Kathleen Ankers, longtime theatrical and TV set and costume designer, died Oct. 24, 2001, following a brief illness at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. She was 82.
A native of England, she graduated from the Farnham School of Art and later worked as a resident stage and costume designer at the Farnham Repertory Theatre. She worked at the Liverpool and Bristol regional Old Vic companies and also designed sets and costumes in London theatres.
She immigrated to Canada in 1948 and a few years later moved south to New York City where she took the United Scenic Artists’ Exam. She then worked in scenic and costume design in live television primarily for CBS.
She married in 1952 and settled in Bethlehem, Conn. During the 1970s, she designed several shows for the Hartford Stage Co. before returning to TV in New York.
Ankers enjoyed a long association with David Letterman initially on his morning show and later designing the sets for “Late Night” as well as special location sets for London, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Chicago. When Letterman moved to CBS and the Ed Sullivan Theater, she worked with the Landmark Commission to restore the legendary theatre to its former glory.
In 1995, her work on the Letterman show was recognized when she won an Emmy for outstanding individual achievement in art direction for a variety or music program.
Additionally, she designed sets for Letterman associated shows hosted by Tom Snyder and Craig Kilborn.
She is survived by her husband, Victor Allan, a daughter, grandson and her brother.