Eugene Lee, the award-winning production designer for “Wicked” and “Saturday Night Live,” has died. He was 83 years old.
His death was shared by the official Twitter page for “Wicked.”
Lee had been with “Saturday Night Live” since its debut in 1975, and worked on sets including the “Saturday Night Live: 15th Anniversary” and “SNL Presents: Halloween.”
Prior to joining the show, Lee was the in-house set designer for Trinity Repertory Company in Providence, R.I., and remained in that position at Trinity Rep throughout his life.
Lee, a six-time Emmy winner, won consecutive Emmys for Outstanding Art Direction For Variety or Nonfiction Programming from 2017-2021. He earned a total of 18 Emmy nominations.
In addition to his TV work, Lee worked on Broadway designing sets for “Sweeney Todd,” “Wicked” and “Candide” — all of which earned him Tony Awards. He also served as scenic designer for the original productions of “Merrily We Roll Along” and “Seussical.”
As well as working in theater and TV, Lee had also created an impressive array of scenic designs for film. He worked on Francis Ford Coppola’s “Hammett,” Danny Huston’s “Mr. North,” Louis Malle’s “Vanya on 42nd Street,” and Jonathan Demme’s “A Master Builder.”
Lee was awarded the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Set Design three times, as well as the Lucille Lortel Award, the Elliot Norton Award for Sustained Excellence, the Pell Award, and the DesignxRI Lifetime Achievement Award. He has been recently inducted into the New York Theater Hall of Fame.
A Wisconsin native, Eugene earned two BFA degrees from the Art Institute of Chicago and Carnegie Mellon University, as well as an MFA from the Yale Drama School. His creativity and passion led to the achievement of three honorary Ph.Ds.
Lee is survived by his wife Brooke and two sons.