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Fred Phillips (makeup artist)

Frederick Beauregard Phillips, also known as Fred B. Phillips, Fred Phillips and Fred Philipps (April 26, 1908 – March 21, 1993) was a Hollywood makeup artist. After his early MGM Studios work under Jack Dawn and William J. Tuttle, he did a pioneering stint at the Star Trek TV series, and created the formula for Spock's ears. In 1980 Phillips was nominated for a Saturn Award for best makeup on the film Star Trek: The Motion Picture.

Fred Phillips
Born Frederick Beauregard Phillips
(1908-04-26)April 26, 1908
Raleigh, North Carolina
Died March 21, 1993(1993-03-21) (aged 84)
Nationality American
Occupation Makeup artist



Early in his career, Phillips went uncredited as a makeup artist on a number of films including The Wizard of Oz (1939) and Around the World in Eighty Days (1956). His credited work included Blacula (1972) and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975). He went by a number of names on credits, including Fred B. Phillips, Fred Phillips and Fred Philipps. On television, he worked on the complete run of The Outer Limits as well as other shows such as The Adventures of Superboy.[1]

Star TrekEdit

Because Spock's ears are some of the most visible and famous makeup appliances associated with Star Trek: The Original Series, many people believe that Phillips, as the designated makeup artist for the show, designed Spock's ears. However, this is not true. There was a contract in place with an outside company to make the ears, but after several failed attempts, Fred Phillips called a former colleague of his, Charlie Shram, who was then the head of makeup at the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios (MGM). As a favor to Phillips, Shram took a mold of Nimoy's ears and designed and manufactured the first usable set of Spock ears prior to the production of the first (rejected/unaired) pilot episode, "The Cage."[2] While working on Star Trek: The Original Series, Phillips would create new ears every few days in batches by baking them. Not every pair fit actor Leonard Nimoy successfully and so multiples were required.[3] They were made out of latex, and were fragile, easily being damaged while being removed or during scenes.[1] The mould and two pairs of ears were listed by Christie's auction house in 2000, with the expectation that the mould itself would sell for up to $20,000.[4]

In addition to his work on the Vulcans, he also designed the original Klingons, Romulans and the majority of the other aliens in the series. He went on to work on Star Trek: The Motion Picture, and was responsible for shaving Persis Khambatta's head so that she could portray Ilia in the film. He was asked to return for Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, but due to his diminishing eyesight, he turned the offer down.[1]


He was nominated for a Saturn Award for his work on Star Trek: The Motion Picture, which he shared with his daughter Janna Phillips and fellow makeup artist Ve Neil. Phillips was awarded a lifetime achievement award for his makeup work in 1983 by the Society of Operating Cameramen.[1]

Selected filmographyEdit

  • Naughty Marietta (1935) (makeup artist) (uncredited)
  • Rose Marie (1936) (makeup artist) (uncredited)
  • Mr. Moto's Last Warning (1939) (makeup artist) (uncredited)
  • The Wizard of Oz (1939) (makeup artist) (uncredited)
  • The Talk of the Town (1942) (makeup artist) (uncredited)
  • The Velvet Touch (1948) (makeup supervisor) (as Fred Phillips)
  • Stampede (1949) (makeup artist) (as Fred Phillips)
  • Love Happy (1949) (makeup artist) (as Fred Phillips)
  • Tell It to the Judge (1949) (makeup artist) (as Fred Phillips)
  • A Woman of Distinction (1950) (makeup artist) (uncredited)
  • The Fighting Stallion (1950) (makeup artist) (as Fred Phillips)
  • Bunco Squad (1950) (makeup artist) (as Fred Phillips)
  • Dallas (1950) (makeup artist) (uncredited)
  • Around the World in Eighty Days (1956) (makeup artist) (uncredited)
  • House of Usher (1960) (makeup artist) (as Fred Phillips)
  • Blacula (1972) (makeup artist)
  • Gone with the West (1975) (makeup supervisor) (as Fred Phillips)
  • One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975) (makeup artist) (as Fred Phillips)
  • Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979) (makeup artist)
  • Under the Rainbow (1981) (special makeup effects)

TV showsEdit

  • The Adventures of Superboy (1961) (TV) (makeup artist)
  • Bat Masterson (makeup artist) (14 episodes, 1961)
  • The Outer Limits (makeup supervisor) (49 episodes, 1963–1965)
  • Star Trek (makeup artist) (78 episodes, 1966–1969)
  • James Dean (1976) (TV) (makeup artist) (as Fred Phillips)
  • Pleasure Palace (1980) (TV) (makeup artist) (as Fred Phillips)


  1. ^ a b c d Trimble, Bjo; Trimble, John (September 15, 2013). "Bjo & John Trimble Remember Original Series Makeup Maestro Fred Phillips". Star Retrieved January 4, 2015. 
  2. ^ Cushman, Marc with Susan Osborn, These Are the Voyages TOS Season One, Revised Edition, Jacobs/Brown Press, San Diego, California, December 2013, p. 59
  3. ^ Gerrold & Sawyer, ed. (2006): p. 36
  4. ^ "Spock's ears up for auction". BBC News. October 24, 2000. Retrieved January 4, 2015. 


  • Gerrold, David; Sawyer, Robert, eds. (2006). Boarding the Enterprise. Dallas, TX: BenBella Books. ISBN 978-1932100877. 

External linksEdit