Tom Hanks' owes much to Santa Rosa native and two-time Oscar nominee Dan Striepeke.
Through 17 films, Hanks’ countenance was made camera-ready by Striepeke, the brother of late Sonoma County Sheriff Don Striepeke and one of Hollywood’s most acclaimed makeup artists.
Dan Striepeke, who got his start in theater at Santa Rosa High School in the late 1940s, died Saturday in Southern California of heart trouble at 88.
A second brother, Santa Rosa’s Ed Striepeke, recalls that Dan took his makeup kit with him when, not long after high school, he left Sonoma County for a trip to Mexico.
“On the way back,” Ed Striepeke said, “he went to Los Angeles and that’s where he stayed. At 19, he got his first job, on KTTV.”
Dan Striepeke went on to create makeup magic on scores of films: "Around the World in 80 Days," "The Sound of Music," "Spartacus," "Planet of the Apes," "The Magnificent Seven," "Viva Las Vegas," "Patton," and "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid."
He became head of the makeup department at Twentieth Century Fox, and then Tom Hanks’ exclusive makeup artist.
Hanks wrote in a 2006 New York Times piece, “The Man Who Aged Me,” that Striepeke was a true artist and friend who, in the making of "Forrest Gump," worked with him for 27 straight days and “took me from a teenager to a Vietnam soldier to parenthood as Sally Field died of cancer, earning him and his team one of Gump’s Academy Award nominations.
“Perhaps because few voters realized the makeup was there, he went home empty-handed.”
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