Roy Ashton

Makeup artist

Roy Ashton was born in Perth, Australia, in 1909, and died in London, England, in 1995. He worked with Hammer from 1957, when he assisted Phil Leakey on The Curse of Frankenstein, but his first credit as makeup artist for the Studio was on 1959's The Hound of the Baskervilles. Often working wonders with a very meagre budget, Ashton created the visual look of many of Hammer's most famous monster movies, including The Mummy, The Phantom of the Opera and The Reptile.

He was rigorous in his research,  visiting London's Museum of Natural History to study the form of wolves in detail in preparation for his designs for The Curse of the Werewolf (1960), perhaps his most effective makeup.

His work with Hammer tailed off towards the end of the 1960s, but he continued in the same capacity with other horror studios, such as Amicus. Notable non-Hammer work included Frankenstein: The True Story (1973) and The Monster Club (1980).

Ashton's achievements were the subject of a 2004 documentary and accompanying book, Greasepaint and Gore, by Bruce Sachs and Russell Wall. An extensive archive of artwork and materials from Ashton's career is housed at the National Museum of Photography, Film and Television, in Bradford.

He is pictured above with actress Jacqueline Pearce (The Plague of the Zombies, 1966).

Below: Oliver Reed in The Curse of the Werewolf (1960), Jacqueline Pearce in The Reptile (1966)

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David L Rattigan 2005
 

 

 

 

 

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