Twyla Milano (1923 – 2014)

Twyla Milano — Body Make-up Artist — (1923 – 2014)

Twyla Milano was one of the pre-eminent body make-up artists of the 1970s until her retirement in 1988. She began her career at the Paramount Studios make-up department office where she worked for Wally Westmore for nearly 18 years. Changing careers, she studied the craft of Body Make-up and earned her days to join the union working at Paramount (but now as a Body Make-up Artist), Universal Studios, 20th Century Fox, The Burbank Studios, and Wolper Productions. She joined Local 706 in 1977, passed her craft examination and became an Executive Board member and was on the Constitution Committee. She was never shy about sharing her secrets and knowledge of the craft, and tutored many others.

In the decades before the Body Make-up Artist classification was eliminated, it was a craft that was mandatory on any film or television production showing bare skin. Actors were painted into perfection, their skin was made to appear as though they might have a tan, sculpted muscles or covered scars and tattoos. During that time, make-up artists were only allowed to work on actresses above the collarbone; the body make-up artist painted the bare décolletage, torso, legs and arms. They were specialists in their field and traveled from job to job every day. On rare occasion did they stay on any one production for an extended period of time, unless it was film or television series that showed a lot of skin. Since there were only about 20 of these artists, they worked constantly, but only rarely received screen credit.

Always professional, Twyla’s energetic and outspoken nature kept her constantly in-demand on the top t.v. series of that period: Dallas, Dynasty, Knots Landing, Fantasy Island, Falcon Crest and Star Trek. The fashions were often quite revealing, and Twyla kept the ladies perfect. The actresses loved her. She passed on the craft to her daughter Gina, who followed in her mother’s footsteps and then transitioned into make-up artistry (Desperate Housewives).

When Twyla retired in 1988, she and her husband Ernest moved to Twyla’s childhood home of Independence, Missouri where they had bought acreage and a home overlooking a pond with plenty of ducks. In recent years, Twyla returned to California and she passed away from natural causes on December 29, 2014.

Twyla was married to Ernest Milano, who preceded her in death, and she is survived by her daughter Gina Milano Rylander, her son Dino and several grandchildren. There were no services, and we will be notified by the family if there is a change.