Makeup artist Mel Berns Jr. dies at 71

40-year career spanned TV and film

TV and film makeup artist Mel Berns Jr. died in Beverly Hills on June 23. He was 71.

Born in Beverly Hills, he graduated from Beverly Hills High School and continued his education at UCLA. Soon thereafter he began his showbiz career in 1961 as an agent at the William Morris Agency.

After a year and a half, Berns left the suit-and-tie world to learn from and follow in the footsteps of his father. Mel Berns Sr., who helped start the make-up union in the 1920s and was head of makeup at RKO for 20 years. Berns Sr. was the key makeup artist on “Citizen Kane.”

During a career in the field that lasted 40 years, Berns Jr. was a makeup artist on TV shows including “The Flying Nun,” “The Partridge Family,” “Hotel,” “The New Mike Hammer” and “The Adventures of Brisco County Jr.”

As makeup supervisor on “Charlie’s Angels,” he worked with Jaclyn Smith on every episode and with Farrah Fawcett.

Berns Jr. also worked on a number of telepics, including “Conspiracy of Terror,” “The Users,” “A Question of Love” and “The Pride of Jesse Hallam,” as well as on the 1984 documentary “Going Hollywood: The ’30s.”

His film credits include “Gidget Goes to Rome” (1963), “The Last of the Finest,” “Wayne’s World” and “Mad Dog Time” (1996).

Berns Jr. also did makeup for Ingrid Bergman and Anthony Quinn.

He is survived by his wife of 43 years, Ronee, whom he met while both worked at WMA; two sons; and his mother.

More Film

  • Rupert Murdoch

    Fox Founder Rupert Murdoch Insists Disney Deal Is Not a 'Retreat'

    TV and film makeup artist Mel Berns Jr. died in Beverly Hills on June 23. He was 71. Born in Beverly Hills, he graduated from Beverly Hills High School and continued his education at UCLA. Soon thereafter he began his showbiz career in 1961 as an agent at the William Morris Agency. After a year […]

  • 'Father Figures' film premiere

    'Father Figures' Premiere Raises Funds for Southern California Wildfire Victims

    TV and film makeup artist Mel Berns Jr. died in Beverly Hills on June 23. He was 71. Born in Beverly Hills, he graduated from Beverly Hills High School and continued his education at UCLA. Soon thereafter he began his showbiz career in 1961 as an agent at the William Morris Agency. After a year […]

  • Carrie Fisher Star Wars

    Fox Merges With Disney: The Storied Studio's 102-Year History

    TV and film makeup artist Mel Berns Jr. died in Beverly Hills on June 23. He was 71. Born in Beverly Hills, he graduated from Beverly Hills High School and continued his education at UCLA. Soon thereafter he began his showbiz career in 1961 as an agent at the William Morris Agency. After a year […]

  • 'Bright' film premiere

    Will Smith Discusses 'Bright's' Racial, Social, Allegorical Undertones

    TV and film makeup artist Mel Berns Jr. died in Beverly Hills on June 23. He was 71. Born in Beverly Hills, he graduated from Beverly Hills High School and continued his education at UCLA. Soon thereafter he began his showbiz career in 1961 as an agent at the William Morris Agency. After a year […]

  • ‘Hunting Season’ Takes Top Prize at

    ‘Hunting Season’ Takes Top Prize at Macao Festival

    TV and film makeup artist Mel Berns Jr. died in Beverly Hills on June 23. He was 71. Born in Beverly Hills, he graduated from Beverly Hills High School and continued his education at UCLA. Soon thereafter he began his showbiz career in 1961 as an agent at the William Morris Agency. After a year […]

  • Bob Iger Rupert Murdoch

    Disney-Fox Will Be Global Powerhouse, Especially in Asia and Europe

    TV and film makeup artist Mel Berns Jr. died in Beverly Hills on June 23. He was 71. Born in Beverly Hills, he graduated from Beverly Hills High School and continued his education at UCLA. Soon thereafter he began his showbiz career in 1961 as an agent at the William Morris Agency. After a year […]

  • X Men avengers potential teamup Disney

    Fantastic Four, X-Men Can Team With Avengers Thanks to Fox, Disney Deal

    TV and film makeup artist Mel Berns Jr. died in Beverly Hills on June 23. He was 71. Born in Beverly Hills, he graduated from Beverly Hills High School and continued his education at UCLA. Soon thereafter he began his showbiz career in 1961 as an agent at the William Morris Agency. After a year […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content