Randall Duell, an Oscar-nominated art director and designer of American amusement parks, has died of stroke complications. He was 89.
He designed Southern California’s Magic Mountain park.
Duell was born on a farm in Russell County, Kansas. His family came to California in 1912. His first taste of rides, slides and thrills came three years later at the San Diego Fair.
Duell graduated from the USC School of Architecture and joined filmmaking after the Depression flattened the construction industry.
He was art director for 65 MGM films, and received Academy Award nominations for “When Ladies Meet” (1941), “Random Harvest” (1942) and “The Blackboard Jungle” (1955). In 1952, he and Cedric Gibbons collaborated on “Singin’ in the Rain.”
In the 1950s, he left film for theme park work. He co-designed Pleasure Island in Boston and Freedomland in New York, before forming his firm and taking on its first project, Six Flags Over Texas.
His company also created the original Universal Studios Tour and Opryland in Nashville, Tenn.
Duell Corp. is designing the theme park portion of MGM’s 33-acre, $ 1 billion hotel, casino and studio tour attraction in Las Vegas.
Duell is survived by his wife, Rachel, and son, Roger.