TOKYO - SHU Uemura, who put on the makeup for Hollywood stars and the likes of Frank Sinatra before launching a top Japanese cosmetics brand, has died of acute pneumonia, his spokesman said on Tuesday.
The pioneer of Japan's makeup industry died aged 79 on December 29, and a private funeral was held in Tokyo last Friday attended by his family and close friends, the spokesman said.
Mr Uemura was born in Tokyo in 1928 and graduated from a beauty school before moving to Hollywood to become a makeup artist in the 1950s.
He achieved fame after providing the makeup for leading celebrities of the day including actress Shirley MacLaine as well as Sinatra.
As Japan built from the ashes of World War II into the world's second largest economy, Mr Uemura returned to tap into the growing consumer market.
He opened a Hollywood-style makeup studio in Tokyo in 1965, and two years later introduced to Japan cleansing oil to wash away makeup.
Uemura steadily expanded in Japan and overseas, opening branches in Paris, New York, London, Hong Kong, Los Angeles, Milan, Singapore and Taipei.
His company, Shu Uemura Cosmetics Inc, which is now under the control of French cosmetics giant L'Oreal, will hold a commemoration ceremony on January 31 in Tokyo, the spokesman said.