The Man of a Thousand Faces
Cecil Holland started as an actor in films. I still have a photograph of him as Jesus, though I never found out what movie it was from. Since this was still the very early days, a lot of the actors did their own makeup. Mr. Holland was an artist, and he became so adept at makeup, that he was known as the Man of a Thousand Faces.
But as time went on, he was doing more makeup and less acting until he headed up and organized the first studio makeup department in Hollywood at MGM. I know, among other films, he did Luise Rainer in The Good Earth and was in charge of all the makeup artists working on the original version of Ben Hur . He even was responsible for doing the ring around the eye of Petey the dog in the Our Gang Comedies. He worked with all the biggest names in Hollywood for years.
When his friend Lon Chaney was starting to get known, Mr. Holland gave him the use of his “Man of a Thousand Faces” nickname, having no longer any use for it, since he’d given up acting by that time.
Here is a photo of Clark Gable autographing a ten-gallon hat for Cecil Holland. Snazzy sweater, eh?