Monte Westmore

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Monte Westmore
Born Montague Westmore
(1902-07-22)July 22, 1902
Newport, Isle of Wight
Died March 30, 1940(1940-03-30) (aged 37)
Los Angeles, California
Cause of death Myocardial infarction
Nationality British
Occupation Make-up artist
Years active 1921–1940
Employer Famous Players-Lasky
Selznick International Pictures
Known for Gone with the Wind
Children Michael Westmore, Marvin Westmore and Monty Westmore
Parent(s) George Westmore

Montague "Monte" Westmore (July 22, 1902 – March 30, 1940) was a Hollywood make-up artist, the eldest of six sons of George Westmore. He worked for both the Famous Players-Lasky studio and Selznick International Pictures. He was the head of the makeup department at Selznick and worked on films including Gone with the Wind (1939) and Rebecca (1940). His death from a heart attack following a tonsillectomy has been credited to the heavy workload on Gone with the Wind. He had three sons, Marvin, Michael, and Monty, all of whom also became make-up artists.


Monte was a member of the Westmore family and the oldest of George Westmore's six sons.[1] He was born in Newport, Isle of Wight. Monte was the first of them to leave home,[1] and in 1920 he began to work first in a lumber mill and then as a busboy at the Famous Players-Lasky studio.[2] His brothers were Perc, Ern, Wally, Bud and Frank, who all went on to work in makeup departments in Hollywood based studios. The family would gain a combined star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2008.[3]

He worked on The Sheik (1921) and convinced actor Rudolph Valentino to allow him to do his makeup creating the clean Latin look in the process.[1][2] He continued to be Valentino's makeup artist until the actor's death in 1926,[1] and afterwards did freelance work with Gloria Swanson, Clara Bow and Sonia Henie.[2] He was also responsible to making actor H. B. Warner control his drinking habit during the production of The King of Kings (1927), as he kept feeding the actor cod liver oil until he vomited whenever he turned up for his makeup whilst drunk. After several weeks, Warner stopped drinking.[4]

His work on Mutiny on the Bounty (1935) led to him being hired as the head of the makeup department at Selznick International Pictures.[1] He also worked at the Oddie Beauty Salon, where he coached Constance Nichols who went on to become the personal hairstylist for several Hollywood actors and actresses.[5]

Mutiny on the Bounty resulted in Monte being the head of the makeup department for Gone with the Wind (1939), Intermezzo (1939) and Rebecca (1940). He personally did the makeup for Scarlett O'Hara in the screentests for Gone with the Wind and also oversaw the makeup on the extras seen in the film. He did not receive any screen credit for his work on the film, as makeup artists were not regularly given such credit until the following decade.[1] The amount of work on Gone with the Wind has been credited with leading to his death.[1][2] In 1940, he underwent a tonsillectomy, and following the operation he had a fatal heart attack on March 30, a few months after the release of the film.[6]

Monte had three sons,[7] including Michael Westmore,[8] who won an Academy Award for Makeup for the film Mask (1985),[9] and nine Emmy Awards.[10] His son Monty Westmore was also nominated for both an Academy Award and Emmy Award.[9][10][11] His third son was Marvin Westmore, the founder and CEO of the George Westmore Research Library & Museum.[12]

Partial filmography[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Gone with the Wind Makeup". Harry Ransom Centre. Retrieved August 24, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d "The Westmore’s of Hollywood". Westmore Museum. Retrieved August 24, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Westmore Star". George Westmore Research Library & Museum. 2008. Retrieved August 24, 2013. 
  4. ^ Eyman, Scott (2010). Empire of Dreams: The Epic Life of Cecil B. DeMille. New York: Simon & Schuster. pp. 236–237. ISBN 9780743289559. 
  5. ^ "In Memoriam" (PDF). The Artisan. 7 (4): 38. Fall 2011. 
  6. ^ Ellenberger, Allan R. (2001). Celebrities in Los Angeles Cemeteries. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland. p. 76. ISBN 9780786409839. 
  7. ^ "Westmore's Hands Are In Everybody's Face". The Chicago Tribune. January 21, 1994. Retrieved August 24, 2013. 
  8. ^ Bobbin, Jay (February 7, 2012). "'Face Off's' McKenzie Westmore deems daytime soaps' plight 'heartbreaking' since 'Passions'". Zap2It. Retrieved August 24, 2013. 
  9. ^ a b "The Awards". Retrieved August 24, 2012. 
  10. ^ a b "Primetime Emmy Award Database". Retrieved August 24, 2012. 
  11. ^ "Monty Westmore, 84, makeup artist". Variety. November 13, 2007. Retrieved August 24, 2013. 
  12. ^ "About – Marvin G. Westmore". Westmore Blog. Retrieved August 24, 2013. 

External links[edit]