Vidal Sassoon promised that if his customers didn't look good, then his haircare empire wouldn't look good. And generations of chic, well-heeled and often famous customers took him up on that challenge!
The British-born stylist and ladies man, who modernized the bob haircut in the 1960s and later became a name brand, died Wednesday of what appears to be natural causes, the LAPD confirms to E! News. He was 84.
Officers said that there were family members at Sassoon's Mulholland Drive residence when they arrived after being called at around 10:30 a.m.
Sassoon—with a born name like that, he had to be famous, right?—was born in Hammersmith, London, in 1928. After his father left his mother when Sassoon was 3, he and his little brother lived in a Jewish orphanage for seven years. At the age of 20, Sassoon joined the Israeli army and fought in the Arab-Israeli War in 1948.
"When you have an influence over people because of what you do, yes, absolutely, he should," the hairdresser said. "It's OK saying sorry, but when you are drunk you say what you really feel."
Sassoon opened his own salon in London's Mayfair district in the mid-1950s, and in 1963 Sassoon crafted the short, angular "Nancy Kwan" bob that became all the rage.
Sassoon memorably created the pixie cut that Mia Farrow wore so charmingly in Rosemary's Baby, and he did the same for British supermodel Twiggy and other celebs who would fly to London to get his hands on their hair.
After moving to the United States, Sassoon set up shop in Beverly Hills and ultimately created an entire line of haircare products. A documentary about his life, fittingly called Vidal Sassoon: The Movie, came out in 2010.
"If you have a sense of style and purpose and will you don't want to compromise," he told the Telegraph. "You must always do what you feel is right."
Sassoon, who married four times, is survived by his fourth wife, Rhonda, three children and a number of grandchildren. His eldest daughter, Catya, died of a drug overdose when she was 33.