Walter Schneiderman obituary | Film

The advanced make-up required for the title character of The Elephant Man was almost the undoing of that celebrated 1980 movie. Its director, David Lynch, had the primary stab at designing workable prosthetics. “But once I tried a chunk of it on John Hurt,” Lynch recalled, “he couldn’t transfer and he stated, ‘A valiant effort, David’.” Lynch was plunged into despair, sure that his movie can be a catastrophe, till the British make-up artist Christopher Tucker got here to the rescue. But making use of the ensuing designs, which had been modelled from a forged of the actual Joseph Merrick, whose story the film instructed, fell upon the make-up artist Walter Schneiderman.Schneiderman, who has died aged 98, known as the movie “one of many hardest footage I needed to do”. It took seven hours every day to place the make-up on Hurt, and one other two to take it off once more. “Everything was so exact,” he stated. “There have been 14 items, not together with the pinnacle, and so they needed to be utilized precisely, day-after-day for continuity. You couldn’t afford to make a mistake.” Schneiderman was acclaimed for his work on the film, which was nominated for eight Oscars. The lack of official recognition for Tucker and Schneiderman triggered a furore, which led to the implementation the next 12 months of a brand new Oscar class for greatest make-up.Known to his mates as Wally, Schneiderman was born in London to Chaim Baruch and Boobie Rose, who have been tailors. His father died when Wally was 10. Four years later, Wally left the Kensington Bayswater Jewish college (later the Solomon Woolfson college) and commenced working as an apprentice hairdresser. At 18, he joined the RAF and served as a gunner in the course of the second world warfare.After being demobbed, he enrolled on the Academy of Gentlemen’s Hairdressing in London. When the pinnacle make-up supervisor at Shepperton movie studios known as in in search of barbers prepared to coach as make-up artists, Schneiderman volunteered. His first go to to a movie set was in 1947, when he watched Alexander Korda directing An Ideal Husband, an adaptation of the Oscar Wilde play.John Hurt in The Elephant Man (1980). The lack of official recognition for Schneiderman’s work on the movie triggered a furore and a brand new Oscar class for greatest make-up was subsequently launched. Photograph: Brooksfilm/Allstar/StudioCanalUncredited early work got here his method on Anna Karenina (1948), starring Vivien Leigh, and Powell and Pressburger’s Tales of Hoffman (1951). However, because the trade provided solely brief contracts and meagre pay, when enterprise was scarce Schneiderman would return to hairdressing to make ends meet.From the mid-Nineteen Fifties, although, he began to get extra steady work. He spent 5 years, first as make-up artist after which as make-up supervisor, on the tv collection The Adventures of Robin Hood (1955-60). He moved into extra movie work with The Guns of Navarone (1961), I Could Go On Singing (1963), with Judy Garland and Dirk Bogarde, One Million Years BC (1966) and The Dirty Dozen (1967). Isadora (1968) was the primary of a number of films he made with Vanessa Redgrave, one in every of many actors who started to stipulate him as their most well-liked make-up artist.After Fiddler on the Roof (1971), he acquired an agent and landed work on blockbusters comparable to Juggernaut (1974) and Rollerball (1975). For the TV movie A Woman Called Golda (1982), he helped to show Ingrid Bergman and Judy Davis into the older and youthful Golda Meir respectively, cleverly creating continuity between the 2 performers. An prolonged interval working for Barbra Streisand on her interval musical Yentl (1983) prevented him from accepting a suggestion from Robert De Niro, who personally met him to request his providers for the very important ageing make-up that may be required in Sergio Leone’s Once Upon a Time in America (1984).Walter Schneiderman making up Bette DavisSchneiderman was make-up supervisor on the fantasy Labyrinth (1986), starring David Bowie because the flamboyant Goblin King. His remaining assignments included two movies directed by Richard Attenborough: the apartheid drama Cry Freedom (1987), starring Denzel Washington because the anti-apartheid activist Steve Biko, and Chaplin (1992), through which Schneiderman oversaw the method of ageing Robert Downey Jr, then 26, from 19 years to 83 within the title position.Although an creative and resourceful practitioner, he was at all times sensible. “Directors suppose you open your field and out pops magic,” he stated. “It does. But you’ve received to know the best way to apply it.” After his retirement, he went on to create and promote a line of business merchandise underneath the identify Make-Up International. Among them have been Quick Action Powder Blood, Bruise Simulation Gel and Omaha Action Mud.His spouse, Ruby, whom he married in 1943, died in 2001. He is survived by their daughters, Beryl and Karen. Walter Schneiderman, make-up artist, born 27 August 1922; died 8 April 2021

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