William J. Tuttle

By Michael Corvin

     William J. Tuttle is one of those artists that worked his way up to the top
spot in his vocation.  Born in Jacksonville Florida on April 13, 1912, Tuttle first
started his career working under make-up artist Jack Dawn at Twentieth
Century Fox.  Later he and Dawn moved to MGM where the two worked on
such classics as The Wizard of Oz and Father of the Bride.

     It was Tuttle who created the stunning and scary make-up for the Morlock creatures in the movie The
Time Machine in 1960 once he rose to become, he himself, MGMs head of the make-up department.  He
also would work on other sci/fi films as Forbidden Planet a few years before in 1956 along with nongenre
work with Singing in the Rain, North by Northwest and even worked on episodes of the classic series The
Twilight Zone.

     Nearly 20 years before the Academy Awards would recognize make-up effects as an Oscar category,
Tuttle was given a special award for his work on the movie 7 Faces of Dr. Lao in 1964.  Other works in
science fiction would be Logan’s Run in 1976 and he even did the make-up for Peter Boyle to turn him into
the loveable Frankenstein Monster for the horror/comedy Young Frankenstein.  Tuttle even worked in front
of the camera for the film The Fantasy Film Worlds of George Pal where he talked about working with the
movie director on 7 Faces of Dr. Lao.

     Tuttle was married 5 times the first was to actress Donna Reed of the Donna Reed Show in 1945.  
Later after their divorce, he went on to marry Gloria Gilbert, Marie Kopick, Elizabeth Muskie, and Anita B.
Aros, who he was with until the time of his death.  William J. Tuttle died at the age of 95 from natural
causes in 2007.  In the years until his passing, he had worked on some of Hollywood’s biggest and most
well-known movies.  The legacy he leaves behind lives in all artists that have come in his wake and the
world was a better place to have him.
Making Monsters:
Spotlight on Hollywood's
Makeup Artists