Dan Rather In Wax

dan rather with his wax figure from madame toussaud
CBS
After six months and more than 200 measurements, Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum in New York unveiled a wax portrait of Dan Rather this week. His likeness is hanging out with a flock of other wax celebrities at a faux opening-night party.

So does the Rather portrait sport his old hairstyle or his new hairstyle? Paul Morton, marketing director of Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum, tells The Saturday Early Show: "When we measured him six months ago, he had the old hair style. His new hair style is shorter and combed over his head the opposite way than it was before. So we met with Mr. Rather last week, spent two days studying his wax head and then cut the hair on his wax head... We had the same problem with Katie Couric's hair when she got a dramatically different style. Her own hair dresser had to come in and re-do it."

The hair insertion takes six weeks. It's human hair that Madame Tussaud's buys and matches to the color and texture. The hair is inserted strand by strand (even the eyebrows).

The hardest part to make real? Morton says, "The eyes and the mouth are key to giving a person character. For the eyes, we use thin red silk thread to be like the veins. The eye color is everything... It's oil paint, layered on."

The teeth are matched for color texture and shape. Subjects bite into a wax plate so Tussaud's can recreate the shape of the teeth, just the same as what the dentist does.

They paint the face; they don't use makeup. That's why the skin looks real.

Finally, subjects are asked to donate their own clothes (suit and tie and shoes) so that they hang properly on the person.

And how much does it cost to make a wax portrait? Anywhere from $50,000 to $70,000.

For more information about Madame Tussaud's in New York, go to its Web site.

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