I am saddened to report on the September 23 passing of Fern Buchner, beloved wife of Dave Miller.
Fern died at the age of 87. She and Dave moved to Sun City Anthem nearly 10 years ago.
Here is a photo of Fern and Dave at the celebration of her 80th birthday:
Though it is always a little sad to report on the passing of fellow residents, it also affords me the opportunity to share the stories of our cherished neighbors who have left us.
Fern’s story is truly extraordinary, like no other you are likely to read.
For more than 40 years, she was a head makeup artist for movies and television, working, as you might expect, in New York and Hollywood.
She was a member of the Screen Actors Guild and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Way back in the days of black-and-white television, Fern’s original job was at CBS, doing makeup for Mike Wallace on his morning news show. and she did the makeup for The Guiding Light when it was just a 15-minute soap opera.
Fern’s Hollywood credits span more than 50 films, including these: Fried Green Tomatoes; Alice; Parenthood; The Muppets Take Manhattan; Arthur; Edward Scissorhands; Wall Street; and many more.
She also worked on The Addams Family and Addams Family Values.
Most of the time, Fern was hired at the specific request of film stars who appreciated her talent, but no actor/director valued her more than one in particular:
Fern was Woody Allen’s chief makeup artist on more than 20 of his films, including Annie Hall, Hannah and Her Sisters, Zelig, Manhattan, Broadway Danny Rose, Radio Days, etc., etc.
“Woody Allen himself was not the easiest person for a makeup artist to work with,” Dave Miller told me. “He didn’t like a lot of makeup anyway, and Fern told me they had to almost tie his hands down so that she could do his makeup. But they had a great relationship.”
Fern received much recognition for her makeup skills and had friendships with a number of celebrities.
In addition to her acclaim in the U.S., BAFTA, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, nominated her three times as Best Makeup Artist.
Dave says there are no present plans for formal recognition of Fern’s passing, but he may put something together at some time in the future.
As it started, so it ends. Plans are to scatter Fern’s ashes across from the CBS headquarters in New York City, where she began her career.