Elois Jenssen

Oscar-winning costume designer

Oscar-winning costume designer Elois Jenssen died Feb. 14 at the Motion Picture Home in Woodland Hills, Calif. She was 81.

In addition to her lengthy career producing costumes for film and television productions, Jenssen was an active leader in both the Costume Designers Guild and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.

Born in Palo Alto, Calif., she attended the Westlake School for Girls but transferred to the Parsons School of Design in Paris at age 13 to study fashion design. When the outbreak of WWII interrupted those studies, she and her family returned to California, where Jenssen enrolled at the Chouinard Art Institute.

When she graduated Jenssen found a position with producer Hunt Stromberg’s new company as an assistant to costume designer Natalie Visart. She succeeded Visart as Stromberg’s top designer three years later and received her first screen credit for her work in “Dishonored Lady,” which starred Hedy Lamarr.

After Stromberg closed his production office, Jenssen freelanced for a period, during which she again designed costumes for Lamarr in “Let’s Live A Little.” At the end of 1948, she became one of five designers recruited for the massive job of producing the costumes for the Cecil B. DeMille epic “Samson and Delilah.” Jenssen, Edith Head, Dorothy Jeakins, Gile Steele and Gwen Wakeling all won Oscars for the production.

Following work on several additional films, Jenssen moved into television, where she first produced the designs for Ann Sothern in “Private Secretary,” then worked for several years with Lucille Ball on “I Love Lucy.” Her other television credits include designs for shows starring Julie Newmar (“My Living Doll”) and Eleanor Parker (“Bracken’s World”).

In 1982 she received her second Academy Award nomination for her work on the Disney sci-fi film “Tron.”

Jenssen was predeceased by her husband, Thomas J. Andre Jr. She is survived by her stepson, five stepgrandchildren, six stepgreat-grandchildren and several cousins.

A memorial service and reception will be held 2 p.m. April 3 at the Motion Picture & Television Fund Country House.

More Scene

  • Mj Rodriguez, Nico Santos to Announce

    Mj Rodriguez, Nico Santos to Announce GLAAD Media Award Nominations

    Mj Rodriguez and Nico Santos are set to announce the nominees for the 30th annual GLAAD Media Awards. The “Pose” star and “Crazy Rich Asians” funny man will make the announcement during a live-stream hosted by AT&T and from the AT&T Hello Lounge at the Sundance Film Festival on Friday, Jan. 25. “The images and stories recognized [...]

  • Emile Hirsch, Matt SmileyEmile Hirsch hosts

    Emile Hirsch Hosts Smiley Face Art Opening at Mondrian Hotel

    Despite the rain on Wednesday night in West Hollywood, there were plenty of smiles inside the Mondrian hotel thanks to artist Matt Smiley‘s Refresh exhibition. Not only is Smiley his real last name, but several of his paintings and other pieces in the exhibit feature smiley faces. “I’ve seen more smiley symbolism lately, and I’ve [...]

  • Randall Park, left, and Constance Wu

    Constance Wu Wants Her 'Fresh Off the Boat' Co-Star Randall Park to Host the Oscars

    While the Academy may have decided to go hostless for this year’s Oscars, that doesn’t mean the rest of Hollywood has stopped thinking about who would be a good choice for the emceeing gig. Former host Whoopi Goldberg recently suggested Ken Jeong. Jeong said, when he was a guest on “The View,” Goldberg told him [...]

  • 'Schitt's Creek' Stars Reveal Dream Guest

    'Schitt's Creek' Cast Reveals Dream Guest Stars: Oprah, Beyonce and ...

    “Schitt’s Creek” has big dreams. Dan Levy, who stars as David on the series, says his wish list of guest stars includes Oprah, Beyonce, Mariah Carey and Gwyneth Paltrow. “All for different reasons, none of whom we’ll get,” he cracked at the Critics’ Choice Awards. For those who haven’t caught on to the “Schitt’s Creek” [...]

  • Barbra Streisand and Gisele Bundchen

    Barbra Streisand and Gisele Bündchen to Be Honored at UCLA Science Gala

    Science can be very glamorous. It certainly will be during Oscar week on Feb. 21 when the UCLA Institute of the Environment & Sustainability (IoES) honors Barbra Streisand and Gisele Bündchen for environmental activism at its annual Hollywood for Science Gala. “When I moved to LA, the air was unbreathable. Rivers were catching fire in [...]

  • Don Cheadle and Andrew Rannells Black

    Don Cheadle, Andrew Rannells Talk Snorting 'Coke' on 'Black Monday'

    “Black Monday” show creators David Caspe and Jordan Cahen divulged an intriguing detail to come later in the first season of the new Showtime comedy at its world premiere, held at the Theatre at Ace Hotel on Monday night in Los Angeles. “The fourth or fifth episode opens with a sexual harassment seminar, which very well [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content