This Day in Death

2.5.13: Hollywood Makeup Artist Stuart Freeborn – DEAD!

Filed under: Uncategorized —James @ 6:23 pm February 8, 2013

STUART_FREEBORNHey ladies, wouldn’t it be great if we could do that to every man’s head? Woo! I have had *too many* Coco Snowball Martinis.


From transvestites and the excessively vain to the slutty Golden Girl and even your validation-starved sister, everyone loves makeup. But did you know that it can be used for something other than reinforcing oppressively stereotypical gender expectations? It’s true! Makeup can also be used to make space turtles or whatever for movies. That’s what Yoda is, right? Some kinda space turtle? Whatever, I don’t really care. Point is, Stuart Freeborn, who created the makeup for characters in Star Wars, 2001: A Space Odyssey and more, is dead today at the age of 98.

Lucas said in a statement:

“[Freeborn] brought with him not only decades of experience but boundless creative energy. His artistry and craftsmanship will live on forever in the characters he created. His Star Wars creatures may be reinterpreted in new forms by new generations but at their heart they continue to be what Stuart created for the original films.”

Freeborn was just another member of the delicate ecosystem of talented people who worked tirelessly to bring George Lucas’ half-assed fever dreams to something approaching palatability. In retrospect, what exactly did Lucas contribute to the empire that keeps his horrific meatbeard so glossy? Other people designed and built everything, and even a lot of the directing and writing duties were taken up by more competent nerds than Lucas. At this point it seems like he basically just scribbled “ROBOTS N MONKEYS IN SPACE!” in crayon and tricked everyone into feeling sorry enough to try and help him. I tell you, in the 70s you could get anything done with enough moxie. Moxie, of course, being 70s slang for cocaine.

Source: Time

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