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Before & After Plastic Surgery Photos of 1950s Hollywood Stars

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Skarlet writes about famous (and infamous) people, business development, medicine, physical education, beauty, fashion, and crafts.

Hollywood has always been full of rumors about plastic surgery. Here are some stars who have had plastic surgery and some photos along with it.

Hollywood has always been full of rumors about plastic surgery. Here are some stars who have had plastic surgery and some photos along with it.

50 Years of Plastic Surgery

When I was a child, I read a book that I found in our basement shortly after moving in. It was about plastic surgery and had photos of celebrities who had plastic surgery. I was amazed that just about all the actors and actresses had something done. The photos were simply of a particular celebrity such as Marilyn Monroe in her early years and some of her after she had her famous nose job. It showed close ups of her face, pointing out that there were other operations that supplemented her nose surgery. There was also a story about how Ann Margaret had a disfigured face from a stage accident, and it showed photos of how she appeared after her plastic surgery.

I remember hearing people saying, "Ann Margaret had it all done" and recalled hearing how Dean Martin looked nerdy before the nose job. But now, with the book in my hands I was seeing it for myself. The gods and goddesses were not simply perfect specimens who were born lucky. They were awkward, gangly, humans with big noses and jutted chins just like anyone else.

I thought how nice it would be to do what Raquel Welsh did. She started out relatively attractive and came out of surgery looking perfect. Plastic surgery seemed like a miracle, and It was rampant indeed for Hollywood stars, but never openly discussed.

So, how did they get away with it? How did they have their faces redone and not end up with the whole country talking about it?

I believe the answer is that they had good surgery.

It is simply human nature that we always assume everything gets better with time and therefore surgeries and surgeons are must be better too. I do not agree with the above statement because of the "bad plastic surgery" results that I am seeing everywhere.

There are more procedures today, and surgery is being performed by many surgeons, but that does not change the fact that a plastic surgeon must have an artistic eye for detail and the talent to perform the operation.

Whenever there is a huge market for something, it brings out more unskilled and greedy people who want to cash in on the new movement. There are a lot more unskilled surgeons who are out to make a fast buck, and plastic surgery is a great way to achieve that. Some of these unskilled surgeons who are performing subpar work are not even plastic surgeons, they are dentists and chiropractors who's practices are not doing well.

The 1950s may have had less plastic surgeons, but my guess would be that they were highly ethical and talented surgeons who took their work seriously.

Rita before electrolysis

Rita before electrolysis

Rita Hayworth and Electrolysis

When Rita Hayworth first appeared in Hollywood she had a very low hairline which took away from her beauty, and elegance of features.

If one looks at the photo on the right, I think it is clear that her only imperfection is her hairline, covering too much of her forehead, and having no distinct shape.

She had electrolysis treatments for over one year with dramatic and excellent results.

In fact, I have never seen such a beautiful and sculpted hairline in my life, as that of Rita Hayworth after her treatments. What was once her worst feature became one of her absolute best features.

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There were no complications with the treatments. The skin was never burned, and the hair that was removed never grew back. Hayworth was left with the ideal, perfect hairline, accentuating the beauty of her hair, and face.

Rita's perfect hairline after electrolysis

Rita's perfect hairline after electrolysis

Marilyn Monroe before her transformation

Marilyn Monroe before her transformation

Marilyn after a nose job and jaw re-shaping

Marilyn after a nose job and jaw re-shaping

Marilyn Monroe

was a woman who knew what she wanted, and was building a foundation on how to achieve it when she began modeling and auditioning for small parts.

She was well aware of her assets and her flaws. She knew better than any of her photographers, and boyfriends what she would have to work on in order to achieve stardom and fame.

She compared her profile to those stunning and flawless ones of the beautiful starlets of her time, and measured up short. Her nose was slightly big with a slight hook at the tip. That paired with an over sized chin. These two features can make or break the way an audience perceives your beauty. Too much nose and chin are no delicate and feminine. Something would have to be done.

Marilyn had extensive surgery on her face before achieving fame. In the photo on the right she has a nose that turns downward and often appears flat in photos. She also had a protruding chin that gave her a witchy profile.

The results of good surgery that accentuated her good features, and slightly altered her bad ones, is a sight to behold. Perfection!

Her nose is in balance with her cheeks and her chin and nose were moved slightly up and back to give an elegant and feminine, classic look to her face that she did not have before.

She looked simply cute before her work, and after she underwent plastic surgery she looked beautiful and stunning. Had it not been for her brilliant surgeon, she would never have gone as far as she did. Her image, acting style and parts were all based around her looks, and without the undeniably perfect face she could not have pulled it off. Modern surgeries often do not result with such positive outcomes.

The photo on the right shows her delicate and sculpted face after her surgery

Plastic Surgery Disasters

These days it is quite common to see people, even celebrities who have been the victims of plastic surgery disasters. There are so many procedures and unskilled physicians willing to perform them, that the amount of reconstructive surgeries has risen along with cosmetic plastic surgery.

At left in her youth and today. Bad surgery

At left in her youth and today. Bad surgery

Joan Van Ark

This photo on the right is a split photo of Joan Van Ark. The half in the left side of the split is before and the right side is after.

The modern day surgery of Joan Van Ark has absolutely nothing on the surgeries that were being performed on movie stars in the early 50's.

