Dorothy “Dottie” Ponedel left Chicago for Hollywood in 1920 with appearing desires and located some success with small elements in silent Westerns. But it surely was her expertise with a make-up brush that made Ponedel a star — and a detailed confidante to iconic actresses together with Marlene Dietrich, Mae West and Judy Garland.
Ponedel’s reward was for contouring and highlighting — she is credited with creating the display screen siren picture — and by the early Nineteen Thirties, her abilities earned her a place at Paramount. For 1931’s Dishonored, director Josef von Sternberg instructed Ponedel to offer Dietrich “ ‘the works — give everyone one thing to speak about,’ ” writes Ponedel in her memoir, About Face.
“I did issues across the eye, modified her hairline, and made a full, lush mouth. I added a refined white line down the middle of the nostril which introduced the nostril up. … I shaded the face after I wished to get that hole look. Then I might take the pillows of my fingers, dip them in my rouge, and go over the pores and skin of the face simply the place I wished the pink coloration to return out.”
The impact was revolutionary: “Each make-up artist in our trade wished to know what I had finished.”
Main stars insisted on Ponedel of their contracts, and he or she “made fairly a distinct segment within the affections of all who are available contact along with her,” reported THR in 1934.
However the all-male Make-Up Artists Native 76 objected to Ponedel’s inclusion as a result of she was a girl. It was West and Dietrich who efficiently advocated for her, with West saying, “No stranger goes to pat this puss.”
Ponedel met Garland on 1944’s Meet Me in St. Louis; the 2 grew to become finest associates and collaborated on 10 extra MGM photos.
Ponedel died in 1979 after a battle with a number of sclerosis.
This story first appeared within the Oct. 25 problem of The Hollywood Reporter journal. Click on right here to subscribe.