Buchman, Herman

Hide Profile

Herman Buchman (1920-1996) was a makeup artist for the stage, movies, and television, and an author, teacher, and lecturer.

Born in May 1920, Herman "Bucky" Buchman grew up in New York and originally aspired to be a painter. After Army service during the Second World War, he returned to New York, joined the Makeup and Hair Stylists Union, and became makeup director on numerous Broadway productions, including FINIAN'S RAINBOW, JENNY KISSED ME, THE BIRD CAGE, CRIME AND PUNISHMENT, GALILEO, and John Webster's THE DUCHESS OF MALFI, for which he transformed the African-American actor Canada Lee into a white character. Herman Buchman was also makeup director for films, including TWELVE ANGRY MEN, THE MIRACLE WORKER, EDGE OF THE CITY, LONG DAY'S JOURNEY INTO NIGHT, THE NIGHT THEY RAIDED MINSKY'S, and others. He also worked in television from the 1950s onward, for PLAYHOUSE 90 and STUDIO ONE, soap operas such as ALL MY CHILDREN, ONE LIFE TO LIVE and RYAN'S HOPE, and the game show THE HOLLYWOOD SQUARES.

From the description of Herman Buchman papers, 1939-1990. (New York Public Library). WorldCat record id: 122517235

Herman Buchman, makeup artist, author, educator, lecturer and World War II veteran, was born May 20, 1920. "Bucky," as he was nicknamed, attended school in New York City and completed a course in beauty culture at Paul's Hairdressing Academy of New York in December 1939.

He received a B. S. degree from Empire State College of the State University of New York (SUNY) in 1975 and was awarded a Ph. D. from the Union for Experimenting Colleges and Universities in Ohio in 1977.

Originally aspiring to become a painter, he was drawn to the art of makeup as a means of rising out of the poverty of the Great Depression. In 1941, he moved to California to try to break into the film industry. He was unsuccessful and returned to New York. He was drafted and served in the U.S. Army during World War II in the 294th Combat Engineer Battalion, as part of the D-Day invasion.

After the war, he came back to New York and became a charter member of Local 798-Makeup and Hair Stylists-of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE). He later served in various capacities for Local 798.

Herman Buchman was makeup director on numerous Broadway productions, such as The Duchess of Malfi by John Webster, for which he transformed the African-American actor Canada Lee into a white character. Other Broadway productions include Finian's Rainbow, Jenny Kissed Me, The Bird Cage, Crime and Punishment, Silk Stockings, and Galileo . His film credits include The Joe Louis Story, Patterns, Twelve Angry Men, The Miracle Worker, Happy Anniversary, Something Wild, Edge of the City, Long Day's Journey into Night, The Incident, Born to Win, The Night They Raided Minsky's, Within Man's Power and Public Enemy Number One .

He also worked as a makeup artist during the early days of television, on programs such as Playhouse 90, Studio One and the original Buck Rogers . Other television credits include game shows such as Hollywood Squares, and soap operas including All My Children, One Life to Live and Ryan's Hope . He worked, as well, for the ABC and CBS television networks on various commercial and industrial projects. For the New York City Opera, he was Director of Makeup and Wigs from 1981 to 1986.

Herman Buchman wrote two books: Stage Makeup < (1971) and Film and Television Makeup (1973), both of which became standard texts in the field. He was also the author of several articles for Theatre Crafts magazine, as well as for the Encyclopedia Americana . He wrote proposals for television shows, as well as for several unpublished books, including one titled Faces of Shakespeare . He also proposed an educational film series on stage makeup.

As an educator, Herman Buchman taught makeup at the American Theatre Wing from 1946 to 1953, at the Neighborhood Playhouse from 1948 to 1950, the Juilliard School of Music (Opera Division) from 1950 to 1952, and in Juilliard's Drama Division from 1974 to 1979. He also taught at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts from 1950 to 1955. He was a full professor of Theater Arts at SUNY College at Purchase from 1971 to approximately 1981. He was on the faculty of Pace University Department of Speech and Drama from 1971 to 1981, as well as at the School of Visual Arts from 1975 to 1981. At City College of New York, he was an Artist in Residence from 1979 to 1980 and served as a consultant to the New York State Department of Education.

