Journeyman make-up artist Mel Berns Jr., who made up some of the biggest television stars of the ’70s, died June 23 in Southern California. He was 71.
Berns, who was born on Jan. 27, 1941 in Beverly Hills, came from a family of Local 706 make-up artists, including his father, Mel Berns Sr., and uncle Irving Berns, both charter members of Local 706, the West Coast union of make-up artists and hairstylists.
Mel Berns Jr. became an established make-up artist in his own right, with a résumé that spanned more than 30 years. Millions of people saw his work every week on Charlie’s Angels, The Partridge Family, The Flying Nun, Starsky and Hutch, The Monkees, Knots Landing and Hotel. He also worked on films, including Wayne’s World, Gidget Goes to Rome and Waterworld. His celebrity clients included Sally Field, Farrah Fawcett and Connie Selleca.
Berns enjoyed sailing, fishing, golfing and spending time with family and friends. He suffered a stroke in 2006 after he had retired.
Berns is survived by his wife of 43 years, Ronee, and sons Evan and Tony. He was cremated and his ashes were spread at sea, but the family invited friends and colleagues to celebrate his life on Sunday, July 24, 2011.