Award-winning theater and film costume designer Marianna Elliott died Saturday June 21 in Beverly Hills after a long bout with cancer. She was 72.
Born in China Grove, N.C., she attended the U. of South Carolina and the Parsons School of Design in Gotham, then went on to design the world premiere production of “Play On,” the musical written and directed by Sheldon Epps, based on the music of Duke Ellington. Epps and Elliott also collaborated on Tom Stoppard’s “The Real Thing” and Henrik Ibsen’s “Hedda Gabler,”
Resident designer for the Arena Stage in Washington, D.C., for 10 years, she also designed for other regional venues such as Seattle Rep, Arizona Theater Co., Pittsburgh Playhouse and L.A.’s Mark Taper Forum, including productions of “Floating Island,” “Green Card” and Stoppard’s “Arcadia,” which won her the 1998 L.A. Drama Critics Award. She also received several Drama-Logue Awards and the Distinguished Artist Award from the Los Angeles Music Center Club 100. At San Diego’s Old Globe, she worked on “Private Lives,” “Dancing at Lughnasa” and “Blues in the Night.”
Elliot also designed for film and TV, working on made-fors such as “Burden of Proof” and “Criminal Behavior” and the 1981 feature “Who’s Life is it Anyway?” starring Richard Dreyfuss.
She is survived by her husband, actor Alan Oppenheimer; two daughters, Jane Bergeron (formerly director of media and promo relations at Col TriStar TV) and Jennifer Oppenheimer (currently with Sony Pictures Digital); a son, Michael Oppenheimer; and four grandchildren.