Richard Day

Active - 1923 - 2004  |   Born - May 9, 1896   |   Died - Jan 1, 1972   |   Genres - Drama, Comedy, Romance, Musical, Mystery

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Biography by Hal Erickson

American production designer Richard Day first gained industry notice as one of the most trusted associates of director Erich von Stroheim. After successfully translating Stroheim's designs to on-set reality in 1919's Blind Husbands, Day remained as the director's principal set decorator throughout the '20s. Day's cathedral altar set for 1928's The Wedding March was so authentic looking that cinematographer Hal Mohr elected to be married before it! Working in collaboration during the early-talkie years, Day went solo as a production designer in 1930, then latched onto Samuel Goldwyn studios, where he won Academy Awards for his work on The Dark Angel (1935) and Dodsworth (1936). While with 20th Century-Fox in 1942, Day conceived the meticulously detailed Welsh village set for How Green Was My Valley (1941), which would see service in several subsequent productions until it was bulldozed along with the rest of the studio backlot in 1962. Richard Day went on to win additional Oscars for This Above All (1942) and My Gal Sal (1942) at Fox, A Streetcar Named Desire (1951) at Warner Bros., and On the Waterfront (1954) at Columbia. Richard Day's final assignment was 1970's Tora! Tora! Tora!, a painstakingly accurate restaging of the Pearl Harbor attack, for which 20th Century-Fox spent more money than the Japanese had on the original attack in 1941.

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