Carrie White, hair stylist to the celebrities, is lifeless at 78

When she graduated from Hollywood Top College in California in 1961, Carrie White did her hair up in a bubblegum-pink beehive. She had discovered, she wrote in her memoir, that “if I may just get my hair proper, my lifestyles would paintings higher.”

After attending attractiveness college, she advanced a name for buying folks’s hair proper. And shortly she used to be coloring, snipping and shaping the heads of Tinseltown’s superstars — Elizabeth Taylor and Marlon Brando amongst them.

The media referred to as White the “first girl of hairdressing.” Seated in her chair in her Beverly Hills, California, salon had been A-listers as disparate as Jimi Hendrix, Nancy Reagan, Sharon Tate and Lucille Ball; her paintings on Elvis Presley ensured that his enthusiasts’ eyes had been targeted as a lot on his jet-black pompadour as on his gyrating hips.

Through the past due Nineteen Sixties, her salon used to be one steady birthday party scene.

“On occasion I minimize hair on curler skates, in spandex pants, with a gram of coke in my again pocket,” she instructed Los Angeles mag in 2019. In the ones heady occasions, White used to be a celebrity herself, even showing on an episode of the sport display “To Inform the Fact.” United Airways sought her out to create a coiffure for its flight attendants: She got here up with a modish bob.

However the birthday party didn’t ultimate. White’s lifestyles spiraled downward from drug and alcohol habit, a horrific descent she described in her memoir, “Higher Reduce: Highlights of My Hollywood Existence” (2011), which is being made into a film starring Julia Fox.

After some years within the depths, White controlled to get into restoration and keep there. At the same time as she resumed her hairstyling industry with a complete new technology of stars, together with Brad Pitt and Sandra Bullock, she used to be a proud, not-at-all-anonymous member of Alcoholics Nameless. She faithful herself to talking publicly across the nation about habit and remained sober for the remainder of her lifestyles — 38 extra years.

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White died Would possibly 3 at her house in Los Angeles. She used to be 78. Her circle of relatives stated the reason used to be most cancers.

When White broke into the arena of hairdressing, it used to be ruled through males — Vidal Sassoon, Jon Peters, Gene Shacove and others. Some other standard male hairstylist used to be Richard Alcala, who used to be White’s 3rd husband and who used to be probably the most inspirations for Warren Beatty’s rakish hairdresser in “Shampoo” (1975). White used to be a technical adviser on that movie.

Along with styling stars for his or her private lives, White sculpted many for the films. Notable creations incorporated the iron pageboy for Louise Fletcher’s portrayal of Nurse Ratched in “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” (1975) and the orange locks for David Bowie in “The Guy Who Fell to Earth” (1976).

“Doing hair gave me validation,” she instructed The New York Instances in 2011. “It used to be applause at the hour, and I wished it at the hour.”

She used to be born Carole Douglas Enwright on Aug. 25, 1943, in Los Angeles. Her mom, Grace (Cloakey) Enwright, an illustrator for the films, named her after actor Carole Lombard. Her father, George Enwright, left when she used to be a baby.

As a lady, she wrote in her memoir, she used to be sexually assaulted through her mom’s boyfriend, and for a time she used to be raised through a foster mom. In a vintage Hollywood reinvention tale, she began calling herself Carrie in highschool and later, after marriage, legally modified her identify to Carrie White.

She grew up in Pacoima, a predominantly Black and Hispanic segment of Los Angeles, then moved to Beverly Hills. At Hollywood Top, lots of her classmates had been rich and polished. She concluded {that a} key to luck, excluding purchasing a complete new cloth cabinet, can be to modify what she referred to as her “stacked pachuca hairdo embellished with spit curls on each and every aspect,” a remnant of her formative years in Pacoima.

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“The Hollywood Top hairdo had a reputation: the Turn,” she wrote. “I’d find out about the ladies’ hair, imagining how they get it to curve up at the backside. And I had to minimize bangs, easy bangs that swooped to 1 aspect, no longer like my mom’s Forties film superstar bangs.”

After highschool, she attended the Hollywood salon of the Lapin Brothers attractiveness college from 1961 to 1963.

She opened her personal salon within the mid-Nineteen Sixties. Considered one of her early purchasers used to be style clothier James Galanos. He really useful White to well-connected actor Jennifer Jones, whose former husbands incorporated David O. Selznick, manufacturer of “Long past With the Wind” and different large photos. Celebrities had been quickly swarming her salon, making it a spot to peer and be observed. “One of the crucial actresses would get their hair executed sooner than they were given to the salon; it used to be one of these scene,” White instructed Los Angeles mag. She recalled the day in 1968 when Beatty got here in with Julie Christie — to the mortification of Joan Collins, with whom he had had a dating, and who used to be sitting beneath the dryer in rollers.

White spent lots of her nights at Flipper’s Curler Boogie Palace, perfecting her curler skating and staying in form through doing laps. She collaborated with style photographers like Richard Avedon on Trend photograph shoots and Melvin Sokolsky on shoots for Harper’s Bazaar.

After habit ruined her lifestyles and profession, she step by step labored her long ago. She re-earned her hairdressing license, made amends with pals, styled purchasers privately and opened a salon once more in 2005. Writing her memoir changed into remedy, however the first draft took 11 years and ran 1,300 pages. Chopping it, she instructed the Instances, used to be excruciating, “like reducing the blue threads out of a Chanel go well with.”

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She closed her salon in 2017 and labored out of Farré Salon in Beverly Hills, the place she maintained a classy clientele till the coronavirus pandemic compelled her to forestall. However even sooner than then, she had turn out to be disillusioned with what she noticed as a slackening in Hollywood’s glamour quotient.

“Everybody looks as if everybody else,” she instructed the Instances. “It’s tragic.”

White used to be married thrice. Her transient marriage in 1962 to Jordan Schwartz, a fellow attractiveness college scholar, used to be annulled. She married Frederick White, a contractor, in 1964; they divorced in 1968. She married Alcala in 1970; they separated a number of years later, even if they by no means divorced. He died in 1988.

Her spouse for the previous a number of years used to be Alex Holt, an educational tutor. They just lately collaborated on a coming-of-age horror novel referred to as “Disposable Teenagers,” which has no longer but been revealed however is being shopped for a restricted tv sequence.

Along with Holt, White is survived through a daughter, Tyler Browne, from her first marriage; a son, Adam White, and daughter, Daisy Carlson, from her 2nd; and two daughters, Aloma and Pitita Alcala, from her 3rd. She could also be survived through 10 grandchildren and one great-granddaughter.

Aloma and Pitita Alcala stated that they’d just lately come throughout considered one of their mom’s speeches for Alcoholics Nameless, and that it appeared maximum becoming.

“After I die,” White had stated, “I wish to be cremated and put right into a disco ball and handed round to the track ‘Final Dance,’ through Donna Summer time.”


This text initially gave the impression in The New York Instances.