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Beauty+Style Icon: Anjelica Huston

“There were times when I hated my nose. But you grow up and you start to realise that maybe it wasn’t a bad thing that you weren’t born Barbie”

I first knew of Anjelica Huston as the striking and rather tall woman on the arm of Jack Nicholson. Then later, as director John Huston’s daughter.

As an actress, however, I didn’t know of her until I saw Woody Allen’s brilliant Crimes And Misdemeanors, her performance as the neglected mistress was a real scene-stealer (I recall her being increasingly desperate in an 80’s jumper).

Final tweaks from HALSTON left

Stephen Frear’s ‘The Grifters’ is another favourite, where she played a psychopathic, absent mother in a deliberately bad white wig.

Like all of my favourite style/beauty ‘icons’ with eclectic backgrounds, Ms Huston’s choices of men, movies and style are very distinct.

Born in 1951 in America to John Huston and prima ballerina Enrica Soma, she grew up in Galway, Ireland and at 10, moved to London and went to Holland Park School (non-fee-paying, then-boho comprehensive), which I remember was the coolest school in West London (and with the most subversively- dressed teenagers).Anjelica and JerryAbove with Jerry Hall

Like most of her contemporaries during this time, she went on protest marches (I have a soft spot for activists).

Then, apparently, at her father’s insistence, she took her first film role in his historical drama ‘A Walk With Love And Death’ and followed this with being Marianne Faithfull’s understudy in Hamlet.

Once the play was over, and with less going on in her life, this well-connected young lady got asked by Richard Avedon (as you do) to model, and went on to become a firm favourite of his along with THE other great, Helmut Newton.

She was also romantically involved with photographer Bob Richardson (father of Terry).

 

 

 

 

 

A most striking muse.

Anjelica has what I love about often-photographed women such as Erin O Connor, Verushka, Grace Jones, Kate Moss, Debbie Harry and even Lady Gaga.

It’s that ability to elegantly confront, rather than simply model submissively, and in doing so, override the physical stereotypes of female beauty, creating another kind of reference which then becomes part of the fashion vernacular.

Jack Nicholson, Kathleen Turner, John Huston and Anjelica Huston

During this time she became the on off, always glamorous-looking lover of Jack Nicholson and remained so for 2 decades.

In 1985 she got a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her performance in ‘Prizzi’s Honour’ alongside her lover Jack, and with her father directing (plus Kathleen Turner above).

Many may know her only because of her fabulously comic turn in ‘The Addams Family’.

Years later I ended up doing her make-up in Claridges Hotel.

She was one classy lady, full of panache.

So perhaps it’s this: Jack Nicholson ‘used to go out with Anjelica Huston’, and John Huston is ‘Anjelica Huston’s father’.

WATCH THIS: Vintage footage of Anjelica modelling for AVEDON featuring hairdressing legend Ara Gallant, make-up legend Way Bandy and modelling legend Pat Cleveland ‘playing stylist’.

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3 Comments

  1. Forget her comic turn in the Addams Family…. You can’t beat her fabulous performance in The Witches. Terrified me as a child! Such a fabulous woman though, thanks for the great post x

    • Kay

      Thank you! I knew the make-up artist must have been a legend, at last, mystery solved! It’s amazing that these pre-photo shop geniuses came before the cult of celebrity so are practically unknown to today’s make-up artists in training!!..I wish there were more books on people like Way Bandy..

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