Plastic Eyes -
If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, enter professional
oculist Dr. O. Robert Levy, one of only 150 craftsmen in the world
who designs and implants lifelike plastic eyeballs. His clientele,
over 30,000 in his career, included the one and only (and I do mean
this sincerely) Sammy Davis, Jr.
Dr. Levy, who received his B.S. degree from the Southern
California College of Optometry in Fullerton, California, fashions
plastic eyeballs made from Methyl Methacrylate, an acrylic also used
in the manufacture of dentures.
His eyeballs, meticulously realistic down to the finest details,
(i.e., veins and clear plastic sheets to simulate the cornea) can
average $800‑$1000 an eyeball.
His theatrical work included making weird contact lenses for the
1950s sci-fi movie X-The Man with X-ray Eyes (1963) starring
Ray Milland and designing the bugged-eyed peepers for the adorable
little alien in the Steven Spielberg movie E.T. The
TRIVIA NOTE: Peter Falk who played the role of a
shabby by savvy detective on the crime drama COLUMBO had a fake eye
in real life. At the age of three, Peter lost his right eye in
surgery to a malignant tumor. He was self conscious about his
handicap until he started to play baseball. Once, as the story goes,
an umpire made a questionable call at a little league game and a very
angry young Peter pulled his false eye from his head, handed it to
the umpire and declared "Here you need this more than I do!"
Years later Peter's dark brown eye and the squint caused by his
false right eye contributed to an air-of-menace and benevolent
detachment that established his acting presence on such drama
programs BOB HOPE PRESENTS THE CHRYSLER THEATRE/NBC/1963-67; THE
DUPONT SHOW OF THE WEEK/NBC/1961-64; THE UNTOUCHABLES/ABC/1959-63 (Nate
Selko, a thug); THE DICK POWELL SHOW/NBC/1961-63 (Outstanding single
performance by an actor in a leading role in the "Price of
Back to Top