The Briton, who died at the age of 85, had notably worked with Roman Polanski and Steven Spielberg, and dressed stars like Harrison Ford, Glenn Close and Johnny Depp.
Six times nominated and three times winner of the precious statuette, making him one of the ten most awarded costume designers in Oscar history, Briton Anthony Powell was one of the biggest names in costume making in Hollywood. He died on April 16 at the age of 85, his friend and costume designer Scott Traugott announced on Facebook: “We have lost a brilliant costume designer, a true gentleman. I was honored to follow him in the shadows on many productions. A light has gone out in our universe“.
From the age of eleven, Anthony Powell began to frequent the theater world. He quickly developed a passion for making costumes, admiring in particular Cecil Beaton, who created the outfits for the famous film. My Fair Lady. Anthony then became Beaton’s assistant, before working on the play in 1963. The School of Backbiting, which earned him the Tony Award for Best Costume.
He then took his first steps in Hollywood in 1969, with The Royal Hunt of the Sun by Irving Lerner, in which he dresses Spanish conquistadors and Inca chiefs. But it was really in 1972 with Trips with my aunt by George Cukor (My Fair Lady, A star is born) that Anthony Powell made himself known. With this film, he received his first Oscar for best costume in 1973, thanks to the original outfits worn by Maggie Smith.
He won the statuette for the second time in 1979, for his glamorous 1930s costumes in the film Death on the Nile by John Gullermin, then one last time in 1981 for Tess by Roman Polanski. He also received three nominations, for Pirates, also by Roman Polanski, for whom he won a César in 1987, then for Hook or Captain Hook’s Revenge by Steven Spielberg in 1992, and finally for 102 Dalmatians by Kevin Lima in 2001. In 2000, he received a Costume Designers Guild Award for Lifetime Achievement.
Anthony Powell also shines in two Indiana Jones by Steven Spielberg, whose look of the character played by Sean Connery is inspired by his own grandfather. He made his last outfits for the big screen in 2006, in the film Miss Potter by Chris Noonan, which traces the life of novelist Beatrix Potter.
If the name of Anthony Powell remains despite everything little known to the general public, the memories of the sumptuous red coat of Cruella, the mythical hat of Indiana Jones or even the sophisticated uniform of Captain Hook will be remembered for a long time to come.
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