Longtime make-up artist Manlio Rocchetti was recognized during the recent 89th Academy Awards “In Memoriam” segment. The obituary below is posted with permission from Make-up Artists & Hair Stylists Guild Local 706.
Internationally known and respected make-up artist Manlio Rocchetti was born in his family’s wig shop in Rome. He began working in 1960 in the Italian filmmaking community alongside some of the best known Italian directors—Federico Fellini, Sergio Leone and Roberto Rossellini. His actors were legendary—Sophia Loren, Claudia Cardinale and Marcello Mastroianni. In 1993 he became a Local 706 member while working with Robert Duvall on Geronimo. Manlio was well respected for his beautiful and artistic abilities with all make-ups from glamour to special make-up effects. His exceptional and varied body of work included films Gangs of New York, Brokeback Mountain, All the King’s Men, Once Upon a Time in America, Shutter Island, Secondhand Lions and Driving Miss Daisy for which he received the Oscar, with Lynn Barber and Kevin Haney in 1990. Manlio often collaborated with director Martin Scorsese, and was personal make-up artist to Robert Duvall for more than 20 years. Alongside Duvall, Manlio was also artist to Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Sean Connery, George Clooney, Jack Nicholson, Matt Damon, Charlize Theron, Jennifer Lopez, Wynona Rider, Michelle Pfeiffer, Leonardo DiCaprio, Anthony Hopkins and Liza Minelli. For more than 50 years he created beautiful actors and created horrific movie villains. Rocchetti won an Emmy for his make-up work on Lonesome Dove with Carla Palmer and Jean Black. The dusty cattle trail and two aging cowboys showed the road map of their tough lives. He was nominated multiple times for Emmys, BAFTAs and other awards.
Manlio loved his home in Tequesta, Florida and spent his hiatus time enjoying his speedboat and fishing. Before his death, Rocchetti had been teaching film make-up at the National Academy of Cinema in Bologna, Italy while in pre-production for the film Disorientated. In his native Italy, they called him “maestro.”
He was getting ready to retire in Tequesta but weakened by a recent bronchitis, on Jan. 9, 2017, he fainted and fell into the pool at his condo. Manlio Rocchetti is survived by two daughters and his partner Linda V. Melazzo (also a 706 member). A memorial was held Feb. 10 at the Casa del Cinema, an arthouse movie theater in the Villa Borghese in Rome.
For more on the Rocchetti e Rocchetti wig shop, see Issue 112 of Make-Up Artist magazine.