Acclaimed author Ray Bradbury’s legacy is once again being celebrated. Special effects makeup artist Jeff Farley has just completed the sculpt for actor Bill Oberst Jr.‘s transformation into Bradbury. The performer will wear the prosthetic in the authorized stage portrayal of the screenwriter’s life, which is titled ‘Ray Bradbury Live (forever).’
“This project is the culmination of four decades of professional experience, and the most exciting of my career,” the Primetime Emmy Award-nominated Farley said. “I am proud to help my friend bring his vision to life. Bill says I’m his Dick Smith and he’s my Hal Holbrook. We laugh, but that really is the level of illusion we’re aiming for.” Smith’s prosthetics for Holbrook’s ‘Mark Twain Tonight’ broke new SFX ground in 1967.
Oberst says he’s ecstatic about what Farley is creating for ‘Ray Bradbury Live (forever).’ “Jeff is a bit of a recluse and he’s very selective,” said the actor. “So I’m over the moon to have him crafting this illusion.”
The Ray Bradbury Estate authorized the show and Oberst’s script last year, after vetting by Bradbury scholars Dr. Jonathan Eller and Dr. Phil Nichols. The success of an Off-Broadway reading convinced the actor to plan a tour that’s set to kick off next year. ‘Ray Bradbury Live (forever)’ has received permission to be performed by Ray Bradbury Literary Works and Don Congdon Associates, Inc.
‘Ray Bradbury Live (forever)’ focuses on Bradbury life circa 1975, which was the peak of his literary and cultural influence “It’s mostly solo, but Ray’s wife and muse, Maggie, shows up for a scene to steal the show,” said Oberst. “The New York audience adored her, as did Ray.”
Bradbury’s many honors include the National Medal of Arts, a Daytime Emmy Award, multiple Hugo Awards, The National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, a NASA landing site on Mars, a star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame and a Pulitzer Prize Special Citation.