Joe Hailey was mentioned on last night’s episode of NCIS during the closing credits, where the words “we will miss you” graced the screen.
Hailey worked as a makeup artist on the show and passed away suddenly this past spring. While his obituary doesn’t provide an exact date of his death, it does reveal that he was a wonderful, funny and talented man.
Hailey was known to his fellow co-workers as being someone who had an uncanny ability to tell stories, misadventures, and jokes, making you laugh. Joe is said to have told stories that could potentially be offensive but presented them in such a way that people simply laughed.
Throughout his career as a makeup artist, Joe Hailey reportedly stayed in great shape but he started developing heart problems over the past couple of years.
His goal was to finish the 2017-2018 season of NCIS before retirement, which he did. However, three weeks after his work was complete and while he was preparing for a European vacation, he suffered a fatal heart attack.
Joe is survived by his fiancé Sheri Dickerson and her children Holton, Troy, Sierra, and Blaine, according to his obituary.
Hailey will be remembered as a quiet and humble man, who did not brag about his talents.
He didn’t actively seek out recognition or awards through his work, but he won an accolade in 2000 from the Hollywood Makeup Artist and Hair Stylist Guild Awards.
He was also nominated for two Emmy Awards in 1992 for Perfect Strangers and in 1999 for his work on And the Bet Goes On: The Song and Cher Story. Joe Hailey joinedthe Make-Up Artists and Hair Stylists Guild, IATSE Local 706, in 1978, making him the youngest makeup artist in the guild at the time.
Back in May, Pauley Perrette shared a video from the makeup trailer where she worked daily with Joe. The video she links to shows how she worked with hair and makeup artists, including showing how Joe applies her famous neck tattoo for the show.
NCIS family just lost a beloved member. Joe Hailey. My make up guy for 16 years. RIP my beloved Full video here: https://t.co/0lkEsQdGrM pic.twitter.com/nt8Gt3eU6g
— Pauley Perrette (@PauleyP) May 27, 2018
Joe Hailey is known for his work on various long-running television shows. He worked on NCIS from the show’s beginning in 2003, having done makeup for over 300 episodes. He also worked on 71 episodes of JAG from 2000 to 2003 and was the assistant makeup artist on the movie Pleasantville from 1998.
However, he only worked on a handful of shows during his career, as he was often hired for long-term productions. IMDb lists his first job as being a makeup artist for Institute For Revenge from 1979, working later on the TV show Dallas for 216 episodes from 1983 to 1991. He also worked on Step by Step for 160 episodes, from 1991 to 1998.
When he wasn’t in the hair and makeup trailer, he competed in martial arts, loved skiing, scuba diving, and he was an Andalusian horse owner.
At the time of his death, he was planning a trip to Europe and travel had always been a personal love of his. He also wrote military and adventure stories and authored a book called, U.S. Archives: Vol. 1, The Run for Crystal Palace.
Before his death, he developed a new line of tattoo inks for make-up artists.
NCIS airs on Tuesday nights at 8/7c on CBS.