William J. Tuttle

Head of the Makeup department
at M.G.M. studios from 1950-1969

William Tuttle was born in Jacksonville Florida on April 13, 1912.

At the age of fifteen, Bill was forced to leave school in order to earn a living so he could support his mother and younger brother, Thomas. His music background got him work with comedy teams, and a burlesque orchestra and finally his own band.

At age eighteen he moved to Hollywood California. He eventually ended up working at Fox studios. He became an apprentice to Jack Dawn, head of makeup at Twentieth Century Pictures. Seven months later, Twentieth Century Pictures closed down for the summer in 1934 and Bill went to M.G.M. studios to continue his apprenticeship.

Fox studios hired Bill as a makeup artist after seeing the work he had done at M.G.M.

Bill worked on three films for Fox before returning to M.G.M. and made it his home for 35 years. For eight years he worked as an assistant to Jack Dawn (now head makeup artist at M.G.M.) and after Jack retired, became the head of the department for over 20 years.

William Tuttle and Charlie Schram both worked on "The Time Machine." Bill had taken a trip to the San Diego Zoo and got he idea to use the fur of an East African species of monkey for the fur of the Morlocks.

Bill won an honorary oscar in April 1965 for his work on Pal's "Seven Faces of Dr. Lao."

William J. Tuttle passed away on July 27, 2007 of natural causes in his home at the age of 95.


Bill has taught at the U.S.C film school and created his own line of cosmetics, Custom Color Cosmetics.

William Tuttle creating a life mask of Yvette Mimieux
"By using highlights and shadows, one can with some skill, alter the shapes and contours of the face considerably.I feel that they are sort of putting the cart before the horse when they don't make an attempt to perfect these techniques. After all, this was the basis for makeup long ago on the stage, and it's still being used to a great extent in motion pictures today because you frequently have little time to manufacture prosthetics."
—William Tuttle

The glowing eyes of the Morlocks were accomplished by placing small lightbulbs in the eye sockets of the foam appliances and running the wires down the back of the necks of the actors and into a pocket which held the batteries. A push button was used to affect the eyes blinking.

The wigs and body fur was made of white monkey fur on the principal actors and synthetic wigs and fur was used on the background actors.

Colobus monkey of East Africa, possibly the species that William Tuttle saw at the zoo.

William Tuttle Filmography



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