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Dorothy Ponedel Bob Custer

Dottie Ponedel and Bob Custer

Dorothy Ponedel (1898-1979) American Actress and Make-Up Artist. Dorothy (Dottie) Ponedel came to Los Angeles from Chicago in 1920 and quickly found herself cast as an extra in silent movies. She progressed to dancing roles and sidekick roles throught the 1920's. By a turn of fate, she started her makeup career in 1930 with "Follow Thru" starring Nancy Carroll and Jack Haley. She quickly rose to the top, becoming the very first woman admitted into the makeup union at the specific behest of stars such as Marlene Dietrich and Mae West, both of whom were good friends and loyal clients of Dot's. Dot was kept very busy working with such stars as the aforementioned Dietrich and West as well as Carole Lombard, Jean Arthur, Barbara Stanwyck, Helen Hayes, Paulette Goddard, Lillian Roth, Clara Blow, Joan Blondell and many others. In 1940 she left Paramount to go to MGM at the request of Jack Dawn. While there, she was introduced to a young Judy Garland and asked to see "what you can do with her". The rest, as they say, is history. Dot and Judy quickly became close friends and Dot worked exclusively with Judy throughout her MGM career and beyond. Dot contracted Multiple Sclerosis after returning from Judy's triumphant concert at the London Palladium in 1951 and had to retire from makeup. Her friends, however, stayed loyal. Dot died in 1981.

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