Blog Feature

Bette Davis & Joan Crawford:

What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962)

Montague George Westmore, II Makeup artist. Work includes Blaze (1989), he began working for his uncle, Perc Westmore, at Warner Bros. His work with Paul Newman, Joan Crawford, Dustin Hoffman is legendary including a Oscar nomination for Hook (1991). His films include: What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962); Chaplin (1992); The Shawshank Redemption (1992); Rio Lobo (1970).

Monty Westmore Jr.

Monty Westmore Jr.

Monty Jr. remembers Joan Crawford

Westmore was Joan Crawford’s personal makeup artist during the later part of her career, which included the 1962 film What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?, which also starred Bette Davis. Monty Westmore, Jr. describes in detail Joan’s makeup routine.

Here are some highlights:

“It took three hours to get ready in the morning… while I was eating [breakfast], she’d make herself up. She let me apply her false eyelashes once, but it made her a nervous wreck, and me a nervous wreck. I’d lay out her makeup, step by step. She was very fussy about her false eyelashes and would discard the used ones after a day. For each film, I’d have to curl a gross of them. She wanted them in perfect circles, with the tips touching the back, so that while she lathered up her cake mascara–it was this German stuff she’d spit on–they’d uncurl right where she wanted them.”

Davis & Crawford

Davis & Crawford

She covered her freckles with Max Factor greasepaint in a tube and put Westmore powder on top. Her eyebrows were natural—she’d just put a little mascara on the ends.”

In addition to carrying Crawford’s makeup to the set, Westmore also carried another of her essentials: a cooler containing vodka and ice.

“She would always ask for a ‘drink of water,’ but I never once saw her out of control,” he recalled. In fact, “she always tried to get a director tipsy when she wanted the script changed.”

She tried doing that with a young Spielberg, but Westmore said he made sure the glass contained more water than vodka. “If she’d have smelled his glass she would have chopped my head off,” he said.

Joan used Lux soap and Max Factor cosmetics and would scrub her face every night with soap and water. She was absolutely covered with freckles! Legendary glamour photographer George Hurrell, who photographed her many times didn’t like his subjects to wear face makeup, preferring to retouch their skin later.

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