Emmy winner designed 'Dynasty' costumes
Costume designer Nolan Miller, whose work on the primetime soap “Dynasty” created a fashion for outsized shoulder pads and glamour in the 1980s and earned him an Emmy in 1984, died June 6 in Woodland Hills, Calif. He was 79 and had been suffering from lung cancer for six years.
In addition to the Emmy win, Miller was nominated three more times for his work on “Dynasty.” He also received nominations for his work designing Elizabeth Taylor’s costumes for the CBS telepic “Malice in Wonderland” in 1985 and for designing Ann-Margret’s costumes for NBC’s 1987 remake of classic thriller “The Two Mrs. Grenvilles.”
“We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of our longtime guild member and one of the greatest costume designers of our time, Nolan Miller. We will always be appreciative of the enormous contributions he made to our craft,” said Costume Designers Guild president Mary Rose in a statement.
On “Dynasty” Miller memorably designed over-the-top fashions inspired by Hollywood’s glamorous fashions of the 1940s. But they proved so popular that Miller designed a “Dynasty” line of women’s clothing.
During the 1980s, Miller designed glitzy garb not only for the entire run of “Dynasty” (1981-89) but for its spinoff “The Colbys” as well as for “The Love Boat” and “Hart to Hart,” among other series. During the same period he served as wardrobe consultant on the series “Hotel” and designed the costumes for the miniseries “Hollywood Wives” and a number of telepics.
He also found time for feature work on Blake Edwards’ 1989 comedy “Skin Deep” (other films include 1991’s “Soapdish” and “All I Want for Christmas”).
Many of the series for which Miller designed came from TV producers Aaron Spelling and Douglas S. Cramer. Other work for them included the 1970s series “Charlie’s Angels,” “Vegas” and “Fantasy Island.”
Later he was credited on 1991’s “Dynasty: The Reunion” and 2006’s “Dynasty Reunion: Catfights and Caviar” (in which he also appeared), and he also returned to design costumes for “Dynasty” star Joan Collins when she appeared on “Pacific Palisades” in 1997 and for “Dynasty” and “Colbys” mainstay Emma Samms on “Models Inc.” He also designed the costumes for ABC’s 2001 telepic “These Old Broads,” starring Shirley MacLaine, Debbie Reynolds, Collins and Elizabeth Taylor.
Nolan Bertrandoff Miller was born into decidedly unglamorous circumstances in Burkburnett, Texas, the fourth of five children. The family eventually moved to San Bernardino, Calif.
He attended CalArts forerunner Chouinard Art Institute and worked at a florist shop, where he befriended some celebrities and began to make dresses for the likes of Joan Crawford. In 1957 he opened his own studio.
During the 1960s he began to do television work, memorably clothing Carolyn Jones’ Morticia Addams on “The Addams Family.” His first credited series as costume designer was “Honey West,” starring Anne Francis, and he was the wardrobe consultant for “Green Acres.”
In 2000 Miller received the Costume Designers Guild’s Rit Color Award for Outstanding Achievement in Costume Design.
There are no immediate survivors.