13 August 1908|
11 October 1986 (aged 78)|
Los Angeles, California
Art director, production designer|
Boris Leven (in early movies – Boris Levin; August 13, 1908 – October 11, 1986) was a Russian-born Academy Award-winning art director and production designer whose Hollywood career spanned fifty-three years.
Born in Moscow in the family of Israel Levin and Zinaida Narkirier. Leven emigrated to the United States in 1927 and became a naturalized citizen in 1938. After receiving a Bachelor of Arts in architecture from the University of Southern California, he attended the Beaux-Arts Institute of Design in New York City.
A film crew at work on the set of Giant. The Victorian home Leven designed became an iconic image for the film.
Leven began his film career as a sketch artist at Paramount Pictures in 1933 and moved to 20th Century Fox three years later. His first screen credit was as the art director for Alexander's Ragtime Band (1938), which garnered him the first of nine Oscar nominations.
The designs Leven created over the years ranged from realistic to highly stylistic. For Giant (1956), he constructed the Victorian home that sits isolated in a wide expanse of open field, which became an iconic image for the film. His work for West Side Story (1961), which won him the Academy Award for Best Color Art Direction, included actual New York City locations combined with a tenement rooftop and fire escape, inspired by the more abstract stage production, that were built on a soundstage. For New York, New York (1977), he created a fantasized version of Manhattan set in the 1940s.
As an art director, Leven contributed to The Flying Deuces (1939), Hello Frisco, Hello (1943), Invaders from Mars (1953), The Silver Chalice (1954), and Jonathan Livingston Seagull (1973), among others. His credits as production designer include Donovan's Brain (1953), Anatomy of a Murder (1959), Two for the Seesaw (1962), The Sand Pebbles (1966), The Sound of Music (1965), Star! (1968), The Andromeda Strain (1971), Mandingo (1975), The Last Waltz (1978), The King of Comedy (1982), Fletch (1985) and The Color of Money (1986).
Leven wed Vera Glooshkoff on February 8, 1946. He died in Los Angeles, California. Mrs. Leven died at the age of 101 in June 2011. Prior to her death she had passed several of Boris Leven's paintings and film drawings to the University of Southern California and New York's MOMA.
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Black & White
/ Color separate
- 1940 (bw): Cedric Gibbons, Paul Groesse / (c): Vincent Korda
- 1941 (bw): Richard Day, Nathan H. Juran, Thomas Little / (c): Cedric Gibbons, Urie McCleary, Edwin B. Willis
- 1942 (bw): Richard Day, Joseph C. Wright, Thomas Little / (c): Richard Day, Joseph C. Wright, Thomas Little
- 1943 (bw): James Basevi, William S. Darling, Thomas Little / (c): Alexander Golitzen, John B. Goodman, Russell A. Gausman, Ira S. Webb
- 1944 (bw): Cedric Gibbons, William Ferrari, Paul Huldschinsky, Edwin B. Willis / (c): Wiard Ihnen, Thomas Little
- 1945 (bw): Wiard Ihnen, A. Roland Fields / (c): Hans Dreier, Ernst Fegté, Samuel M. Comer
- 1946 (bw): William S. Darling, Lyle R. Wheeler, Thomas Little, Frank E. Hughes / (c): Cedric Gibbons, Paul Groesse, Edwin B. Willis
- Set Decoration
Black & White
/ Color separate
- 1947 (bw): John Bryan, Wilfred Shingleton / (c): Alfred Junge
- 1948 (bw): Roger K. Furse, Carmen Dillon / (c): Hein Heckroth, Arthur Lawson
- 1949 (bw): Harry Horner, John Meehan, Emile Kuri / (c): Cedric Gibbons, Paul Groesse, Edwin B. Willis, Jack D. Moore
- 1950 (bw): Hans Dreier, John Meehan, Samuel M. Comer, Ray Moyer / (c): Hans Dreier, Walter Tyler, Samuel M. Comer, Ray Moyer
- 1951 (bw): Richard Day, George James Hopkins / (c): Cedric Gibbons, E. Preston Ames, Edwin B. Willis, F. Keogh Gleason
- 1952 (bw): Cedric Gibbons, Edward Carfagno, Edwin B. Willis, F. Keogh Gleason /(c): Paul Sheriff, Marcel Vertès
- 1953 (bw): Cedric Gibbons, Edward Carfagno, Edwin B. Willis, Hugh Hunt / (c): Lyle R. Wheeler, George Davis, Walter M. Scott, Paul S. Fox
- 1954 (bw): Richard Day / (c): John Meehan, Emile Kuri
- 1955 (bw): Hal Pereira, Tambi Larsen, Samuel M. Comer, Arthur Krams / (c): William Flannery, Jo Mielziner, Robert Priestley
- 1956 (bw): Cedric Gibbons, Malcolm F. Brown, Edwin B. Willis, F. Keogh Gleason / (c): Lyle R. Wheeler, John DeCuir, Walter M. Scott, Paul S. Fox
Black & White
/ Color separate
- 1959 (bw): Lyle R. Wheeler, George Davis, Walter M. Scott, Stuart A. Reiss / (c): William A. Horning (posthumous award), Edward Carfagno, Hugh Hunt
- 1960 (bw): Alexandre Trauner, Edward G. Boyle /(c): Alexander Golitzen, Eric Orbom (posthumous award), Russell A. Gausman, Julia Heron
- 1961 (bw): Harry Horner, Gene Callahan / (c): Boris Leven, Victor A. Gangelin
- 1962 (bw): Alexander Golitzen, Henry Bumstead, Oliver Emert /(c): John Box, John Stoll, Dario Simoni
- 1963 (bw): Gene Callahan / (c): John DeCuir, Jack Martin Smith, Hilyard M. Brown, Herman A. Blumenthal, Elven Webb, Maurice Pelling, Boris Juraga, Walter M. Scott, Paul S. Fox, Ray Moyer
- 1964 (bw): Vassilis Photopoulos /(c): Gene Allen, Cecil Beaton, George Hopkins
- 1965 (bw): Robert Clatworthy, Joseph Kish /(c): John Box, Terence Marsh, Dario Simoni
- 1966 (bw): Richard Sylbert, George Hopkins / (c): Jack Martin Smith, Dale Hennesy, Walter M. Scott, Stuart A. Reiss
- 1967: John Truscott, Edward Carrere, John W. Brown
- 1968: John Box, Terence Marsh, Vernon Dixon, Ken Muggleston
- 1969: John DeCuir, Jack Martin Smith, Herman A. Blumenthal, Walter M. Scott, George Hopkins, Raphaël Bretton
- 1970: Urie McCleary, Gil Parrondo, Antonio Mateos, Pierre-Louis Thévenet
- 1971: John Box, Ernest Archer, Jack Maxsted, Gil Parrondo, Vernon Dixon
- 1972: Rolf Zehetbauer, Jurgen Kiebach, Herbert Strabel
- 1973: Henry Bumstead, James W. Payne
- 1974: Dean Tavoularis, Angelo P. Graham, George R. Nelson
- 1975: Ken Adam, Roy Walker, Vernon Dixon
- 1976: George C. Jenkins, George Gaines
- 1977: John Barry, Norman Reynolds, Leslie Dilley, Roger Christian
- 1978: Paul Sylbert, Edwin O'Donovan, George Gaines
- 1979: Philip Rosenberg, Tony Walton, Edward Stewart, Gary J. Brink
- 1980: Pierre Guffroy, Jack Stephens