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Rolf John Keppler is a makeup effects artist for film and television who worked on Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, and the first season of Star Trek: The Next Generation. He shared an Emmy Award nomination in 1988 for Outstanding Achievement in Makeup for a Series for the episode "Coming of Age", shared with Michael Westmore, his father Werner Keppler, and Gerald Quist.


MacGyver and Paramount films

Keppler worked under makeup supervisor Michael Westmore on the action-adventure television series MacGyver during that show's second season (1986-87) before they both moved on to TNG. Westmore and Keppler were nominated for an Emmy Award in 1987 for their work on the MacGyver episode "Friends", which was directed by Cliff Bole and guest-starred John Anderson, Robin Curtis, Teri Hatcher, and Bruce McGill.

In addition to Star Trek V, Keppler worked on three other Paramount films in 1988: Coming to America (which featured Madge Sinclair and makeup effects by Margaret Prentice), Scrooged (which featured John Glover, Michael J. Pollard, and Alfre Woodard, with makeup by Tom Burman and Bari Dreiband-Burman and set decoration by Linda DeScenna), and The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad! (which starred Ricardo Montalban and featured Raye Birk, Tiny Ron, and Nicholas Worth, with art direction by Donald B. Woodruff).

1990s television work and ER

During the 1989-1990 television season, Keppler was key makeup artist on the short-lived CBS series Island Son, which starred Timothy Carhart and Clyde Kusatsu. He then became co-makeup department head on the cult 1990-1991 series The Flash, based on the DC Comics character of the same name. He worked on three more short-lived series over the next three years: ABC's Human Target (1992), CBS' Raven (1992-1993), and NBC's Viper (1994).

From 1994 through 2001, Keppler was the makeup effects co-department head on the hit NBC medical drama ER. In 2001, he became the show's makeup department head and held that position until the series ended in 2008. Among the many performers he worked with on the show were Star Trek alumni Michelle C. Bonilla, Scott Grimes, Lily Mariye, and Cress Williams.

1990s film work

Keppler worked on two films released in 1990: Dick Tracy (working with Doug Drexler, Anthony Fredrickson, Kevin Haney, Gilbert A. Mosko, Ve Neill, Craig Reardon, Mark Shostrom, and Greg Cannom) and Class of 1999 (working with Barney Burman, Rob Burman, Dana Quashnick, and Rick Stratton). The former featured numerous Star Trek alumni in the cast (Ed O'Ross, Seymour Cassel, John Schuck, Paul Sorvino, Robert Costanzo, Tony Epper, Hamilton Camp, Ed McCready, Colm Meaney, Bert Remsen, Michael J. Pollard, Ian Wolfe) and had art direction by Harold Michelson, while Class of 1999 co-starred Malcolm McDowell and Patrick Kilpatrick.

In 1994, Keppler worked on another film featuring Malcolm McDowell: the science fiction/action comedy Tank Girl (released March 1995). This film starred Lori Petty and the title role, and also featured Reg E. Cathey, Ann Cusack, Jeff Kober, Charles Lucia, and Iggy Pop. This film's makeup designer was Mike Smithson, and Keppler again worked with Smithson on the 1996 remake of The Island of Dr. Moreau, with Smithson as makeup supervisor. Barry Koper and Alan Tuskes were also makeup effects artists on this film, which featured Star Trek Nemesis actor Ron Perlman in the cast. Keppler himself was the makeup supervisor on the 1997 action film The Peacemaker, which featured appearances by Bruce Gray and Matt Winston.

Recent film work

During a break in production on ER, Keppler did some prosthetic lab work on the 2005 skateboarding film Lords of Dogtown (on which Star Trek makeup artists Mark Garbarino and Dave Snyder did makeup effects). Immediately after production on ER ended, Keppler was brought in as a makeup artist on the hit 2008 film Twilight. Star Trek: Insurrection actor Michael Welch had a supporting role in this film, while Laura Connolly and Elizabeth Rabe were among the film's hair stylists.

More recently, Keppler was a special makeup effects artist on the 2009 film Terminator Salvation, again working under the supervision of Mike Smithson. This film's cast included Anton Yelchin. Further film credits include the DC Comics-based Jonah Hex (2010), which is produced by Akiva Goldsman, the drama Water for Elephants (2011), and the fantasy two parter The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn (2011-2012) on which he worked with DS9 guest star Billy Burke.

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