As a Hollywood hairdresser to the stars in the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s, Carrie White primped and feathered many a famous golden tress. In Upper Cut, her dishy new memoir, she recounts making house calls to Elizabeth Taylor, dating Jack Nicholson, consulting with Warren Beatty on Shampoo — and the way she lost it all after becoming addicted to cocaine. Below, some of our favorite passages.
Gave her one of his guns
Elvis — who was worried about her safety — insisted she take a gun from his collection. ”Charlie,” he ordered one of his bodyguards, ”get her that lady’s Derringer, the one that fits in an evening bag…. And get her a box of bullets, too.”
Requested a house call for a most unusual reason
White’s receptionist told her that the actress needed her right away. ”I just did her hair, what are you talking about?” White replied. The answer: ”She miscalculated on her bidet, her hair and makeup got all sprayed up….”
Set himself on fire
After a night of partying with Mick Jagger and the rest of the Rolling Stones, White looked on as Jones ignited his hair while trying to light a cigarette. ”No one else seemed alarmed, including Brian. ‘I think me ‘ead’s on fire.”’
Invited White to her wedding
The day Tate married Roman Polanski, White did her hair, then attended the reception at London’s Playboy Club, where a thousand guests listened to the Supremes and watched erotic movies.
Wanted her to curl a lion
People were one thing, but pets were quite another. White writes, ”I declined when Tippi Hedren called, asking me to curl the mane of her trained lion that she promised to tranquilize. I told her to get a curly wig and snap it on his head.”