family history

“The Beauty and The Beast’s Makeup Artist” starring Francis Woodward

One of our more mysterious families, Sarah BROADHURST (#3 of 11) and James WOODWARD, has a bit more information thanks to Bill Hoke. Bill recalled two things about their daughter Frances Woodward: Frances was a Ziegfeld Girl and she married George Bau. From those two clues I was able to piece this story together.

Frances was born in 1908 in Dover, New Hampshire where her parents worked in a cotton mill and sometime after 1920, she moved to New York City. By opening night, 28 March 1927,  Frances was a dancing girl at the Majestic Theater (where the Phantom lives now) in a musical revue, “Rufus LeMaire’s Affairs.” In August of 1927 Frances was in the opening night cast of  “Ziegfeld Follies of 1927” at the New Amsterdam Theatre on 42nd Street, where Disney’s Lion King reigned. The picture above on the left is of the Ziegfeld Girls around the time Frances was a member. Additional information is listed in Frances’ Internet Broadway Database listing: click here to view.

Frances must have been garnering attention as an actress because by 1932 when she fell off a horse and broke her arm in Baltimore the news made it into The New York Times:

Ed Wynn

In 1934 Frances Woodward marries and again she makes the New York Times:

Her husband Adrian Droeshout worked for the French Line Steamship Company.

So how does Charles Laughton and his hump work into this tale?

From other family obituaries we know that Frances’ parents moved at some point to Los Angeles and I think Frances and her husband moved there before 1943. The Internet Movie Database list Frances Woodward playing the role of Sue Mason in the Hopalong Cassidy adventure “Riders of the Deadline.” It is her only credit on

Frances gets credit above Robert Mitchum!

The Internet Movie Database lists Adrian Droeshout playing uncredited bit parts in movies from 1944 – 1946. It’s the the war years. By 1949 Adrian returns to work for the French Line in their new Los Angeles office according to a New York Times article. In that article it states that Adrian had been working with the publicity department of Warner Brothers.

The Hump?

Also at Warner Brothers were Gordon Bau, the head of makeup department and his brother George Bau, renowned Hollywood makeup artist, who at one time headed its prosthetics laboratory. George developed a new foam rubber formula for a lightweight facial makeup and hump which Charles Laughton wore as Quasimodo in 1939’s Hunchback of Notre Dame.

So, where are we?

I haven’t found any record of a divorce for Frances and Adrian, but our cousin Bill Hoke is certain that Frances and George Bau visited the Adams Cabins as husband and wife. Were they? Does anyone else know any more information about these family members? Let me know if you do and thanks for reading all the way to the bottom on this one!

Categories: family history

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1 reply »

  1. My Great Aunt was Francis Woodward and I only know what my mother told me that she was married to Gordon Bau. She was my Grandmothers sister on my Fathers side Her name was Alice Woodward . My grandmother died about 1953 from Cancer. My Father was Donald Barbour son to Alice .I would love to know more of the history and ansestry of that side of the family As my mother and Father were divorced when I was about 5 years and we moved. We are now in Queensbury New York.

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