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Marc Pilcher, the U.K-based hair and makeup designer who won an Emmy for Bridgerton, has died. He was 53.
Pilcher passed away on Sunday after a battle with COVID-19 just three weeks after he won the Creative Arts Emmy award for his work on the hit Netflix series, his agent confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter. He was double vaccinated and had no underlying health conditions.
“It is with the deepest of hearts we confirm that Marc Elliot Pilcher, Academy Award nominee and Emmy Award-winning hair and makeup designer/stylist, passed away after a battle with COVID-19 on Sunday,” reads a statement, in part, from his agent, family and friends. “Glamorous and extravagant, he brought his flair and style to every design. Never limited in his thought process for his creations, he pushed boundaries and created work never realized before.”
Pilcher took home the outstanding period and/or character hairstyling at the Creative Arts Emmys, which took place across two nights on Sept. 11 and 12. All attendees had to provide proof of vaccination as well as a negative COVID-19 test.
“The passing of Marc Pilcher is beyond words. I will forever be in awe of the incredible hairstyling and makeup work that he brought to Bridgerton. My heart goes out to his loved ones as we lost him way too soon,” wrote Bridgerton creator Shonda Rhimes on Twitter.
Added Netflix in a statement on Monday, “We are saddened by the loss of Marc Pilcher. A phenomenal talent, his work on Bridgerton season one was unrivaled, and he was a much-loved member of the crew. Our hearts go out to his family and friends at this time.”
Alongside his Emmy for Bridgerton, Pilcher was an Oscar nominee for his work on 2018’s Mary Queen of Scots and won consecutive Make-Up Artists and Hair Stylists Guild Awards (MUAHS) for Downton Abbey. Bridgerton also landed him an additional MUAHS Guild Award for best period and/or character hairstyling in a TV series. Other credits include The Nutcracker and the Four Realms, Beauty and the Beast, Macbeth, Great Expectations and My Week With Marilyn. Most recently, he worked on Matthew Vaughn’s The King’s Man.
Pilcher began his career in the West End in 1988, and he would go on to work for 15 years around the U.K. on plays and musicals such as Company, Sunset Boulevard and Aspects of Love. In 2003, he started to work as a hair and makeup artist in TV, which subsequently led to him working in film. He has worked with the likes of Dame Judi Dench, Dame Maggie Smith, Shirley MacLaine, Ralph Fiennes, Emily Blunt, Stanley Tucci, Madonna and Sir Ian McKellen, among others.
During his Creative Arts Emmys acceptance speech, Pilcher called Bridgerton “the most exciting project for me to work on, to create for all of our beautiful cast.”
Among the colleagues paying their respects on Monday were Bridgerton stars Phoebe Dynevor and Nicola Coughlan.
“So heartbroken by the loss of Marc Pilcher, the brilliant and visionary Hair and Makeup designer for Bridgerton season one. Marc was so passionate about his work and so tremendously talented. Not even a month ago he won his first Emmy award,” Couglan, who plays Penelope Featherington, wrote on Twitter. “It’s a tragedy that he’s been taken so young when he had so much yet to do.”
She added, “Please also use this as a reminder that COVID is still a very real and present danger, please get vaccinated and mask up to protect yourself and others.”
The official Shondaland account wrote on Twitter, “The Shondaland family is deeply saddened by the passing of Marc Pilcher. A true master of his craft, Marc told beautiful stories for Television and Film through his hairstyling and makeup creations. His ingenuity on Bridgerton birthed iconic period designs that proved both remarkably fresh and timeless. We are forever grateful to have worked alongside him and will continue to celebrate his work. He will be missed.”
In a statement a Television Academy spokesperson said, “We are so very saddened to learn of Marc Pilcher’s passing. He was a beloved professional whose brilliant talent and creativity will be missed across the theatre, film and television communities.”
Oct. 4, 8 p.m. This story has been updated with a statement from a Television Academy spokesperson.
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