The Star Shiner

Memoir of a Celebrity Make-Up Artist


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About the Book

The Star Shiner poses the question: Can a young man from a small rural Kentucky town—fleeing a domineering mother and an abusive, alcoholic father—find recognition and happiness in New York City, working with the high-powered fashion and cosmetic industries, and with some of the world’s most famous people—without losing his values and his soul?

After a notable career in fashion illustration and modeling in Paris, Richardson becomes a makeup artist, working with Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar, and photographers Richard Avedon, Irving Penn and Frecesco Scavullo. The book is more than a celebrity memoir in that it is particularly a narrative of the ’70s into the ’90s, a time in New York’s history of financial difficulties and corruption.

This was the golden era of fashion and cosmetics when Vogue editor-in-chief Diana Vreeland, Charles Revson and Estee Lauder, the king and queen of cosmetics and Avedon, Penn and Scavullo ruled the industries. The reader is taken into wild nights at Studio 54 and into New York’s downtown after-hours dungeons, seething with sex, drugs and danger, where individuals are treated as sexual stepping stones. Then the party ended with the scourge of AIDS that took Richardson’s partner and turned Richardson’s life around with a spiritual awakening.

About the Author(s)

The late Evan Richardson was a make-up artist, fashion illustrator, writer, composer and teacher. He lived in New York City.

Bibliographic Details

Evan Richardson

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 320
Bibliographic Info: 40 photos, index
Copyright Date: 2013
pISBN: 978-0-7864-7096-9
eISBN: 978-1-4766-0137-3
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix
Preface 1
1. Coming to Town, Modeling in Paris 5
2. Back to New York, Montgomery Clift, Fabergé 22
3. A Naked Tallulah Bankhead, Vogue Calls 34
4. Vreeland, Avedon and Life with Tallulah 41
5. Lucille Ball; Tallulah Dies 62
6. An Affair in L.A., Make-Up Competition 82
7. Katharine Hepburn, Helen Hayes, Joan Sutherland and Bette Davis 97
8. Bette Midler and No, No, Nanette 105
9. Michael: The Young Man Who Would Change My Life Forever 118
10. David Bowie and Gloria Vanderbilt 133
11. Barbara Walters, Supermodels, the Bee Gees and Studio 54 156
12. Gilda Radner, Muhammad Ali and Washington, D.C. 167
13. AIDS Awareness, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Liza Minnelli and Love 177
14. Liz Taylor and Me 192
15. Julie Andrews, Johnny Carson, Frank Sinatra; Michael Dies of AIDS 205
16. Rose Kennedy, Shirley MacLaine and Al-Anon 221
17. Fear in the Streets, Drew Barrymore, Madonna; My Mother Dies 235
18. The Funeral, Studio 54 Closes, the Wind Down 248
19. Paul Newman, L.A. Revisited, the Kiss-Off 261
20. Empty Pockets, Helen Gurley Brown’s Party, Finding Myself 286
Index 307

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “This engaging, cathartic memoir written by a pioneering fashion and makeup industry artist and cultural historian provides valuable insights into a life fully lived and a remarkable career”—Midwest Book Review
  • “Richardson’s memoir captures the personalities of the New York fashion scene in the later 20th century”—Beauty: the Guide
  • “Evan really captures the feel of the era!”—Liz Smith, NY Social Diary; “a lot of stellar juice…. Richardson does a bang-up job on the mise en scene of an era and people…a fascinating historical document”—Huff Post Entertainment
  • “The anecdote and reconstructed conversation-filled story of the author’s life in New York. An amalgam of one photo shoot after another, written in a chatty gossip fashion…some interesting behind the scenes views of models, stars, and others”—Communication Booknotes Quarterly.