British production designer John Box, who won Oscars for “Lawrence of Arabia” and three other films, died March 7 in London. He was 85.
Known for his lavish period designs, he also won Oscars for “Doctor Zhivago,” “Oliver” and “Nicholas and Alexandria.” He won British Academy Awards for “A Man for All Seasons,” “The Great Gatsby” and “Rollerball.”
The look of David Lean’s “Lawrence of Arabia,” shot in Jordan, Morocco and Spain, became an indelible part of film history. For the Russian-set “Dr. Zhivago,” he built country houses and created snowstorms in Spain using plastic sheeting and marble dust, while for “The Inn of the Seventh Happiness,” he built an entire Chinese walled city in Wales. For “Rollerball,” he not only designed the arena, but helped to devise the game.
Born in Hampstead, Box trained as an architect and served in WWII in France. After the war he entered the film industry and worked as a draftsman, soon moving up to art director.
Among other films he designed were “The World of Suzie Wong,” “Of Human Bondage,” “Travels with My Aunt” and “Sorcerer.”
He is survived by two daughters.
Donations may be made to Princess Alice Hospice, c/o T.H Sanders and Sons, 35 Barnes High St., London SW13 9LP, United Kingdom.