jack Pierce's work. His makeup artistry will live on as long as there are tapes and DVDs of the classic movies, and as long as there are young makeup artists who want to follow in his scary footsteps. And kids who watch the old classic horror movies, like I did, will continue to be scared out of their wits thanks to his talent and imagination. What better time than Halloween to pay homage to one of the movie industry's true creative geniuses.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.


JWR contributor Greg Crosby, former creative head for Walt Disney publications, has written thousands of comics, hundreds of children's books, dozens of essays, and a letter to his congressman. A freelance writer in Southern California, you may contact him by clicking here.

Greg Crosby Archives

© 2006, Greg Crosby

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles