Film and television production designer Albert Brenner died on Dec. 8 at the age of 96. His wife of more than 40 years, Susan, was by his side. Some of his prominent credits included production work on “Bullitt,” “The Turning Point,” “Beaches,” “Sunshine Boys” and “California Suite.”
Brenner’s talent was well-respected within the industry, notching him five Academy Awards nominations for best art direction throughout his long-spanning career, for “Beaches,” “California Suite,” “Sunshine Boys,” “The Turning Point” and “2010: The Year We Make Contact.” Brenner worked on 57 films across four decades in the entertainment industry. In addition, Brenner served on the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Board of Governors along with a stint as the President of the Society of Art Directors. His contributions to the profession of production design was acknowledged by the Art Directors Guild with a Lifetime Achievement award in 2003.
Born on February 17, 1926 and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Brenner started his professional career when he moved to Connecticut for college, attending the Yale School of Drama. His training at the drama school became invaluable when he returned to New York to work as a production designer, starting with commercials and before moving into live television and feature films. In the 1960s, Brenner moved his family to Los Angeles as he began working on motion pictures full-time.
Brenner often spent weekends painting and sculpting, while he and wife Susan split their time between Los Angeles and Pietrasanta, Italy. In Italy, Brenner studied sculpting with master artisans.
Brenner is survived by his wife Susan, his children David, Kathryn, Faye, Rachel, Mara and six grandchildren.
Donations may be made to the Motion Picture and Television Fund.