May03

Meredith Ponedel from Van Nuys, CA

 

Aside from watch TCM, what do you do?

I have two jobs - one full-time at a community outreach center and one part-time at a pet food store. I also breed, show and train purebred collies (like Lassie) and just a year ago I got my aunt's memoir published. The title is About Face: The Life and Times of Dottie Ponedel - Makeup Artist to the Stars. She was Dottie Ponedel, the first woman makeup artist admitted into the union. She started as an actress in silent movies before she started in makeup. She quickly shot to the top of her field, working on such stars at Marlene Dietrich, Mae West, Carole Lombad, Barbara Stanwyck and many others. After her ten-year contract at Paramount was up, her services were requested by none other than Vincente Minnelli to specifically makeup Judy Garland. As with the many other stars she worked with, she and Judy became very good friends and remained so until Judy's death. My father was also a makeup artist starting in the mid 1930s and for many years was under contract to Frank Sinatra.

 

What’s your favorite movie snack?

Milk Duds.

 

What’s your favorite part of TCM?

I especially love the old, lesser known movies usually shown early in the morning. However, I have a very soft spot for musicals, since both my aunt and father worked on so many of them. Dot did all of Judy's makeup starting with Meet Me In St. Louis and traveled with her on her various tours throughout the US and the United Kingdom. Dad did all of Frank's movies at MGM plus many others.

 

What’s your favorite movie genre?

Musicals.

 

Who’s your favorite actor or actress or filmmaker of all time? And why?

Judy Garland - for the reasons stated above. I lived with my aunt from the age of three and was lucky enough to have met and formed friendships with many of Dot's friends - Judy included.

 

Who would you be thrilled to meet, and what would you say?

I would love to meet Shirley MacLaine. My dad told me that he was the one responsible - at Shirley's request - for getting her her role in Some Came Running. I'd like very much to be able to ask her about that.

Aside from that, I'd love to meet any of the "Golden Era" stars who are still around - especially Olivia!

 

What do you collect?

Nothing anymore. I used to have a pretty good collection of original 3-sheets from MGM movies - mainly musicals. I also had some great props from sets that my aunt would somehow manage to get. However, the Northridge earthquake pretty much put an end to my desire to have breakables in my house. :(

 

If you had to pick just one, what would be your favorite movie?

The Wizard of Oz. While, honestly, there are a few others that are very close, I feel I have to be loyal. I met Judy when I was about 4 and she was a fairly frequent visitor to my house - I totally adored her.

 

Thank you Meredith!  For being in our Member Spotlight, we're sending you a double-sided, lightbox-style poster from our recent TCM Big Screen Classics presentation of The Wizard of Oz!  We think Judy would approve.

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Comments

Comments

Jackie Hall's picture

What a very interesting story and life.  Thank you for sharing.

gypsycaboose@aol.com's picture

Greg Roberts's picture

Hi!  The first thing I do when I get home from work is to check what is  on TCM tonight.  I love Summer Under the Stars and all the special themes through the year.  Especially like when you focus on a particular actor as you an see a whole body of work and how the actor grows in his/her roles.  I would love to suggest a them of "movies with fashion shows".  I think it is so fun and interesting that in the middle of a movie there is this "pause" in the story-line for a fashion show.  My favorite of course is the "The Women".  But I started tracking them and found great fashion shows in several:  Designing Women with Lauren Becall, That touch of Mink with Doris Day, Made in Paris, Fashions of 1934 with William Powell, Roberta with Fred Astaire, and Lovely to Look At with Red Skelton and Anne Miller. And I'm still searching :)    

sophia montgomery's picture

I just finished ”About Face” thoroughly enjoying Dorothy’s memoirs. Thank you for making the effort to make this a most enjoyable read!!

sophia montgomery's picture

I just finished ”About Face” thoroughly enjoying Dorothy’s memoirs. Thank you for making the effort to make this a most enjoyable read!!