make-under disguises: ‘A Coffin for the Bride’

Thriller ‘A Coffin for the Bride’

In the ‘A Coffin for the Bride’ episode of the TV series Thriller, Mark Walker is a serial killer who’s speciality is to marry older, wealthy ladies and once he has settled down in matrimonial bliss, kill them off and inherit their fortunes. After his latest killing he is contemplating his future in a health resort whereupon he encounters the beautiful Stella MacKenzie (Helen Mirren) – can he fall in love and settle down.

But then he spots Angie; a wealthy and frumpish divorcee with a braying laugh. The temptation to go for a final kill to set him up for a future with Stella is too great. But all is definitely not as it seems and his past is catching up on him. Angie disappears and Mark finds himself convicted of a murder which he did not commit – indeed a murder and which, too late, he realises never happened.

It seems that Stella’s older sister had been one of Mark’s previous victims and that she had put her theatrical skills to effective use (‘Didn’t I tell you I’m an actress.’).

Stella’s disguise involved a prosthetic nose tip and latex stippling as well as the wig, glasses and teeth – unusual production values for a British TV show in the early 1970s. It looked good and Helen’s braying laugh was brilliant. I could almost suspend disbelief when Mark ran his hands through her hair and didn’t notice it was a wig – but how did he miss the fat-suit?

The makeup

I don’t know who was responsible for the makeup as it was not listed in the credits: if anyone knows please email themakeupgallery.