Carl Toms, one of the most successful British stage designers of his time, died Aug. 4 of emphysema in London. He was 72.
Toms designed sets for the theater, films, opera and ballet in a career that spanned 40 years.
He hit his stride in 1969 when he was chosen as design consultant for the ceremony to invest Charles, Queen Elizabeth II’s oldest son, as the Prince of Wales at Caernarvon Castle in Wales. For that, Toms was awarded the Order of the British Empire. Commissions to redecorate several West End theaters and other well-known venues followed.
Besides designing sets for more than 40 stage productions in London, New York and Los Angeles, Toms was known for his work for the English National Ballet, the Royal Opera House, the National Theatre, Vienna National Theatre, Vienna State Opera, the Metropolitan Opera in New York, the San Diego Opera Company and the San Francisco Opera.
He also designed sets and costumes for numerous films including “One Million Years B.C.” (1966), “Moon Zero Two” (1969) and “When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth” (1970). In 1968, he served as the production designer on the film “The Winter’s Tale.”
He won a Tony Award and Drama Desk Award for theater design in 1974 for “Sherlock Holmes,” which had runs in London and New York.