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Bio | Gene's Résumé
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“Anything I’ve ever accomplished, or created artistically, I dedicate and owe to my Mom, June Marie Read Doucette. She once said that I could draw before I could talk. All of my gifts are from her.
My Mom was a hard working woman with a natural gift to create. She was a true natural artisan. She could take a few bucks and redecorate our entire apartment out of odds and ends. She could knit, hang wallpaper, refinish furniture, cook, and manage to hold down a full time job as a waitress while raising four unruly kids who never managed to get sick at the same time. I sometimes wonder how she managed to put up with us. She was always there and never let us down.
Any talent I may posses comes truly from her. I can only hope that I’ve made her proud of me.”
Doucette was born February 8, 1948 in Brooklyn, NY. He is
the second of four children (2 boys & girls). Gene is
of French Canadian and Iroquois Indian descent. His father
was a printer, his mother a waitress.
is a self-taught artist and has been drawing since he could
hold a pencil. He moved to Los Angeles in 1970 in response
to a job offer. The job fell through and Gene was stranded
in LA with two suitcases and $25. He then worked as a bus boy,
waiter, supermarket checker, and clothes salesman.
met Kent Warner (costumer) at an MGM auction and Kent helped
him get a job at Berman’s Costumes. At about the same
time, Gene accepted employment with Pzazz Designs, a Hollywood-based
costuming company. He started working out of the owner-operator,
Nick Sherlock’s garage. Gene was hired to work part-time
at first and it then became a full time job. As Pzazz grew,
so did Gene’s position.
1972, Gene started doing the designing on Elvis Presley’s
costumes. Because Gene worked in the background, Bill Belew’s
name became synonymous with Elvis Costumes. In the 1970’s,
Bill Belew was in big demand. He was busy doing
television shows and movies, so he would give Gene the blank
suits and Gene would design them himself. Gene designed most
of the suits from 1972 until Elvis’ death. He designed
the more elaborate suits such as the Aloha, Peacock, Sundial,
Tiger, and American Eagle. The list goes on and on. In the
late 1970’s, Pzazz fell on hard times. Gene started
his free-lance career working for many different entertainers,
television shows, and movies.
1988, Gene was brought together with Butch and Kim Polston
of B & K Enterprises Costume Co., Inc. through Ciro Romano,
Elvis’ tailor since 1968. At that time, a business relationship
and close friendship was formed. Gene works on Elvis Presley
remakes exclusively through B & K Enterprises Costume
Co., Inc. , and also does designing on country western wear
and outer wear. Gene also continues to work in the entertainment
currently lives in a plush area of California with his kitten,
Phoebe. In his spare time, Gene enjoys musicals (Fred Astaire
and Ginger Rogers), sci-fi movies and Disney. His fondest
memory of Elvis was seeing him on the “Ed Sullivan Show”
singing “Hound Dog”.