American production designer Hal Pereira started out creating background art for theatrical productions in his native Chicago. He obtained a job in the late '30s doing the interior design for Paramount's theatre chain, which led to his being made at unit art director at Paramount's Hollywood studios in 1942. Pereira was appointed head of the studio's art department in 1950, a job he held until 1968. His regime was ushered in by the black-and-white Billy Wilder films, flourished on subject matter as artistically varied as Roman Holiday (1953) and War of the Worlds (1953), and was closed out by such saturated-Technicolor epics as Will Penny (1968) and The Odd Couple (1968). Pereira won an Oscar for his work on The Rose Tattoo (1958), and was nominated on 22 other occasions. Upon his retirement from Paramount in 1968, Hal Pereira became a design consultant for his brother, architect William L. Pereira.