Art director Robert F. Boyle dies at 100

Oscar nominee's credits include 'North by Northwest'

Robert F. Boyle, a four-time Academy Award nominee for art direction and a recipient of an honorary Oscar for his work on "North by Northwest," "Fiddler on the Roof" and nearly 90 other films, died Aug. 1 of natural causes at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. He was 100.

In 1997, Boyle was given a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Art Directors Guild and four years later was honored with the Hollywood Production Designer of the Year Award by the Hollywood Film Festival. Recently, he was given a tribute by the American Cinematheque and the ADG with a screening at the Egyptian Theatre of two of his designed films, "The Wolf Man" (1941) and "Gaily, Gaily" (1969).

Boyle received Oscar noms his work on "Gaily, Gaily," "Fiddler (1971), "North by Northwest" (1959) and "The Shootist" (1976).

Among his other major motion picture credits are "The Birds" (1963), "Winter Kills" (1979), "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas" (1982), "Private Benjamin" (1980), "Portnoy's Complaint" (1972), "The Thomas Crown Affair" (1968), "In Cold Blood" (1967), "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying" (1967), "The Russians Are Coming the Russians Are Coming" (1966) and the original "Cape Fear" (1962). He received his honorary Oscar in 2008.

Boyle worked on numerous films for Alfred Hitchcock and Norman Jewison as well as for such other famed directors as Tom Mankiewicz, Penny Marshall, Joe Dante, Sylvester Stallone, Hal Ashby, Arthur Hiller and Don Siegel.

Until he was hospitalized last week, he was a distinguished lecturer at the American Film Institute Conservatory in Los Angeles, where he was considered the "guiding light" of the institute's production design department.

Boyle is the subject of Daniel Raim's Oscar-nominated documentary "The Man on Lincoln's Nose" (2000), which refers to Hitchcock's "North by Northwest." He also is a prominent subject in Raim's newest documentary about production designers, "Something's Gonna Live," which includes participation by three other deceased production designers, Henry Bumstead, Albert Nozaki and Harold Michelson.

In 1973, he was nominated for an Emmy for "The Red Pony."

Boyle was born Oct. 10, 1909, in Los Angeles and was a graduate in 1933 of the School of Architecture of the University of Southern California. He began his art direction career that year at Paramount before moving to Universal. In 1941, Hitchcock chose him to be the art director on "Saboteur."

Boyle served as a member of the board of governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences for nine years and was a two-term ADG president.

Boyle is survived by two daughters, Emily Boyle-Biddle of Hollywood and Susan Licon of Toledo, Ore., and three grandchildren. His wife, Bess Taffel Boyle, died in 1999.

Funeral services are pending.
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