Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Cedric Gibbons

Who died on this date:

Famed film art director, Cedric Gibbons was born on March 23, 1893 in Dublin, Ireland. He is considered one of the most important and influential people in the history of American film. He also made a great impact on motion picture theater architecture through the 1930s to 1950s, the period considered the golden-era of theater architecture. He studied at the Art Students League of New York and worked for his architect father. In 1918, he signed with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and would stay on with the studio until 1956.

Gibbons was one of the original thirty-six founding members of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and oversaw the design of the Academy Awards statuette in 1929, a trophy for which he himself would be nominated 39 times, winning 11, second only to Walt Disney, who won 26. He retired in 1956 with about 1,500 films credited to him: however, his contract with MGM dictated that he receive credit as art director for every MGM film released in the United States, even though other designers may have done the bulk of the work.

Actress Dolores del Rio, the first wife of Cedric Gibbons

In 1930, Gibbons married actress Dolores del Río and co-designed their house in Santa Monica, an intricate Art Deco residence influenced by Rudolf Schindler. They divorced in 1941 and that same year he married actress Hazel Brooks with whom he remained with until his death on July 26, 1960. Gibbons is buried at the Calvary Cemetery, East Los Angeles.

Actress Hazel Brook, the second wife of Cedric Gibbons

http://www.michaelthomasbarry.com/, author of "Fade to Black: Graveside Memories of Hollywood Greats, 1927-1950"

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