|Vincent J-R Kehoe, the make-up book author, artist and presidenof RCMA Professional Products, died Aug. 17 in Somis, California. He was 86.A former professional ski instructor, Kehoe served in the U.S. Signal Corps during World War II before embarking on a professional make-up career in 1940. He served as make-up department head for CBS in New York (designing all the Ford Theatre and Studio One productions) and for the NBC Hallmark Hall of Fame series. His filmography includes the musical Carousel, the 1958 horror classic The Blob, and the dramas Giant, The Thomas Crown Affair and Charly. All in all, he oversaw make-up for more than 3,000 major TV, film and stage productions. The list of celebrities he made up is long and varied, ranging from Grace Kelly to Boris Karloff.
In 1949, Kehoe joined Local 798, the East Coast union of make-up artists and hairstylists; from 1962-1966, he directed make-up for New York City’s International Beauty Show. And in 1999, he served as speaker at the International Make-up Artist Trade Show.
Kehoe wrote more than a dozen books on make-up, including Special Make-Up Effects; The Technique of Film and Television Make-Up; The Technique of the Professional Make-Up Artist for Film, Television and Stage; Photographic Make-Up for Stills and Movies and The Professional Make-up Artist, written with colleague Joe Blasco. These books were Kehoe’s contribution to the education of make-up artists, something he took to heart.
“To become a knowledgeable, competent and complete professional make-up artist requires, first, a sincere desire to learn everything there is to know—and then some—about make-up procedures, products, ingredients, lines, comparative work and how it is or was done,” he wrote in the introduction to The Technique of the Professional Make-Up Artist.
Kehoe also wrote several articles on advanced make-up research for the Journal of the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers. As president and director of the Research Council of Make-Up Artists, a post he assumed in 1963, Kehoe designed and produced the Color Process line of RMCA Professional Products.
Kehoe received a BFA in Motion Picture and Television Production from Columbia University in 1957 and served as guest lecturer at the Barnard College Drama Workshop. He also studied at the Bishop-Lee School of the Theatre and the American Theatre Wing. Along with his texts on make-up, Kehoe authored books on bullfighting and the history of the American Revolutionary War.
He is survived by his wife, children and grandchildren.