The Art Directors Guild (ADG) will posthumously induct production designer Carmen Dillon, production and costume designer Patricia Norris, art director and set designer Dorothea Holt Redmond and illustrator Dianne Wager into its Hall of Fame at the guild’s 20th Annual Excellence in Production Design Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Jan. 31.
“These women made great strides in their craft achieving prominence despite designing in a field dominated by men,” said ADG council chairwoman Marcia Hinds.
As the first female art director in the British film industry, Dillon made history in 1949 when she became the first woman to win an Oscar for set decoration for her work on Sir Laurence Olivier’s Hamlet (1948).
As with many art directors, Dillon trained for six years as an architect before joining the art department at London’s 20th Century Fox. She later went on to work with British art directors Paul Sheriff (Henry V) and Roger Furse (Hamlet), creating two films considered landmarks in the history of film design. Her film credits include Richard III (1955), The Importance of Being Earnest (1952), The Browning Version (1951), The Prince and the Showgirl (1957), The Go-Between (1971) and The Omen (1976). Dillon also earned an Emmy for the British TV movie Love Among the Ruins (1975). Dillon died on April 12, 2000 in Hove, England.
An Oscar nominee and Emmy winner, Norris is one of a few American designers who have been able to successfully combine the dual practices of production and costume design for film and television. In 2011, she became the only artist to receive a lifetime achievement award from both the Art Directors Guild and the Costume Designers Guild. Starting in the stock room of MGM‘s costume department in the mid-1960s, Norris soon graduated to designing. Throughout her career, she received six Academy Award nominations for best costume design and an Emmy award for David Lynch‘s Twin Peaks. Her film credits as costume designer include 12 Years a Slave (2013), Wild at Heart (1990), Sunset (1988), 2010 (1984), Scarface (1983), The Elephant Man (1980) and Days of Heaven (1978). She served as production designer on 22 films and TV shows, including Killing Them Softly (2012), The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007), The Singing Detective (2003) and the CBS mini-series Return to Lonesome Dove (1993). Norris died on Feb. 20, 2015 in Van Nuys, Calif.
Illustrator and production designer Redmond broke ground in 1938 when she became the first woman to break into the male-dominated field of production design. Best known for helping visually conceptualize Alfred Hitchcock’s films, she worked on over 30 films spanning her 20-year career, including Gone with the Wind (1939) and The Ten Commandments (1956). After studying architecture at USC, Redmond was hired by David O. Selznick‘s studio, making her the first female production designer. She later went on to illustrate seven of Hitchcock’s films including Rebecca (1940), Rear Window (1954) and To Catch a Thief (1955). After a decade with architects William Pereira and Charles Luckman, she was hired by Walt Disney to help envision several elements of Disneyland and Disney World, including the Disneyland Dream Suite, New Orleans Square and the mosaic murals at Cinderella Castle. Redmond died on Feb. 27, 2009 in Hollywood.
Set designer and art director Dianne Wagner worked on over 40 films including The Hunt for Red October (1990), Crimson Tide (1995), The Green Mile (1999) and Jurassic Park III (2001). She received ADG Award nominations for her set design work on Changeling (2008) and her art direction work on Pleasantville (1999). After graduating from Chouinard Art Institute, Wagner began her Hollywood career as a set designer on Woody Allen’s sci-fi comedy Sleeper (1973). Her film and TV credits include HBO’s John Adams, The Parent Trap (1998), Heat (1995), Star Trek Generations (1994), Lethal Weapon 2 (1989), Scrooged (1988) and Annie (1982). She died on Aug. 23, 2011 in Duarte, Calif.