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Makeup Artist Maurice Seiderman

Maurice Seiderman, an inventor, sculptor and makeup artist whose elaborate masks and skin putty were used to age Orson Welles and his co-stars several decades in the course of the film “Citizen Kane,” has died in Port Angeles, Wash.

His brother, Nathan, said he died July 17 at age 81 after a series of heart ailments.

Born in the Soviet Union, Seiderman studied art in New York before joining RKO Studios as a junior member of the makeup department in the 1930s.

Confronted with the problem of aging the characters in “Citizen Kane” as much as 50 years, he made a series of plaster casts of the principal actors and sculpted pieces of molded plastic foam for each in which their features gradually sagged and their hair thinned.

He also was an inventor who researched the use of contact lenses and held several patents in that field. It was his skill there that produced the aging eyes of the actors.

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“Citizen Kane” was not Seiderman’s only challenge; he also produced the disfigured faces in “Enchanted Cottage,” the makeup and wigs in “Gunga Din” and “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” and worked on such Welles classic films as “The Magnificent Ambersons” and “Macbeth.”

He made Raymond Massey into “Abe Lincoln in Illinois” and Judith Anderson into “Lady Scarface.”

Seiderman also was a versatile inventor and businessman, his brother said. He pursued business enterprises ranging from doll manufacturing to research for the Waring blender.

Late in his life, he became an artist, painting abstracts on slides under a microscope he designed himself.

In addition to his brother, he is survived by his wife, Celita.


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