His other professional activities included acting as spokesperson for Sea Breeze Antiseptic and Albolene Cream on a nationwide lecture tour in 1972 and 1973. He lectured for the American Film Institute in 1976 and at the College of Santa Fe in 1990. In 1975, he developed a makeup kit for stage performers.

He was married to Dian [sic] Dincin and they later divorced. They had one daughter, Caitlin. He retired in 1986 and moved from New York City to Santa Fe, New Mexico. He died of cancer on January 27, 1996 at the age of 75.

From the guide to the Herman Buchman papers, 1939-1990, (The New York Public Library. Billy Rose Theatre Division.)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Herman Buchman papers, 1939-1990 The New York Public Library. Billy Rose Theatre Division.
creatorOf Buchman, Herman. Herman Buchman papers, 1939-1990. New York Public Library System, NYPL
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Ackland, Rodney, 1908- person
associatedWith American Theatre Wing corporateBody
associatedWith Barbour, Alan G person
associatedWith Beethoven, Ludwig van, 1770-1827 person
associatedWith Begley, Ed person
associatedWith Boris Karloff person
associatedWith Britten, Benjamin, 1913-1976 person
associatedWith Carnovsky, Morris person
associatedWith Cassavetes, John, 1929-1989 person
associatedWith Chekhov, Anton Pavlovich, 1860-1904 person
associatedWith Colman, George, 1732-1794 person
associatedWith Dauphin, Claude person
associatedWith Dinin, photographer person
associatedWith Dunne, John Gregory, 1932- person
associatedWith Fernandel, 1903-1971 person
associatedWith Gabor, Zsa Zsa, 1919? - person
associatedWith Gay, John, 1685-1732 person
associatedWith Gaynor, Mitzi, 1930- person
associatedWith Gielgud, John, Sir, 1904- person
associatedWith Goetz, Augustus person
associatedWith Goetz, Ruth person
associatedWith Guinness, Alec, 1914- person
associatedWith Hall, Peter, Sir, 1930- person
associatedWith Heflin, Van, 1910-1971 person
associatedWith Hirschfeld, Al person
associatedWith International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees and Moving Picture Machine Operators of the United States and Canada corporateBody
associatedWith Juilliard School corporateBody
associatedWith Juilliard School. Drama Division corporateBody
associatedWith Karloff, Boris, 1887-1969 person
associatedWith Keach, Stacy person
associatedWith Kerr, Jean person
associatedWith Laurents, Arthur person
associatedWith LeBlang, Sedge person
associatedWith Lee, Canada person
associatedWith Lunt, Alfred person
associatedWith Lyons, Leonard person
associatedWith Mackay, Patricia person
associatedWith Manning, Samuel L person
associatedWith Manse, Jean person
associatedWith Meeker, Ralph, 1920-1988 person
associatedWith Merrill, Gary person
associatedWith Meyer, Susan E person
associatedWith Mills, James, 1932- person
associatedWith Montgomery, Robert, 1946- person
associatedWith National Society of Literature and the Arts corporateBody
associatedWith Nunn, Trevor person
associatedWith Olivier, Laurence, 1907- person
associatedWith Passer, Ivan person
associatedWith Plummer, Christopher person
associatedWith Porter, Eric, 1928- person
associatedWith Richardson, Ian, 1934- person
associatedWith Segal, George person
associatedWith Shaw, Bernard, 1856-1950 person
associatedWith State University of New York College at Purchase corporateBody
associatedWith Stevenson, Parker, 1952- person
associatedWith Stockwell, Dean, 1938- person
associatedWith Thenstead, Adolph person
associatedWith Verdi, Giuseppe, 1813-1901 person
associatedWith Wallace, Coley person
associatedWith Warden, Jack person
associatedWith Weiss, Peter, 1916- person
associatedWith Williams, Emlyn, 1905- person
associatedWith Winn, Kitty, 1944- person
Place Name Admin Code Country
New York (State)--New York
United States
Film makeup
Theater--New York (State)--New York
Motion picture industry--United States
Motion picture industry
Theatrical makeup
Theatrical makeup--United States


Active 1939

Active 1990


Permalink: http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6v72b54

Ark ID: w6v72b54

SNAC ID: 55123433