Paula Kent Meehan, a television actress, who founded Valley cosmetics giant Redken Laboratories died earlier this week after a lengthy battle with lung infections. She was 82.
Meehan founded Redken in 1960 along with hairdresser Jheri Redding. The company was among the first to take a scientific approach to cosmetic products. She bought out Redding within five years and became sole owner of the company.
About 10 years later, the company went public and moved into a massive 250,000 square foot manufacturing facility in Canoga Park, where it would remain for decades. In 1993, the company was sold to French cosmetics juggernaut L’Oreal, which moved the company headquarters to Fifth Avenue in New York.
Meehan was born in Beverly Hills, but grew up in Burbank. She started Redken with about $3,500 she earned in a Hamm’s beer commercial. During her acting days, she also appeared in the TV series “77 Sunset Strip.”
Meehan also was heavily involved in local charity, including founding Pets 90210, a rescue group, and donating $5 million to the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills last year. In May, Meehan purchased the Beverly Hills Courier, a weekly paper.
She also served on the Board of Directors of Union Bank of California and was chairwoman of the regulatory committee of the Economic Development Commission of California.