Don Post (Don Post)

Don Post

Mask maker, prop fabricator. Celebrated as The Godfather Of Halloween, pioneer original creator of Over-The-Head Rubber masks, founder and namesake of Don Post Studios. His own curiosity prompted a backstage visit to examine Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Baily producing clown Paul Wenzel’s Popeye The Sailor Man full head mask, serving as Don Post’s inspiration to manufacture Over-The-Head Rubber Masks for commercial sale. His first such borrowed personality mask was of Esky the Esquire Magazine mascot. Other masks were of Hitler, Stalin, and Mussolini – The Dictators, and Edgar Bergen’s Charlie McCarthy and Mortimer Snerd, all sold at Marshall Field’s Department Store in Chicago, Illinois. Migrating to Hollywood, California in the 1940’s, Don was discovered by early merchandise mogul Norma Jean Trietch (nee Wright), who procured his services to create the rubber heads for commercially sold hand puppets of the famous wrestler Gorgeous George. Around 1948 Wright-Trietch put together a deal with Universal Studios for Don Post to manufacture Over-The-Head masks of Universal’s famed Frankenstein Monster, thus becoming one of that studio’s very first commercial product licensees. For the motion picture Industry, Don Post made alien pods for Invasion Of The Body Snatchers (Allied Artists 1956), Asian masks for stunt soldiers in Pork Chop Hill (MGM 1959), giant clown feet worm by Doris Day in Jumbo (MGM 1962), mutation appliances for The Haunted Palace (AIP 1963), and a foam latex mask of Peter Lorre, worn by the actor’s stunt double Harvey Perry in Comedy Of Terrors (AIP 1964). One of Hollywood’s first prop makers to own a vacuum-forming machine, In 1963 Post formed Studio Plastics, Inc. with partners/studio special effects men Bob Bonning and Milt Rice to create everlasting plastic sides of meat for Irma La Douce (1963), directed by Billy Wilder for MGM Studios, with Shirley MacLaine and Jack Lemon, and light-weight auto bodies for The Great Race (1965), directed by Blake Edwards for Warner Bros., also with Lemmon, and Tony Curtis. A partnership with long time friend Verne Langdon began in 1963 and saw Don Post Studios spiral to international fame with the development of an entire series of Universal Studios makeup department quality Hollywood Horrors Character masks (later to gain immortality as The Calendar Masks, for a monster calendar featuring the famed false faces), including Lon Chaney’s Phantom Of The Opera, Boris Karloff’s (and also Glenn Strange’s) Frankenstein Monster, Bela Lugosi’s Count Dracula, and Lon Chaney Jr.’s Wolf Man, created by celebrated Post Studios sculptress Pat Newman, and conceived and promoted by then-co-owner (1963-1968) Verne Langdon. FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND MAGAZINE, created and published by James Warren and Forrest J Ackerman, served to fire their fame and create further familiarity with the classic monster masks, which soon became in high demand (fetching very high prices) at Disneyland, Disney World, and quality magic and masquerade shops around America. Post made personal appearances, along with Ackerman, Langdon, and horror film star Tor Johnson (Plan 9 From Outer Space, among other films) at live Hollywood Monster Shows staged by outdoor entertainment guru L. Strock Rupert and his Stunt Stars from Screenland, and produced by Sid Koss, at Uni-Mart stores around Southern California. (A horror mask of Tor Johnson, created the same year by Don Post Studios, became the company’s #1 best-selling mask!) In the late 1960’s Langdon sold his half of the company back to Don Post. The mask mogul was then joined by his son Donald Post Jr., who went on to acquire licensing from 20th Century Fox and ApJac Productions to make Planet Of The Apes professional quality masks, followed by Star Wars full head masks, all for commercial sale. Don Post Studios also created the mask of scare character / mass murderer Michael Myers, of cult Halloween film series notoriety (the Trancas International films starred actress Jamie Lee Curtis). (bio by: Verne Langdon)  Family links:  Spouse:  Louise Post (1908 – 1994)* *Calculated relationship


  • March, 14, 1902
  • USA


  • November, 11, 1979
  • USA


  • Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Hollywood Hills)
  • California
  • USA

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