Theresa Acciaroli retired at the age of 68 only to start a new business and continue working as an independent skin care expert for another 20 years.
Acciaroli began her career in the 1950’s with a cosmetology license and a job at the Elizabeth Arden Salon in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. At the time, it still was not common to see women working full time, making Acciaroli an early pioneer.
More than just a working stiff, Acciaroli opened a facial department at Beti Weitzner Salon in Pittsburgh, managing the program, which was again, out of the ordinary for a woman at the time. It was there that she met actor Robert Alda and his wife Flora, parents of actor Alan Alda, and struck up a relationship with them. She invited the couple to join her family for Easter and was surprised to find that they accepted her invitation.
Working with the Alda’s was just the beginning of Acciaroli’s career. She began providing her services as an esthetician to a host of other celebrities and important figures like philanthropist and civic leader Elsie Hillman and comedian Phyllis Diller. As a makeup artist to the stars, Acciaroli garnered respect across the industry, but retired at the age of 68.
However, Acciaroli did not simply fade away into retirement, instead starting the new chapter of her life by starting up Salon diGiorgi and running another facial department at Christian Studio in downtown Pittsburgh.
Acciaroli never stopped moving, and kept working with celebrities, dignitaries, and common folk alike until 2007 when, at the age of 88, even she could not keep up the same pace she had been maintaining for 55 years.
She passed away this last week at the age of 95. It is a loss not just for the beauty community that she was a part of so long, but for working women everywhere who followed in her footsteps.