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Bob O'Bradovich

Robert "Bob" O'Bradovich (1919-1993) was a highly-respected Emmy award-winning makeup artist whose work in television, film, Broadway and elsewhere was always in demand. Born into humble beginnings in Crosby, Minnesota, Bob wanted to be an actor and went to New York City in the early 1950s, where his good looks and commanding presence won him a few roles during the Golden Age of Television. Acting didn't pay the bills, so he started tinkering with makeup, experimenting first on himself and then honing his talents by landing a staff job in the NBC makeup department. There, Bob shined.

Robert "Bob" O'Bradovich (1919-1993) was a highly-respected Emmy award-winning makeup artist whose work in television, film, Broadway and elsewhere was always in demand. Born into humble beginnings in Crosby, Minnesota, Bob wanted to be an actor and went to New York City in the early 1950s, where his good looks and commanding presence won him a few roles during the Golden Age of Television. Acting didn't pay the bills, so he started tinkering with makeup, experimenting first on himself and then honing his talents by landing a staff job in the NBC makeup department. There, Bob shined. His gifts for improvisation, speed and innovation won him respect throughout he industry. NBC often used his makeup and name in ads for their TV shows. Critics such as the New York Times's Jack Gould singled him out in his reviews. His work on Sunday Showcase, Kraft Theater and Robert Montgomery Presents were made all the more vivid by his makeup wizardry. By 1959, Bob became the chief of the NBC department.

His most memorable work, however, could be found in the dozens of lavish productions sponsored by Hallmark. The Hallmark Hall of Fame programs were among his finest and most challenging makeup creations. The Tempest, Magnificent Yankee and Victoria Regina earned him accolades from colleagues, write ups in Life, The New York Times and Variety, and special recognition from the Academy for Julie Harris's incredible aging makeup in Victoria Regina. This was the first time this special award was ever given in a makeup category. His first Emmy came in 1965 for another aging job on Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontainne in Magnificent Yankee. In 1965, he left NBC to begin a freelance career in movies, TV and Broadway.

His movie work includes such titles as No Way to Treat a Lady with Rod Steiger; the gay classic Boys in the Band; Harry and Tonto with Art Carney; and Three Days of the Condor with Robert Redford. He worked on Broadway classics such as Beatlemania and Dracula.

What's not often mentioned in biographies were his fascinating side projects between jobs. Because he was a modest man, he rarely discussed his involvement with John F. Kennedy during the infamous Nixon/Kennedy debates. In the book The Great Debates by Stanley Kraus, it's mentioned that Bob was called up in secret from location in Virginia to work with Kennedy. Although it's not clear if his services were needed, Kennedy DID look tan and rested, didn't he?

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Bob O'Bradovich

Bob O'Bradovich

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