They Called Her The Beauty Who Created One Of The Most Legendary Monsters In American Cinema, But For Years, Someone Else Took Credit For Her Work

ehrlif - - illustrative purposes only

It’s rare to find someone who has never heard of Creature from the Black Lagoon, the iconic 1954 horror film.

Of course, one of the movie’s best parts is the creature itself, the ‘Gill-man,’ with his scaly face and body. Did you know that the person who created the creature’s original design was a woman?

For years, people were led to believe that the film’s make-up artist, Bud Westmore, was responsible for the Gill-man’s creation.

However, the first person to draw him up was Milicent Patrick, an actress, make-up artist, and Disney animator. The Gill-man’s body and head were sculpted by Jack Kevan and Chris Mueller Jr.

During the production process, Bud Westmore would supposedly kick his design team out of the studio so that photographs could be taken of him pretending to work on the Gill-man!

There are photos of what the Gill-man would have looked like before Milicent came in and designed the iconic creature we know today, and it does not live up to par.

Milicent’s drawing of the beast elevated it to the next level. It wasn’t until after Bud Westmore’s death that Milicent and other creatives from the film came forward to announce that she was the brains behind the design.

Milicent Patrick was born Mildred Elizabeth Fulvia di Rossi in El Paso, Texas, in 1915. Her family moved to California when she was six-years-old.

She briefly attended the Glendale Community College before choosing to study at the Chouinard Art Institute, where she developed her skills in drawing and illustration. 

ehrlif – – illustrative purposes only

Sign up for Chip Chick’s newsletter and get stories like this delivered to your inbox.

1 of 2