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Pierre Duval Hair Studio-Hairdressers to the Stars. Fabulous new addition to UTSA Special Collections.

June 9, 2014

“Hair dressers to the stars!” A phrase one would expect to see in Hollywood but not in San Antonio, Texas. In the early 1970s Robert Pierre Teander and Jesse Duval Arrambide arrived in San Antonio, opened Pierre Duval Hair Studio and built a reputation as celebrity stylists. Known as the “hairdressers to the stars, Robert and Jesse crafted this reputation on their work at the Fiesta Dinner Playhouse, a dinner theater opened in San Antonio by actor Earl Holliman and director Patrick Baldauff in 1977.

Jesse Duval, Earl Holliman, Robert Teander, 1981, MS 425, Pierre Duval Hair Studio collection

Jesse Duval, Earl Holliman, Robert Teander, 1981

Jesse and Robert met while dancing at Arthur Murray dance studio in Chicago, Illinois in the early 1960s. Moving back to Jesse’s boyhood home San Antonio, Arrambide and Teander opened Pierre Duval Hair Studio in the city’s upscale Alamo Heights area in the mid-70s. In 1976, a year before the opening of the Fiesta Dinner Playhouse, Pierre Duval’s styles graced the heads of the members of the Fiesta royal court and those of local socialites. Robert and Jesse would soon expand from coiffing the heads of San Antonio’s elite  to dressing the locks of Hollywood legends.

 

Jesse and Robert, 1961

Jesse and Robert, 1961

It is unclear how and when the collaboration between Pierre Duval and Fiesta Playhouse began, but by 1979, Jesse and Robert were an integral part of the theater’s production preparations. The talented duo tended the tresses and rouged the cheeks of many glamorous Hollywood icons performing at the Fiesta like Joan Fontaine, Lana Turner, Dorothy Lamour, and Eve Arden.

Fiesta Dinner Playhouse program, undated

Fiesta Dinner Playhouse program, undated

Fiesta Dinner Playhouse offered a wide variety of productions from plays like Arsenic and Old Lace, Harvey, and Butterflies are Free (including the Spanish version) to musicals such as Fiddler on the Roof, The Sound of Music, and South Pacific. These productions and many others attracted famous actors from stage and screen:  Don Ameche, Cyd Charisse, Gary Burghoff, Roddy McDowell, Van Johnson, Joanne Worley, and Forrest Tucker were just a few of the notables that performed on the stage at the Fiesta Playhouse.

Joanne Worley autographed photo, 1980

Joanne Worley autographed photo, 1980

 

Roddy McDowell photographs and note, 1980

Roddy McDowell photographs and note, 1980

Scrapbooks created by Jesse and Robert capture the magic of the Fiesta. Autographed photos of stars populate the pages of these scrapbooks as do photos of dinners at Arrambide and Teander’s home where celebs and cast members gathered to enjoy the hospitality of their hosts. Photographs of Fiesta sets and group shots of casts and crews offer a glimpse into exciting behind-the-scene moments and convey the special bonds formed during preparation for each performance. The Pierre Duval Hair Studio collection is housed at main campus and can be accessed by submitting a request access to a collection form.

Cast and crew of The Boyfriend, 1978

Cast and crew of The Boyfriend, 1978

 

 

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum cast and crew, undated

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum cast and crew, undated

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