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Paul LeBlanc, the Canadian-born hairstylist who won an Oscar for Amadeus and created the menacing bowl ‘do for Javier Bardem in No Country for Old Men, has died. He was 73.
LeBlanc died Wednesday at his home in Dieppe, New Brunswick, following a short illness, his family announced.
LeBlanc also replaced Princess Leia’s (Carrie Fisher) side buns with loose waves for Return of the Jedi (1983) and worked often with Ellen Burstyn, including on the Darren Aronofsky films Requiem for a Dream (2000) and The Fountain (2006).
“He’s done my hair not only for films but also for the Oscars, the Tonys, in Paris, in London, in limousines, in all temperatures and under every imaginable condition,” Burstyn wrote in the foreword to LeBlanc’s 2013 book, You Can Get There From Here.
LeBlanc earned an Emmy nomination for hairstyling on the 2003 miniseries Children of Dune, one of his many collaborations with Susan Sarandon (Stepmom, Twilight, Lorenzo’s Oil and The Banger Sisters among them).
He also styled Sharon Stone’s hair on movies including Basic Instinct (1992), Sliver (1993), Casino (1995) and The Quick and the Dead (1995).
LeBlanc said it took him about two weeks to finally produce the bowl-cut hairstyle that made Bardem appear “scary” as the villain Anton Chigurh in No Country for Old Men (2007), written and directed by the Coen brothers. (Bardem would win a supporting actor Oscar for the role.)
“I was creating a villain with him,” LeBlanc told the CBC in 2007. “He and I together, with the input, of course, of the costumes and of the director and producers and all that, but this is what he and I came up with, and it’s my interpretation, so I feel very proud of this.”
He also worked with Joel and Ethan Coen on O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000), The Man Who Wasn’t There (2001) and The Ladykillers (2004).
Born in Dieppe in 1946, LeBlanc became a hairdresser at 18 and earned a diploma from the New Brunswick Institute of Technology. He moved to Toronto and landed a job doing wigs, then joined the CBC and worked on The National Dream: Building the Impossible Railway, a 1974 documentary.
LeBlanc shared his Oscar — one of eight collected by Amadeus, the 1984 Milos Forman film — with famed makeup artist Dick Smith. He also received a lifetime achievement award from the Makeup Artists and Hair Stylists Guild in 2003.
LeBlanc’s credits also included Places in the Heart (1984), Agnes of God (1985), Cocktail (1988), Mississippi Burning (1988), Forman’s Valmont (1989), The Mask of Zorro (1998), The Human Stain (2003), The Terminal (2004) and Aronofsky’s Black Swan (2010).
He returned to Dieppe in 2007 and opened his own studio.
Survivors include his wife, Louise, whom he married in 2007, and his brothers Georges, Marc and Allison. Donations may be made in his memory to the Canadian Lung Association.
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