Marie Irvine, Makeup Artist to Marilyn Monroe, Dies at 99

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Toward the end of World War II, Ms. Irvine met a naval officer at Delmonico’s restaurant when he was on leave; they married in 1947. In addition to her daughter, Ms. Sullivan, Ms. Irvine is survived by a son, who requested anonymity for himself and his father, whose name he shares, and two grandchildren. Ms. Irvine’s husband died in 1994.

When her daughter was born in 1957, Ms. Irvine left Elizabeth Arden and became a freelance makeup artist, working for photographers like Mr. Avedon, Irving Penn, John Rawlings and Harold Krieger. She did commercial work, too, notably coating the actors who played the Jolly Green Giant, the mascot created to sell canned vegetables, in layers of green greasepaint.

In the late ’60s, Ms. Irvine and her family moved from Queens to Essex County, N.J. Her husband, general counsel for a security firm, did not want his wife to continue working, so she retired — and learned to drive at 44.

Once she left the fashion world behind, she rarely spoke of it.

Ms. Parsons, the TikTok star, had many questions for Ms. Irvine that she was unable to answer before her death. She hoped the former makeup artist could illuminate the histories of the sort of esoterica that transfix Monroe obsessives: For instance, did Robert Champion, a hairdresser who was at the Garden when Ms. Monroe sang, really touch up her makeup and blot her lips with a tissue (an artifact that belongs to the Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! Museum in Orlando, Fla.)? Did Ms. Irvine recognize a gold lipstick tube that once belonged to Ms. Monroe that Ms. Parsons had won at auction for $15,625?

Ms. Irvine was pleased she’d had her own moment of fame, though she wished, as she told her daughter, that the attention came when she had more energy to pursue it.

“I told her that the important thing was that it had happened at all,” Ms. Sullivan said. “She was an original and one of a kind laboring in obscurity to create many beautiful images with the pioneering photographers of the 20th century. After all, how many 99-year-olds who attended one-room schoolhouses go on to be TikTok stars?”

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