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Cedric Gibbons

Cedric Gibbons
Born Austin Cedric Gibbons
(1893-03-23)March 23, 1893
Dublin, Ireland
Died July 26, 1960(1960-07-26) (aged 67)
Los Angeles, California, USA
Occupation Art director, set decorator
Years active 1919 – 1956
Spouse(s) Dolores del Rio (m. 1930–41)
Hazel Brooks (m. 1944–60)

Austin Cedric Gibbons (March 23, 1893 – July 26, 1960) was an Irish art director and production designer for the film industry. He also made a significant contribution to motion picture theater architecture from the 1930s to 1950s. He is credited as the designer of the Oscar statuette in 1928.


Gibbons was born in Dublin, Ireland and studied at the Art Students League of New York and worked for his architect father. While at Edison Studios from 1915, he first designed a set for a film released in 1919, assisting Hugo Ballin. But, after this first foray, the studio closed, and he signed with Samuel Goldwyn in 1918. This evolved to working for Louis B. Mayer at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer from 1924 to 1956—a 32-year career.

Gibbons was one of the original 36 founding members of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and oversaw the design of the Academy Awards statuette in 1928, a trophy for which he himself would be nominated 39 times, winning 11.[1][2]

He retired in 1956 with about 1,500 films credited to him: however, his contract with MGM dictated that he receive credit as art director for every MGM film released in the United States, even though other designers may have done the bulk of the work. Even so, his actual hands-on art direction may have been on about 150 films.

Private life and death

In 1930, Gibbons married actress Dolores del Río and co-designed their house in Santa Monica, an intricate Art Deco residence influenced by Rudolf Schindler. They divorced in 1941; three years later [3] he married actress Hazel Brooks with whom he remained until his death at the age of 67.

Gibbons's grave is in the Calvary Cemetery, East Los Angeles.

Gibbons' nephew is Billy F. Gibbons, guitarist/vocalist for the rock band ZZ Top.


Gibbons's set designs, particularly those in such films as Born to Dance (1936) and Rosalie (1937), heavily inspired motion picture theater architecture in the late 1930s through 1950s. The style is found very clearly in the theaters that were managed by the Skouras brothers, whose designer Carl G. Moeller used the sweeping scroll-like details in his creations. Among the more classic examples are the Loma Theater in San Diego, The Crest in Long Beach and Fresno, and the Culver Theater in Culver City, all of which are in California and some extant. The style is sometimes referred to as Art Deco and Art Moderne. The iconic Oscar statuettes that he designed, which were first awarded in 1929, are still being awarded to winners at Oscars Awards ceremonies each year.

Academy Awards

Wins for Art Direction

Nominations for Art Direction

See also


  • "Cedric Gibbons Architect of Style", LA Modernism catalog, May 2006, pp. 16–17 by Jeffrey Head


  1. ^ "Cedric Gibbons Biography". Retrieved 2010-02-28. 
  2. ^ "Find A Grave: Cedric Gibbons". Retrieved 2010-02-28. 
  3. ^ "Glamour Girls of the Silver Screen". Retrieved 2013-07-05. 

External links

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