Her nose and over all features actually looked better in her before photo. The results of her facelift changed her expression and left her with an artificial appearance.

The nose is the worst part of all. It looks overly pinched at the sides. Something that was not at all apparent on Marilyn Monroe's nose job.

Priscilla Presley before

Priscilla Presley before

Priscilla's Plastic Surgery

Priscilla Presley was certainly one of the most beautiful women in Hollywood, who retained her intense beauty well into her forties. She began to take on a strangely smooth face, with odd "Joker" expressions. Priscilla's bad plastic surgery gained national attention when she appeared on Dancing With the Stars in 2008.

Her dancing was hardly noticed. Her plastic surgery disaster was the focus of the tabloids and the talk shows for weeks after her Dancing with the Stars appearance. Priscilla's name can hardly be mentioned these days without plastic surgery becoming the topic of conversation. Priscilla seems to have had too many injectable fillers put in her face. Fillers are temporary fixes that can fill in creases and plump up sunken or aged areas in the cheeks and temples. Many celebrities have a variety of fillers such as juvederm, radiesse, restylane, and sculptra, layered in their skin. When properly placed, these fillers can work magic as far as keeping the face look youthful and sculpted. When done incorrectly, the face will take on an unnatural appearance. To see some still photos of Priscilla, she looks okay, but when she talks it is obvious that there is so much weight from the fillers pulling on her cheeks that her facial expressions and the way she moves her mouth has the effect of being swollen or partially paralyzed.

Priscilla Presley after

Priscilla Presley after

Cheeks Too Full and Distorted Mouth

Looking at Priscilla's mouth, her top lip is distorted by the weight of the fillers placed in her cheeks. Looking hat her cheek in profile it seems to be fuller than it was when she was younger in the above photo. That is an impossibility. As we age the fullness goes away, and can only go down, not up. Priscilla's cheek is actually more elevated and full than it was in her youth. She would have looked better and more natural if she had stayed within the size and shape that she always had, or even gone a little flatter than what she had in her youth.

Amy Fisher 1991

Amy Fisher 1991

Amy Fisher the Porn Queen

Amy Fisher the Porn Queen

Plastic Surgery Before and After

Take a look at the photo on the right. That's Amy Fisher in 1992 during the time when her face was on the cover of every magazine. Amy became famous for attempting to kill her lover, Joey Buttafuoco's wife, Mary Jo Muttafuoco by shooting her in the head. Mary Jo survived the shooting and the case of Amy Fisher was a media sensation. Amy was charged with first-degree attempted murder, but eventually Amy plead guilty to aggravated assault to which she served six years in prison. Shortly after Amy's sentencing three made for television movies were filmed and aired during the same week. In two of the Amy Fisher movies beautiful actresses with a very Hollywood type of sex appeal were used to play Amy. Although Amy had a cuteness of youth she was in no way a Hollywood beauty. As you can see, she had a receding chin and average lips, but after being released from prison Amy wanted to cash in on her past and she did so by having enough plastic surgery to giver her face and figure the same type of look that the Hollywood stars who played her in movies had. She now sports a brow lift, breast implants, a reshaped nose, and a new chin and jawline.

Amy had some good procedures but do to too many procedures she is starting to look like a typical aging movie star, bearing no resemblance to her former self.

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.


BARBARA on April 07, 2019:


Alex on August 29, 2018:

I'm sorry, Anita, but if you look carefully at her nose in Ladies of the Chorus or Ticket to Tomahawk or Love Happy you can see it is a bit broader at the end than in The Asphalt Jungle and all later pictures. The jaw re-do is harder to spot, but it's been widely reported in her bios, paid for by the agent Johnny Hyde, who fell hard for her.

Anita on August 12, 2018:

Your lying about Marilyn Monroe. She was a natural beauty and was discovered in a plane factory. You can look at her early photos when she was Norma Jeane and see how beautiful she was. Stop being jealous of her!

Elizabeth Hutchison Bernrd, author of the historical novel, THE BEAUTY DOCTOR on July 04, 2017:

Very interesting! Some great observations about plastic surgery and aging, Skarlet, as well as about the need to select a plastic surgeon carefully.

Suzanne Ennazus on August 06, 2016:

Marilyn didn't have a too big chin. She had it built up to be bigger. It's really sad how Hollywood has turned acting into being about who looks the most plastic and fake. No wonder they get their great actors from other countries.

McKenna Meyers on November 29, 2015:

I understand why older celebrities have surgery to look younger but don't understand why the young, beautiful ones do it. Someone like Heidi Montag, who was such a natural beauty, had so many surgeries done and now looks artificial. Megan Fox is another.

dianaglendale on September 20, 2015:

I'm looking for Dr. Robert Franklin, a Hollywood Plastic Surgeon of the 50's. Can you help?

oldiesmusic from United States on October 11, 2013:

Joan Van Ark... she looked the worst. At least with Marilyn and Rita, it's not so obvious, and rather enhanced their beauty.

idigwebsites from United States on April 15, 2013:

Priscilla's cheekbones in her before photo are actually one of her assets. Doesn't she realize that?

Marilyn Monroe's fame and success was worth the plastic surgery. It's really a good investment for her.

Thanks for sharing. Up and interesting. :)

THE BLACK ALPACA on January 02, 2013:

Joan Van Ark is a wreck. Priscilla looked beautiful before. Its pretty sad that they probably thought they looked better afterward.

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