Robert Norin and Bette Davis for TV movie Family Reunion
Robert Norin working on Bette Davis for the 1981 TV movie Family Reunion

Robert Norin, an Emmy-winning movie make-up artist whose celebrity clients spanned Ben Kingsley to Sidney Poitier, died in his sleep Feb. 3 from congestive heart failure.

Born in 1938, in Hollywood, Calif., Norin was part of a long line of movie make-up artists that included grandfather Josef Norin, father Gus Norin, uncle Charlie Schram and brother. Robert began his career in 1965 as an apprentice, becoming a journeyman make-up artist in 1967.

Norin trained with Schram and William Tuttle at MGM, and with Ben Nye at Fox Studios. He became a master moldmaker and won an Emmy for Outstanding Achievement in Makeup for The Three Wishes of Billy Grier, a movie of the week in which he aged Ralph Macchio from ages 15 to 80 with full prosthetic appliances. He shared the award with Michael Westmore, Jamie Brown and Sandy Cooper. He was also a two-time Emmy nominee, for Victims for Victims: The Theresa Saldana Story and MacGyver.

His additional credits included Cocoon, Scrooged, History of the World: Part 1, Wicked Stepmother and Family Reunion. Norin made up several high-profile actors over the course of his career, including Robert De Niro, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Donald Sutherland, Robert Goulet and Richard Pryor, to name a few. He also served on the Executive Board of IATSE Local 706 and was a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

According to the union, Norin retired after 39 years in the industry and spent his leisure time traveling, boating, waterskiing and restoring old trucks.

Norin is survived by his wife, Cynthia; his brother, John; his sister-in-law, Joey; his nephew, Erik; his great nephew, Grayson; and several friends. Information about any kind of services was not available at press time.

See Issue 78 for more on the Norin family’s make-up legacy.