Allan Whitey Snyder

Aside from Marilyn’s natural gorgeousness, technology and cosmetics went a long way toward making her beauty iconic. A nose bob, the correction of a slight overbite and a chin implant took Marilyn & WhiteyNorma Jeane from very cute to unforgettable. She was already pretty, let’s not forget. And that impossibly perfect body, 36-23-36, had nothing to do with plastic surgery and everything to do with genetics. In addition there was Whitey Snyder. Whitey first worked with Marilyn in 1952 on the film MONKEY BUSINESS and they stayed together as a team until her death and beyond. Snyder had a long and immensely successful career as a film make-up artist, beginning in 1948, with his appointment as assistant make-up artist on the film The Walls of Jericho. Towards the end of her life, Monroe asked Snyder to prepare her face if she were to die before him.Whitey was twice nominated for Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Achievement in Makeup (he must have worked with Joan Crawford). One of the nominations was for his work in 1981 for Little House on the Prairie. 

Whitey stated Marilyn was a perfectionist in everything: her acting, her makeup, her hair. She had Snyder re-do her eyebrows if she felt there was something wrong with them, “anything to keep from going out [on the set].” He felt if people on set left her alone and let her “be her cute little self” she would have been fine.“She was never satisfied with herself in any way and she should have been. I said, Honey why don’t you just be a song and dance girl?…Oh no, no, no. I want to play one of these big, heavy parts. i whiteydon’t just wanna sing.” Like most people, Snyder couldn’t understand her yearning to be something more. Certainly Marilyn never achieved the accolade of great actress.She simply didn’t have the talent. Her talent was beauty, sex appeal, comedy and vulnerability “Marilyn would drive herself so hard that that’s one of the things that led to the sleeping pills at night because she would go home from the studio at 6 o’clock and right away she’d go to bed.” .Snyder stated  The odd sleep hours worked against her. Marilyn would wake up around 10 p.m. and then she’d take a sleeping pill to go back to sleep. By the morning Marilyn was terribly groggy of course, because she had taken too many sleeping pills since the evening before. i believe Marilyn was seeking escape, not sleep.“She was a lonely girl. Sometimes in the middle of the night she’d just want to talk to you, talk to me say, or anybody.She wanted to talk. Just nothing,” Snyder finished.

Snyder occasionally helped to style Marilyn’s hair for some of the movies they worked on together. Marilyn worked with several hairdressers but Snyder was her only makeup artist. Kenneth Battelle (known as Mr. Kenneth) created Marilyn’s iconic “winged” hairstyle for her performance when she sang happy birthday to JFK at Madison Square Gardens. That hair is as iconic as the tight, nude dress. ironically Marilyn didn’t want to work with Mr. Kenneth the night of the celebration but Robert Kennedy pressed her into it. They even fought over Mr. Kenneth. For whatever reason Kennedy was trying to provide Mr. Kenneth with work and to give him a strong network in Hollywood. Mr. Kenneth designed Jackie Kennedy’s bouffant hairdo. This was how Bobby met the hairstylist. In 1961 Mr. Kenneth became the first, and only, hairdresser in the world to win a Coty award.

As for her hair colour, initially Marilyn didn’t want to bleach her hair blonde. Emmeline Snively of commercialthe Blue Book Modelling Agency, fought with her over making the change. Finally in 1946 Marilyn was booked for a hair shampoo commercial ad. She followed Snively’s advice and visited a hair salon the latter recommended, but not with the intention of becoming blonde. She entered the salon, Hollywood’s Frank and Joseph Salon and.explained she was going to do a hair commercial that evening and asked if they could do anything with her hair. The stylist she worked with stated “we brushed out her brown wiry hair and straightened it. It was terrible. We added light gold highlights. Marilyn was thrilled. She liked the look so much that she kept coming back to get more and more highlights until eventually she was completely blonde.” The result of her first straightening and slight bleaching is in the enclosed pictureMarilyn experimented with several shades of blonde until she finally reached her iconic platinum blonde. Niagara was the first film where she was revealed as a platinum blonde.

Marilyn could be very morbid. During her last year alive she must have felt the end was coming. joeShe made a gift of a gold money clip with an inscription on the back saying, “Whitey Dear, While I’m still warm, Marilyn.”  Because of the damage done by the autopsy, Agnes Flanagan, who prepared her hair for her funeral, had to use a wig similar to how Marilyn had been wearing her hair in her aborted last picture, “Something’s Got to Give”. Armed with a bottle of gin, Snyder fulfilled his grim promise to Marilyn two days after she died to prepare her for her funeral. it was the most difficult makeup job of his life..Friend to the end, Snyder also served as a pallbearer.




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