Ian Whittaker, the British actor turned Oscar-winning set decorator known for his work on films such as Alien, The howl ends, Tommy and Anna and the kingdied October 16 of prostate cancer, Guardians reported. He is 94 years old.
Whittaker was also the makeup artist for Charlie Chaplin’s costume Countess of Hong Kong (1967), James Clavell’s To you, with love (1967), by Tony Richardson In charge of the Light Brigade (1968) and Jim Sharman’s Rocky’s Horror Picture Show (1975) and art director of Michael Ritchie’s Downhill racer (1969) and Derek Jarman’s Storms (In 1979).
He has collaborated with director Ken Russell on nine films, from the 1971 release Music lovers, Boyfriend and Demons arrive Tommy (1975), Lisztomania (1975) – both with The Who’s Roger Daltrey – and Rudolf Nureyev in the lead Valentine (In 1977).
Whittaker received his Oscar – shared with production designer Luciana Arrighi, with whom he has collaborated on 16 films – for his work in the lavish production of Merchant Ivory The howl ends (1992).
They are also nominated for Rest of the day (1993), another beautiful period work by James Ivory, Ismail Merchant and Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, and for Andy Tennant directed Anna and the king (1999), starring Jodie Foster and Chow Yun-Fat.
Whittaker has earned his first Oscar nomination for Ridley Scott’s sci-fi masterpiece Alien (1979) – he used pieces of old washing machine and spray-painted white for the interior of the Nostromo spacecraft – and later was the set decorator for the musical Prince Under the cherry moon (1986), Highlands (1986) and Ang Lee’s Sensation and sensitivity (1995).
Ian Roy Whittaker was born in London on July 13, 1928. His father, Hugh, was a stage manager and later personal assistant to the Oscar winner. Disraeli actor George Arliss; His mother, Hettie, was a musical performer.
Whittaker studied acting at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art with Roger Moore, then appeared with Laurence Olivier and Ralph Richardson in the legendary 1945 play of Oedipus Rex.
After serving in the military, he acted for director Lewis Gilbert in films Cosh Boy (In 1953), The sea won’t have them (1954), Reach the sky (1956) and Sink Bismarck! (In 1960).
A painter and decorator on the side, he sought an art department gig and was hired by John Boorman on Have a wild weekend (1965), starring The Dave Clark Five. He almost never acts again.
His resume also includes The Sailor Who Fell From Grace With Sea (1976), The Watcher in the Woods (1980), Dragon Slayer (1981), The edge of the razor (1984), Emerald forest (1985), Mrs. Sousatzka (1988), It’s Julia (2004) and Julian Fellowes’ Depending on the time (2009), his last credit.
Survivors include his longtime partner, Mick Hickman.