Thursday, April 25, 2013

A-Z Challenge 2013: V is for Ve Neill!

V are in the homestretch of this April 2013 A-Z Blogging Challenge now - and it's Very cool to be able to tell you that:

V is for Ve Neill!

I first noticed the name Ve Neill associated with the copious pre-release coverage for Star Trek: The Motion Picture that was all over Starlog magazine in the months leading up to its December 1979 release. She was working in the makeup department with Fred Phillips – the original makeup artist from the series – and became one of the handful of people up to that time to put pointed Vulcan ears on Leonard Nimoy.

Spock's ears - designed and created by others, applied by Ve Neill in Star Trek: The Motion Picture.

She also appeared on camera in the giant briefing scene!

Ve Neill was born Mary Flores in the early 50’s in Riverside California. She got her start in movie makeup – now using the name Ve Neill - in 1977 on Cinderella – a softcore retelling of the fairy tale directed by character actor Michael Pataki. In addition to her makeup duties, she also was credited as a hair stylist for one of only two times in her career.

Rainbeaux Smith in Cinderella (1977).

From there, she went right on working – building up an incredible resume of genre films in her first five years in the business. It’s pretty amazing how many of her films reside in my video vault, as a matter of fact.

In those five years she was a makeup artist on: (* in my video vault)

Kingdom of the Spiders (1977) * (director John ‘Bud’ Cardos)

The spiders - and William Shatner's cojones - are real. The wounds on his
face? Courtesy Ve Neill.

The Private Files of J. Edgar Hoover (1977) (director Larry Cohen)

Laserblast (1978) * (producer Charles Band)

The late great Kim Milford gets more than a green neck from his new
necklace in Laserblast.

Tourist Trap (1979) * (director David Schmoeller)

The creepy factor runs high in Tourist Trap.

The Dark (1979) * (director John ‘Bud’ Cardos)

The Day Time Ended (1979) * (director John ‘Bud’ Cardos)

Star Trek-The Motion Picture (1979) * (director Robert Wise)

Nine to Five (1980) *

The Incredible Shrinking Woman (1981) * (director John Landis)

The Sword and the Sorceror (1982) * (director Albert Pyun)

That's Bull from Night Court - Richard Moll - playing a demon -
The Sword and the Sorceror.

Monty Python Live at the Hollywood Bowl (1982) *
Slapstick (of Another Kind) (1982)

Madeline Khan and Jerry Lewis in Slapstick (of Another Kind).

Ve Neill then worked on The A-Team – doing 61 of the 97 episodes. Then she jumped right back in to movie work – and again – she got hired on one amazing movie after another: (and this is only a selected list)

The Lost Boys (1987)
Beetlejuice (1988)
Dick Tracy (1990)
Flatliners (1990)
Edward Scissorhands (1990)
Hook (1991)
Batman Returns (1992)

Hoffa (1992)
Mrs. Doubtfire (1993)
Ed Wood (1994)
Cobb (1994)
Batman Forever (1995)
Mars Attacks! (1996)
Batman and Robin (1997)

Ve Neill has continued her incredible career into the 21st century – and her work has been recognized with several nominations and awards over the course of her career – she has won a Primetime Emmy, a Daytime Emmy, a BAFTA, and four Saturn awards. She’s also been nominated for eight Oscars, and has won three – as a part of the makeup teams for Beetlejuice, Mrs. Doubtfire, and Ed Wood.

Ve Neill is also a judge on the popular Syuh-Fyuh channel series Face Off.

She continues to work on high profile films – she did the first three Pirates of the Caribbean movies, and most recently The Amazing Spider-Man and The Hunger Games - and she hired my makeup artist buddy Rick Pour for that one - and she’s got the sequels to both of those films under way.

An amazing talent – I would recommend checking out some of her movies – but I have a sneaking suspicion that you already have – even if you didn’t know it!

There are no good puns for “W” none that I can think of anyway – but nonetheless – please come back tomorrow for another A-Z post! Until then, you Can Poke Me With A Fork, Cause I Am Outta Here!


  1. oooooh, so she's the one behind all them cool make-up from Sweeney Todd, Tourist Trap and Laserblast? Awesome! can't wait to know her future involvements!

  2. I love Ve, she is an amazing woman and what a career. I admire the fact that she has created so many horror makeups and made a name for herself in a typically male environment.

  3. Does anyone know where the name Ve came from?

    1. I don't - it didn't come up in my (admittedly pretty lax) research for this post.