Won Emmy for soap 'Search for Tomorrow,' worked on films, in TV

Costume designer Connie Wexler died on Jan. 14 in New York due to complications of the flu. She was 85 and was suffering from Alzheimer’s.

She won a Daytime Emmy for the soap opera “Search for Tomorrow” and had been nominated for her work as the original designer for PBS children’s show “3-2-1 Contact.” She was also the designer for Tony Randall sitcom “Love, Sidney.”

With her husband Peter Wexler, John Gleason and Eleanor Bunin, she designed the Lincoln Center production of “In the Matter of J. Robert Oppenheimer.”

As a young designer, she worked as an assistant on the classic films “Separate Tables,” “The King and I” and “Friendly Persuasion,” among many others. She did the same for the original productions of the Broadway musicals “Promises, Promises,” “Fiddler on the Roof” and “Funny Girl.” When designer Irene Sharaff became ill during the production of “Funny Girl,” Wexler completed the effort, working with Barbra Streisand and director Jerome Robbins.

She was fashion designer Donald Brooks’ principal Broadway assistant.

During her early training as a costume assistant at 20th Century Fox working on “The Seven Year Itch,” she put together the underwear essentials for what became the most famous film still in movie history — Marilyn Monroe’s dress being blown over her head while standing on a New York subway grate.

Wexler — born Constance Ross — served for a time on the board of governors of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences in New York.

She is survived her husband of 53 years, theater and music designer Peter Wexler.

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