Norman Reynolds, who won Oscars in art direction for Star Wars episode VI: A new hope And Raiders of the Lost Ark passed away, Lucasfilm confirmed. He turned 89.
The native of the United Kingdom has made significant creative contributions to all three films in the original Star Wars trilogy, as art director op A new hope and production designer The Empire strikes back And Return of the Jedi. According to a biography shared by Lucasfilm, Reynolds worked closely with John Barry, A new hope‘s general production designer, to help establish the underlying design philosophy Star Wars architecture and construction. They joined art director Leslie Dilley and inducted set decorator Roger Christian as winners of the 1978 Academy Award for art direction. The Empire strikes backReynolds was named production designer when Barry directed.
For Raiders, Reynolds’ first collaboration with Spielberg, he sculpted the iconic golden idol that Indy tries to get his hands on during the film’s opening sequence. Reynolds used an Inca fertility statue he collected during his travels abroad.
His work also included the creation of the giant boulder that Indy runs off of as it rolls through a temple passage. Reynolds said it was Spielberg who kept asking for a bigger one. Raiders earned Reynolds his second Academy Award for art direction in 1982 along with art director Dilley and set decorator Michael Ford.
In addition to Raidershe worked with Spielberg as a production designer on kingdom of the sunfor which he also received an Oscar nomination.
“Norman was always smiling with enthusiasm, and there was nothing he couldn’t get to work,” Spielberg said in a released statement. “Joyful and kind and a tremendous talent.”
“Frank and I were shocked by the news of Norman’s passing this weekend,” Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy said in a released statement. “Norman was an exceptional person to work with. His contributions to the first entries of the Star Wars saga and Indiana Jones series helped set the standard for the look of these beloved stories that have inspired generations of film designers. Our thoughts are with his family.”
During his career, Reynolds also designed production for directors including Brain dePalma (Mission Impossible) and David Fincher (aliens 3). He directed Richard Donner’s 1978 Superman.