×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Charles Lisanby, Emmy-Winning Art Director, Dies at 89

Charles Lisanby, a three-time Emmy winning art director, died at his Los Angeles home from complications following a fall on Aug. 23. He was 89.

In 2010 Lisanby became the first production designer inducted in the Television Academy’s Hall of Fame.

Lisanby was one of the great pioneers of television design, responsible for one of the first daytime shows for CBS — Aaron Copland’s “Billy the Kid,” in 1948 — because William Paley wanted to see if dance would work on television. Lisanby continued working on Broadway and in television until 1999, when he was nominated for the Art Directors Guild’s excellence in production design award for “Reflections on Ice: Michelle Kwan Skates to the Music of Disney’s ‘Mulan.'”

He won his three Primetime Emmys in 1988 for “Barry Manilow: Big Fun on Swing Street” (with a nomination the same year for “The 60th annual Academy Awards”); in 1980 for “Barishnikov on Broadway”; and in 1975 for “Benjamin Franklin.” He was nominated for another seven Primetime Emmys.

He designed “The Gary Moore Show,” which introduced Carol Burnett to TV auds, and designed variety shows for such stars as Judy Garland, Barbra Streisand, Mitzi Gaynor and Dolly Parton.

He was an ADG (IATSE Local 800) member for more than 40 years and prior to that a member of United Scenic Artists since 1950.

Lisanby is survived by his longtime partner Richard Bostard and his sister-in-law Gladys. Funeral services are being held in Princeton, Kentucky, on Sept. 1.

Popular on Variety

More TV

  • 'The Muppets' Short-Form Series Coming to

    'The Muppets' Short-Form Series Coming to Disney Plus

    Kermit, Miss Piggy and co. are coming to Disney Plus. A short-form unscripted series starring the goofy puppets is set to premiere on the forthcoming Disney streaming service in 2020. The news was announced at the Disney Plus D23 Expo event. The announcement came with a brief teaser of Kermit and Joe the Legal Weasel [...]

  • Succession HBO

    'Succession' Composer Nicholas Britell on Making Music for the One Percent

    The Roys, the media empire family at the heart of HBO’s “Succession,” are ridiculously rich. They’re manipulative and cruel. They’re also a bit delusional and absurd. When Nicholas Britell conceived the show’s score, he wanted to capture all of that. “I wrote in this almost late-1700s, dark classical zone,” says Britell, the Oscar-nominated composer of [...]

  • Ewan McGregor of 'American Pastoral'Variety and

    Ewan McGregor Confirms Obi-Wan Kenobi Disney Plus Series to Shoot Next Year

    Ewan McGregor has confirmed that he will be reprising the role of Obi-Wan Kenobi for a Disney Plus series centered around the powerful Jedi, after Variety previously reported that he was in talks for the series. At Disney biennial D23 convention in Anaheim, Calif. on Friday, McGregor provided more details about the prospective show and [...]

  • Cody Rhodes, Brandi Rhodes. Professional wrestlers

    Listen: Brandi and Cody Rhodes Give Wrestlers’ Perspective to AEW

    Wrestlers and husband and wife duo Brandi and Cody Rhodes bring an inside the ring perspective to their executive roles at the nascent All Elite Wrestling (AEW). Cody Rhodes, executive vice president, and Brandi Rhodes, chief brand officer, spoke on Variety’s “TV Take” podcast with Joe Otterson about their new wrestling league.  AEW will put [...]

  • Ms Marvel She Hulk and Moon

    Ms. Marvel, Moon Knight, She-Hulk Series Ordered at Disney Plus

    Marvel debuted three new series it has ordered for streaming service Disney Plus at D23 Expo: a live-action Ms. Marvel series, as well as two additional series based on Moon Knight and She-Hulk. “That’s three new series coming to the MCU, that’s what Disney Plus is allowing us to do,” said president of Marvel Studios [...]

  • WGA Agents Contract Tug of War

    Opposition Candidate Blasts Writers Guild Tactics Over Agencies

    Opposition candidate Nick Jones Jr. has condemned the tactics of the Writers Guild of America in its battle against Hollywood agents. “I believe we’ve disrupted ourselves more than we’ve disrupted the Big 4,” he said. Jones, who’s running for the secretary-treasurer post as part of Phyllis Nagy’s Writers Forward Together slate, is running on a [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content