Makeup Artists

Makeup Artist – Steve LaPorte

With over 30 years as a Makeup Artist in the motion picture industry, Steve LaPorte has worked on everything from Low Budget to Mega Budget Productions. From his first break in the makeup show at the Universal Studios Tour to over fifty feature films to his credit, including “The Color Purple”, “Lost Boys”, “Beetlejuice” (for which he won an Oscar), ”Terminator 2 & 3” and “Windtalkers”, LaPorte credits basic out of kit techniques as a solid foundation for his work.

Additional Awards include a Primetime Emmy for “X-Files” and a Saturn Award for “Beetlejuice”.

Steve has experience with both beauty makeup, prosthetics, aging and character makeup, including facial hair work.

As a Motion Picture Academy Member, Steve also served on the Makeup Awards committee which oversees the Academy Award for Makeup from 1990 to 2004.

In the Summer of 2004 the phone rang. A new kind of TV Series Pilot had been completed and was about to continue shooting in Hawaii. Not knowing what to expect, Steve packed up part of his home lab, molds, stock prosthetics and supplies and flew off to Paradise. ABC’s “Lost” resumed shooting with LaPorte at the Makeup Dept. helm. Eleven shows grew into a full season . Six seasons and 112 episodes later, Steve is preparing for new horizons. Transitioning from Feature Films into Television and “Lost” proved to be a challenging endeavor. To strive for Film Quality on a Television schedule and budget is a never-ending task. In addition to Dept. Head and Makeup Designer, LaPorte sculpted, molded and fabricated all of the prosthetics and makeup effects for “Lost”. Having a loyal and close knit crew allowed him to achieve the high standard that all makeup artists should strive for. Simply put, Steve states, “Many talented Makeup Artists have taught me a lot of my skills and it is my duty to pass those skills on to those who want to carry the torch to the next level.”

Much of Steve’s work is out of kit using character colors, various adhesives and sealers for aging, scrapes, scabs, burns, chapped lips and using basic materials. Basically, it’s creating 3 dimensional effects or enhancing a makeup with what you have at hand. These skills are an absolute must to be well rounded makeup artist.

Coming from a performing background which includes Magic , Pyrotechnics, Costume and Prop making, coming up with inventions, products and formulations that apply to his work is a part of  everyday life.

As a Respected Motion Picture Makeup Artist his work speaks for itself.        

“Something that I take great pride in is my ability to work with a multitude of personalities on both sides of the camera. As a Makeup Supervisor I’ve always enjoyed bringing out the best in my fellow artists. Whether it be only a few in the confines of an intimate working environment or a large crew handling a multitude of background players, getting the cast to set on schedule and looking their best is part of the challenge that I embrace”.

– Steve LaPorte


Born in Oklahoma City, Steve’s  interest in The Arts began at six, with monster model building and an unquenched thirst for mystery and horror films. By eight he was building Haunted Houses in his garage and charging neighborhood kids admission. Thanks to Famous Monsters Magazine, a passion for anything artistic and films like  Man of a Thousand Faces, The Time Machine, War of the Worlds  and Planet of the Apes, his interests in film making continued to grow. In high school, Steve entered a new Vocational program and began his studies in Commercial  Art.

After the two year program and graduating at the top in his class , Steve was offered a Commercial Art Scholarship to Oklahoma State Tech. and began preparing for the move across the State. That Summer of ’74 his Life course was forever changed when Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus came to town. On a whim, after seeing a TV advertisement, Steve auditioned for the Circus Clown College. Six weeks later, just before leaving for State Tech. the phone rang and the Circus swept him away to Florida for two months of training in the Circus Arts which, by chance, included makeup, prop & costuming. A touring contract was offered and at 18 Steve hit the road touring the U.S. performing to live audiences as a Clown and High Stilt Walker.

After touring for 4 Seasons with The Greatest Show On Earth, 2 of which as Boss Clown, the youngest ever at that time, Steve landed in Hollywood at the right time to transition into the Film Industry. Having studied and  practiced makeup during his touring he made the rounds from NBC, CBS, Disney and finally to the doorstep of Tom Burman and The Burman Studio. Taking any job from sculpting to mold making and even performing in commercial work kept him in the circle  and an offer from Universal Tour’s “Land of a Thousand Faces” finally got him in on the ground floor of the Makeup World. Soon work at the Burman Studio and other Independent films, including “The Howling” for Rob Bottin, Steve built his skills and resume to the point where he opened Steve LaPorte Creations, Makeup and Effects in North Hollywood.

Steve’s true calling came ,however, when he was frequently requested on sets for his application, supervising and people skills. In 1984, NBC hired him as a Studio Makeup Artist and to run the Studio Makeup Lab. Once in the Union, the work kept coming and barely a year later Steve left NBC to join Makeup Designer Ken Chase as his key makeup artist on, “The Color Purple “. He continued with Ken as his lab technician  and key makeup artist on “Golden Child “ and  lab tech. on “Who Framed Roger Rabbit”.

Steve teamed up with Ve Neill on “Lost Boys” and later “Beetlejuice” where they both won an Oscar for Best Makeup. Over the years Steve has continued to work and collaborate with his fellow artists on various productions.

Consulting with Makeup Veteran Dick Smith for the past 20 years has also granted Steve as an honored Faculty Member and Consultant for Dick’s, Basic 3-D and Professional Makeup Courses. Steve is also a regular contributor for his Out-of-Kit techniques to Makeup Artist Magazine and frequently provides demonstrations at trade shows for Premier Products and his own product and makeup lines, FaceMaker Series and Port-a-Case. When not working on a production, Steve works from his in home makeup lab under his Corp., Freeform Creations producing effects and developing new products for the Industry .

Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap