JAMES DEAN "LIFE" MASK Plaster J. LESLIE ASHER Warner Bros. Movie Film GIANT 1956
A plaster James Dean "Life" Mask from the Warner Bros. 1956 epic movie "GIANT".
We are pleased to present this James Dean "Life" Mask for your consideration. It is just like the one purchased by Laurence and Sally Martin on the Travel Channel's hit reality TV show Baggage Battles (season 3 episode 9 titled "Two Faced", filmed in Stockton, California). The Mask was a featured item on the episode.
The Mask comes from the 1956 Warner Bros. movie Giant which starred Dean, Rock Hudson, and Elizabeth Taylor. During the course of this epic film, Dean needed to age 20 years. To accomplish this, the Art/Prop department took a life mask from Dean, and created plaster models of his face, to work out the makeup details of his age progression. Ours is made from one of the few models known to exist. Some were impressed "J. Leslie" at the top edge, into the surface of the plaster.
J. Leslie is J. Leslie Asher (1904-1986), from the Warner Bros. Art Department. He is listed on IMDB (Internet Movie Data Base) under Art Department / Props, for Giant. Although not too much is available about his life, he was in the industry for many years, and is also known for the design of the Ants in the classic Science Fiction movie "Them!".
This Mask is made from the first generation, having been taken from the actual Life Mask of Dean. During the Baggage Battles episode, the Mask is attributed to artist Kenneth Kendall, but the presence of the J. Leslie mark is left unexplained. Kendall had been requested by Dean to create a Life Mask for him, but Dean's unexpected death shortly after he finished filming Giant made that impossible. Instead, Kendall's famous Dean works were based on the Warner Bros. Life Mask and photographic images and has only an indirect relationship to our Mask.
Several pictures taken by Sanford Roth, the Still Photographer on Giant show Dean sitting in front of a workbench, with Life Masks hanging on the wall behind him, including one of his own head (do a google image search on "James Dean" "Sanford Roth"). Once Warner had the original Life Mask, they were able to use it as a mold to create as many plaster models as they needed for their purposes (for example, to show the makeup design needed for a particular scene in the movie).
The Mask measures 10-1/2 inches high, 6-1/2 inches wide, and 5 inches deep.
Life mask of actor James Dean