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Robert Fletcher, the prolific costume and set designer for both stage and screen, including for the first four Star Trek movies, has died. He was 98.
Fletcher died in Kansas City on April 5. He is considered the father of the classic Klingon and Vulcan as they have evolved over the years as part of the Star Trek film franchise.
Fletcher was also a major set and costume designer for opera and ballet companies, having worked on Lincoln Kirstein’s ballet and opera projects, with Jerome Robbins on musicals, and designed the costumes for the original Broadway productions of the musicals How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying and Walking Happy.
He also designed the costumes for and played the role of Edgar in Orson Welles’s 1956 New York City Center production of Shakespeare’s King Lear. Fletcher was married for 65 years to the late Jack Kauflin, who was an original member of the New York City Ballet, a singer and a Broadway dancer.
As he turned to television, Fletcher in the 1950s was NBC’s general designer. And he produced Noel Coward’s High Spirits and the off-Broadway revival of Best Foot Forward, which introduced Liza Minnelli.
Fletcher received three Tony Award nominations for his work on Little Me (1963), High Spirits (1964), where he was a co-producer, scenic and costume designer, and Hadrian VII (1969). He received a Drama Desk Award nomination for outstanding costume design for Othello in 1982, which starred James Earl Jones, Christopher Plummer and Dianne Wiest.
In 2005 Fletcher was awarded the Career Achievement Award from the Costume Designers Guild and in 2008 he received a Theatre Development Fund / Irene Sharaff Lifetime Achievement Award for his set design work.
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Jon M. Chu