The article below is posted with permission from Make-up Artists & Hair Stylists Guild Local 706.
Mark Bussan was the MacGyver of make-up. Nothing stumped him. He could do it all, from beauty to the beast, sitcoms to features.
He was born in Hoboken, New Jersey in 1935. His family moved to Los Angeles in 1941, and his life took off. He was the star shortstop of L.A. High School. The great Casey Stengel scouted Mark and signed him to the NY Yankees, where Mark worked his way up to AAA ball until he threw his arm out, ending his professional baseball career. That might have soured someone else, but not Mark. He studied art at the Los Angeles Art Institute under the renowned American artist Millard Sheets. He loved everything about art and excelled in all his classes, but sculpting was his love. Then he was drafted by the Army and honorably served his two years overseas.
When Mark returned to Los Angeles he met Harry Maret, Allan “Whitey” Snyder and Lynn Reynolds, three of the most talented make-up artists in Local 706. They were so impressed with Mark’s sculptures that they advised him that he would be a natural as a make-up artist. High praise from these men, who worked with the likes of Doris Day, Marilyn Monroe and Elvis Presley. They privately tutored him and he eventually became one of Local 706’s most sought after make-up artists. But that wasn’t enough for Mark. As the old saying goes, “A rolling stone gathers no moss,” and Mark always kept moving.
He still painted and sculpted, and many stars such as Carol Burnett, Mia Farrow, Sally Struthers and the late actors John Cassavetes and Jim Nabors have Mark’s work in their collections. Plus, he never forgot all those who mentored him and he, in turn, mentored many make-up artists on set and in the lab. When he wasn’t doing Avery Brooks’ make-up on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine he would work in the lab with Michael Westmore and Sonny Burman, because he said that sculpting relaxed him, plus he liked getting the hours.
Among his many achievements, Mark won Two Emmys, one for Backstairs at The White House with Tommy Cole and Ron Walters, and Amazing Stories: Without Diane with Michael Westmore, Fred Blau and Chuck House, and had an additional 5 nominations.