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Ian Whittaker, Set Decorator on ‘Alien,’ ‘Howards End’ and ‘Tommy,’ Dies at 94

Ian Whittaker, the Oscar-winning British actor turned set decorator, known for his work in films such as Alien, howards end, Tommy Y anna and the kingdied on October 16 of prostate cancer, The Guardian informed. She was 94.

Whittaker also served as a decorator on the Charlie Chaplin film. A Countess from Hong Kong (1967), James Clavell’s To the lord, with love (1967), Tony Richardson The Charge of the Light Brigade (1968) and Jim Sharman The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975) and as art director at Michael Ritchie’s downhill runner (1969) and Derek Jarman The Tempest (1979).

He collaborated with director Ken Russell on nine feature films, since the 1971 releases. music lovers, The boyfriend Y The demons a Tommy (1975), peanut flour (1975), both with Roger Daltrey of The Who, and the one with Rudolf Nureyev. valentine (1977).

Whittaker received his Oscar, shared with his production designer Luciana Arrighi, with whom he partnered on 16 films, for his work on the lavish production of Merchant Ivory. howards end (1992).

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They were also nominated for What’s left of the day (1993), another beautiful period piece by James Ivory, Ismail Merchant, and Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, and for the Andy Tennant-helmed anna and the king (1999), starring Jodie Foster and Chow Yun-Fat.

Whittaker got his first Oscar nomination for Ridley Scott’s sci-fi masterpiece Alien (1979), used parts from old washing machines and spray-painted them white for the interior of the Nostromo spacecraft, and was later the decorator for the musical Prince. under the cherry moon (1986), Highlander (1986) and Ang Lee Sense and Sensibility (nineteen ninety five).

TOMMY, Roger Daltrey, 1975

Roger Daltrey in a scene from ‘Tommy’ from 1975

Courtesy of the Everett Collection

Ian Roy Whittaker was born in London on July 13, 1928. His father, Hugh, was a stage manager and later a personal assistant to the Oscar winner. Disraeli actor George Arliss; his mother, Hettie, was a musical theater performer.

Whittaker studied acting at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art alongside Roger Moore, then appeared with Laurence Olivier and Ralph Richardson in a legendary 1945 stage production of King Oedipus.

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After military service, he acted for director Lewis Gilbert in the films Tough guy (1953), The sea will not have them (1954), Reach the sky (1956) and Sink the Bismarck! (1960).

In addition to being a painter and decorator, he sought work in the art department and was hired by John Boorman on have a wild weekend (1965), starring Dave Clark’s Five. He almost never acted again.

His resume also included The sailor who fell out of favor with the sea (1976), The Watcher in the Forest (1980), dragon slayer (1981), Razor’s edge (1984), The Emerald Forest (1985), Mrs Sousatzka (1988), being julia (2004) and Julian Fellowes From time to time (2009), his final credit.

Survivors include his longtime partner, Mick Hickman.


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