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Phil Leakey

Phil Leakey

Hammer make-up supremo Philip Leakey was born on the 4th of May, 1908 in London, England.

Leakey became the first make-up artist ever to get an on-screen credit for his “bold and innovative” work in X the Unknown (1956). Moving on from the black-and-white fifties sci-fi feel to blood-red Eastmancolor gore, he created the memorable Creature played by Christopher Lee in the Curse of Frankenstein (1957), carefully avoiding the Universal copyright trap of copying Jack Pierce’s for Boris Karloff.

Leakey went on to work on Dracula and The Revenge of Frankenstein (both 1958) and once joked, “Hammer had no laboratories or ovens or anything to cook rubber prosthetics with. I had to take them home and do it. I used to ring up my wife and say: don’t cook anything tonight dear, I’ll need the oven to bake a rubber head.”

Phil Leakey died on the 26th of November, 1992.

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