Milicent Patrick

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Milicent Patrick
Milicent Patrick.jpg
Patrick with the head of the Gill-man from Creature from the Black Lagoon.
Mildred Elizabeth Fulvia di Rossi

(1915-11-11)November 11, 1915
El Paso, Texas, United States
DiedFebruary 24, 1998(1998-02-24) (aged 82)
  • Actress
  • makeup artist
  • special effects artist
  • Animator

Milicent Patrick (born Mildred Elizabeth Fulvia di Rossi, after marriage Milicent Trent; 11 November 1915 – 24 February 1998) was an actress, makeup artist, special effects designer and animator. Patrick was one of the first female animators at Walt Disney Studios,[1][2] and creator of the head costume for the iconic Gill-man from the movie Creature from the Black Lagoon.[3]

She headlined a tour in promotion of the Creature from the Black Lagoon, titled 'The Beauty who Created the Beast', but on her return she was fired by Bud Westmore, who is noted as objecting to a woman's being credited with the work on the costume.[4][5]

She is also credited with contributing to the pirate faces in Against All Flags, the makeup of Jack Palance in Sign of the Pagan, part of the design of the It Came From Outer Space Globs, Mr. Hyde in Abbott and Costello Meet Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde,[6] the Metaluna mutant in This Island Earth and was a mask maker for The Mole People.[7]

In the 1940s, Patrick worked as a model, mainly as a trade show hostess and promotional model in Los Angeles. She was also a trophy girl at car races and appeared in television commercials.[2] This experience led to work as an actress. Her first role was as a water nymph in Texas, Brooklyn and Heaven. She went on to play several small uncredited roles.

Personal life[edit]

Patrick was born in El Paso, Texas, the second of three children. Her parents were Camille Charles Rossi, superintendent of construction at Hearst Castle,[8] and Elsie Albertina Bill.[2] The family moved frequently during Patrick's youth, settling in Glendale, California when she was seventeen. She attended Glendale Junior College, but left in 1935 without graduating. She went on to study at Chouniard Art Institute for three years, concentrating on illustration and drawing.[2]

Patrick began an affair with fellow animator Paul Fitzpatrick. Upon the death of Fitzpatrick's wife from suicide, the couple married in 1945. Their relationship was the source of estrangment from Patrick's own family. The marriage lasted only a few years. During this time she called herself Mil Fitzpatrick and after the divorce she went by the name Mil Patrick.[2] Patrick had a relationship with voice actor Frank L. Graham in 1950. Several weeks after she ended their relationship, Graham died from suicide at his home.[2] After a tulmultuous relationship marked by cancelled engagments, Patrick married Lee Trent in a Las Vegas chapel wedding in December of 1963. They filed for divorce in January 1969, but continued to have an on-off relationship for years.[2]

She was a close and long-time friend of George Tobias.[2][7]

Patrick died from breast cancer in 1998.[2]





  1. ^ Johnson, John "J.J." (1995). Cheap tricks and class acts : special effects, makeup, and stunts from the films of the fantastic fifties. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Co. p. 389. ISBN 9780786400935.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i O'Meara, Mallory (March 5, 2019). The Lady from the Black Lagoon: Hollywood Monsters and the Lost Legacy of Milicent Patrick. Hanover Square Press. ISBN 978-1-335-93780-3.
  3. ^ Scott, Essman (2014). CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON - 60th Anniversary Article: A 60th Anniversary Retrospective on the Key Cast and Crew Members Who Made the Classic Universal Pictures Film. p. 3. ISBN 9781499597851.
  4. ^ Weaver, Tom; Kronenberg, Steve; Schecter, David (2017). The Creature Chronicles: Exploring the Black Lagoon Trilogy. McFarland. ISBN 9781476615806.
  5. ^ O'Meara, Mallory,. The lady from the black lagoon : Hollywood monsters and the lost legacy of Milicent Patrick. Toronto, Ontario, Canada. ISBN 9781335937803. OCLC 1080884379.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  6. ^ a b Weaver, Tom; Schecter, David; Kiss, Robert J; Kronenberg, Steve (2017). Universal Terrors, 1951-1955: Eight Classic Horror and Science Fiction Films. McFarland. pp. 179–181. ISBN 9781476627762.
  7. ^ a b di Fate, Vincent (27 October 2011). "The Fantastic Mystery of Milicent Patrick". Tor Books.
  8. ^ WOLFE, EVELYN De (12 January 1986). "Daughter Traces Builder's Role at Hearst Castle". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 18 October 2017.
  9. ^ "Milicent Patrick". IMDb. Retrieved 18 October 2017.

Further reading[edit]