• Oscar Artist to Receive Star on Hollywood Walk of Fame


    HOLLYWOOD (CNS) – Seven-time Oscar-winning makeup artist Rick Baker will receive the 2,485th star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame today, honored for helping create aliens with jaw-dropping appearances in “Star Wars” and “Men in Black” films.

    Barry Sonnenfeld, who directed all three “Men in Black” films and Guillermo Del Toro, who directed the 2004 film “Hellboy,” which Baker served as the makeup consultant, will join Baker in speaking at the 11:30 a.m. ceremony in front of the Guinness World Records Museum.

    Baker will also be entered in “Guinness World Records” for most Oscar wins and most nominations (12) for best achievement in makeup.

    The ceremony coincides with today’s DVD and Blu-ray release of “Men in Black 3.”

    Baker won the first Academy Award for best makeup for the 1981 horror film, “An American Werewolf in London,” where he transformed star David Naughton into a four-legged, ferocious werewolf.

    Baker’s other Oscars were for “Harry and the Hendersons”; “Ed Wood”; “The Nutty Professor”; Men in Black”; “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”; and “The Wolfman.”

    Baker received Academy Award nominations for “Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes”; “Coming to America”; “Mighty Joe Young”; “Life” and “Norbit.”

    Born Dec. 8, 1950 in Binghamton, N.Y., Baker moved with his family to Southern California at an early age and grew up in Covina. As a child, Baker wanted to be a doctor, specifically Dr. Frankenstein, so he could make monsters. When he was 10 years old, he realized that doctors didn’t make movie monsters; makeup artists did.

    Baker’s passion was fueled by monster movies shown on television, the television series “The Twilight Zone” and “The Outer Limits,” and the magazine “Famous Monsters of Filmland,” particularly articles by the legendary makeup artist Dick Smith. That led to Baker to building monster model kits, making an 8 mm version of “Frankenstein” and erecting his first makeup lab in his bedroom.

    Smith would become Baker’s mentor after he wrote to him when he was 18 years old. Smith invited Baker to his house to show him his makeup lab. Their association culminated with Baker assisting Smith on “The Exorcist.”

    Baker’s first professional job came when he was still a teenager at the Clokey Studios as a puppet designer for the stop-motion animation series “Davey and Goliath” and “Gumby.”

    Baker also worked with another makeup legend, Stan Winston, on the 1974 made-for-television movie, “The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman,” winning an outstanding achievement in makeup Emmy for aging star Cicely Tyson from 23 to 110.

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