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May 11, 2012

Vidal Sassoon, Influential Hairstylist

In addition to success as a personal stylist and salon owner, Sassoon created styles for several top stars.

Vidal Sassoon, a British hairstylist who achieved success for his work with numerous celebrities, died May 9, 2012, at his home in Beverly Hills. He was 84.

According to news reports, he had been fighting leukemia.

Sassoon began styling hair in his native London and moved to the U.S. after establishing himself as one of the top in his profession. In America, he lent his name to Procter & Gamble haircare products and promoted the line in television commercial remembered for the tag line, “If You Don’t Look Good, We Don’t Look Good.”

During the 1960s, Sassoon began working in film and television. He designed actress Nancy Kwan’s hair for the film The Wild Affair and Joyce Blair’s hair for the movie Be My Guest. He also made news when he was flown from London to Hollywood at a reported cost of $5,000, to create Mia Farrow’s pixie cut for the 1968 film Rosemary’s Baby.

On television, he created wigs for Carol Burnett on The Carol Burnett Show.

In 2010 he was the subject of a documentary, Vidal Sassoon: The Movie, which recounted his origins in London’s East End and time in an orphanage after his mother abandoned him, and his eventual rise to fame as a hairstylist and as an important figure in the fight against anti-Semitism.

Sassoon was married four times. He is survived by fourth wife, Rhonda, and three children by his second wife, actress Beverly Adams. A daughter, actress Catya Sassoon, died in 2002.

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