The article below is posted with permission from Make-up Artists & Hair Stylists Guild Local 706.
Dorothy Pearl, one of the first women to join Local 706 as a make-up artist, who helped blaze the trail for others to follow in her footsteps, has passed away. At a time when our local was going through tremendous changes, Dottie was working in Texas on the iconic horror film The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. After numerous attempts to join as a regional member, she was finally admitted into Local 706 in 1975 and earned Journeyman status in 1977.
Dottie was skilled at all types of make-up artistry from glamor and beauty to prosthetics and special make-up effects. She made quite a mark for herself as the designer of Dustin Hoffman’s make-up on Tootsie, while also working as the personal artist for Jessica Lange. Pearl was awarded the BAFTA for Best Make-up on Tootsie, and she and Jessica worked together on more than a dozen films over 20 years. Dorothy Pearl was also the personal artist for Joan Allen, Hillary Swank, Jane Fonda and other notable actors. Her strengths as a make-up artist also gave her the flexibility to department head or be in the key position as well. She won a Primetime Emmy for her work on Normal, and two other nominations: Georgia O’Keefe and And Starring Pancho Villa as Himself. Both of these productions garnered her nominations for the Make-up Artists and Hair Stylists Guild Awards.
She is quoted as saying, “I have been blessed to have worked with some of the greatest directors in the world, including Sydney Pollack, Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, Costa Gavras, Bruce Beresford, Tim Burton, Bob Rafelson and Barry Levinson.” Her list of credits include Poltergeist, Leadbelly, Melvin and Howard, Against All Odds, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Miss Congeniality, Big Fish, Cape Fear, The Postman Always Rings Twice and dozens of other films and television productions. She was also a screenwriter.
Dorothy received her Gold Card from Local 706 in 2006 and remained an active member until her passing on July 21, 2018. Dorothy Pearl is survived by two sisters: Betty and Barbara, and a brother Lynnis. She was married three times with no children, and returned to her relationship with producer/casting director Don Phillips. Services for Dorothy Pearl will be postponed until a later date in Houston.