Gene Allen, I think that at 96 he qualifies as an Old Master…oh, and he won an Oscar for designing My Fair Lady

gene allen oscar

He not only designed, but he wrote, directed, and headed the Motion Picture Academy. Read about his experiences on My Fair Lady here, and click on the letters below to read an autobiographical sketch he wrote for the Art Director’s Guild.

…I was hired as a sketch artist on the  WB production of the Judy Garland, James Mason, George Cukor  film, “A Star is Born.”  The Art Director, New York stage designer, Lem Ayres,  took me to a production meeting, I met Cukor, suggested a story change that he liked it, and as someone once said, the rest is history. My  credit on “Star”  went from  sketch artist,  to assistant Art Director,  to Art Director, and  finally , at Jack Warner’s insistence, to Production Designer.  The film was a hit and I received an AMPAS  “Best Art Direction” nomination.   As time went on I received two other “Best Art Direction  nominations;  Cukor’s, “Les Girls,” and, “My Fair Lady.”   The third time being charmed, I won  the “Oscar…


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  1. October 25, 2014

    Great bit of history! Yes, I’d say he’s a master all right.

  2. November 8, 2014

    In that top photo, he looks like my dad might have looked, had he lived long enough.

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