Morton Greenspoon 1929-2018
Dr. Morton Greenspoon was born in New York City in 1929. His family moved to California in 1935, where Greenspoon’s father pursued his career as an optometrist. Senior Greenspoon pushed the boundaries of contact lenses, and at the time was the only optometrist in California who knew how to fit the Zeiss lens (the only contacts being made at the time in Germany by the Carl Zeiss Company).
Once senior Greenspoon moved his practice to Beverly Hills, his clientele base began to look like a who’s who in Hollywood. His client list consisted of Hollywood stars such as Orson Welles, Rita Hayworth, Herbert Marshall, Ronald Colman, Eddie Cantor and Esther Williams.
Morton joined the family business, ProfessionalVisionCare Associates in 1951, after having explored the world of a motion picture cameraman, which ultimately, he decided was not for him. In 1988, Morton became partners with Dr. Richard Silver and the two collaborated to create the technology for hand-painted special effects soft contact lenses.
Morton’s practice was located in Sherman Oaks where he was ideally situated near Universal Studios, Warner Bros. and Twentieth Century-Fox. Not a bad location for a cosmetic lens company.
One of the first cosmetic creations Morton worked on was for Debra Paget in Broken Arrow (1950), where he turned her blue eyes brown, and having to play a brown-eyed Indian, Paget would likely not have gotten the part otherwise.
Morton went on to juggle the exciting world of film with his regular practice until his recent passing. Some of his first contributions to film was when he gave Alan Reed brown eyes for his role in Viva Zapata!. He helped Tor Johnson turn into a grotesque blind man in The Monster and, using completely new techniques, fitted Audrey Hepburn with appropriate lenses that helped her portray a blind woman in Wait Until Dark.
Always looking to create new effects, in 1967 Morton fitted Laurence Naismith with silver-mirrored contact lenses for his role in Camelot. This was the first time this effect was ever used.
In Planet of the Apes Morton collaborated to turn every blue-eyed feature actor brown eyed. Other memorable projects Morton consulted on consisted of: The Howling (1981, with Robert Picardo), Fright Night (1985, starring Chris Sarandon), Fright Night Part II (1988), The Lost Boys (1987), the television movie The Incredible Hulk Returns (1988), the television series Dark Shadows (1991, starring Ben Cross and Jean Simmons), Francis Ford Coppola’s Dracula (1992), Wolf (1994) and Star Trek: The Next Generation fourth season episode “The Drumhead” and the fifth season episode “Conundrum” (1991).
Professional VisionCare and Make-Up Artist magazine shared a long relationship, and we are deeply saddened to have lost an innovator, a supporter and a friend.