MGM Makeup Man John Truwe

spahn-and-truey.jpg (34355 bytes)"Our makeup man was John Truwe," says Pierre Jalbert. "He loved his 'boys.' He started working at MGM at age 14. He became one of the best makeup men at MGM. Worked with Elizabeth Taylor and all the great women stars. He was excellent for women. I don't know how he got Combat!, but he loved "the boys," as he called us. Simple makeup, just a little base, a little dirt." (Pictured above is makeup man John Truwe applying Fuller's earth to pitcher Warren Spahn.)

"He was a good makeup man," Conlan says of John Truwe. "He did great stuff with Vic and all of us. We were dirty. He did great dirt."

Union rules require that the costumes be cleaned every night. Each morning, once the actors were in the clean uniforms, they had to be 'dirtied up.' Fuller's earth would be applied by hand to the costumes. "Sometimes it was faster just to roll around on the ground for awhile," remembers Dick Peabody. "About three or four quick rolls in the dirty usually did the trick."

John Truwe used dog clippers on the actor's beards to keep the length of the stubble consistent. To keep that gritty look, the actors were supposed to avoid shaving. If they had to make clean-shaven personal appearances or had a special event to attend, the directors would try to work around their schedules.

At the '96 Combat! reunion, Jalbert watched the episode "Hills Are for Heroes" with the fans, and noted, "We all look so dirty and sweaty and filthy. Just terrible coming down off that hill. Then we stagger into the bunker, take off the helmets, and we all have perfect two-hundred dollar haircuts ... My hair at the time was getting a little gray and he [Truey] had a bottle of black stuff and 'squirt, squirt' he gave me back twenty years."

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