So many people have been asking me: ” Are you related to Ve Neill? “. For some reason, more so recently.
This is the short story: Ve and I met in 1975. She was doing make-up application for a rock band called Zolar X. At that time, Ve was not yet working professionally. When Ve and I met, I was already working in the industry. In my spare time, I worked the convention circuits back then making Planet of the Apes appliances. I made appearances as Cornelius and other Sci-Characters at the CONS. This is where I met Gene Roddenberry and many other people in the business that lead to my present career.
Ve and I had a romantic relationship and this lead to her working on several film projects with me. The first being “Shoot the Sun Down” with Chris Walken and Margo Kidder. This got her more than the 30 days necessary for the make up union’s 701-30 day wonder program which allowed her into the union in time to work on “Star Trek the Motion Picture”. My old friend Fred Philips asked me to work on Star Trek. I made Spock’s ears and some other Alien prosthetics that Ve applied. Ve did the application because I wasn’t in the union yet and not allowed to apply the prosthetics that I created. We made a great team because she was excellent at applying make up of all forms and excelled at prosthetic application better than anyone I have ever seen.
She applied makeup for my character in “Laser Blast” and we used to go out on the town often in makeup and even one night as the Apes.
She changed her last name to Ve Neill while we were together. It was just easier, a better stage or industry name and it stuck.
We enjoyed our time and adventures together very much, however, one day we went our separate ways. She asked my permission to keep my last name when we parted and I agreed to her doing so.
We remain friends to this day.
None of the talented people whom I have helped owe me anything. The truth is: yes I helped Ve; she had to be talented in the first place to take what she learned from me and others and become one of the most successful makeup artists in Hollywood.