Travilla

Travilla

Known for: Costume & Make-Up
Biography: 1920-03-22
Deathday: 1990-11-02 (70 years old)

Biography

The man who draped a fringed Idaho potato sack on Marilyn Monroe for a famous snapshot - proving that she looked good in anything - was born on Catalina Island off the California coast on March 22 1920. He studied at the Chouinard School of Art in L.A., showing a precocious talent for drawing fashion design from an early age. By the time he was sixteen, he made money by selling sketches of costume designs for showgirls he had studied at burlesque houses.


Found unfit for wartime duties due to flat feet, William Travilla made his way to Hollywood and signed his first contract as costume designer at Columbia in 1941. However, during his two-year tenure he received rather few assignments and left disillusioned. Little work came his way during the next few years, until, in 1946, he was spotted in a nightclub (selling travel sketches of the South Pacific) by the actress Ann Sheridan, who became an instant admirer of his work. Sheridan persuaded Travilla to become her personal costume designer at Warner Brothers. This didn't quite come to pass, though he did design her gowns for Nora Prentiss (1947). More importantly, he notched up his first major success by winning the Academy Award for the lavish and colourful costumes of Adventures of Don Juan (1948) in conjunction with Leah Rhodes and Marjorie Best. After his three year contract was up, Travilla went on to 20th Century Fox, for what would become the most productive period of his career in the film business. At the same time, he set up his own high end fashion salon, Travilla Inc., in Los Angeles, creating several collections of elegant, award-winning designs.


Travilla dressed many established stars, from Marlene Dietrich and Joan Crawford, to Loretta Young. However, he is chiefly remembered for the iconic gowns, designed for Marilyn Monroe's famous hourglass shape in eight of her most popular films. These include her sexy satin number from How to Marry a Millionaire (1953), the gold lame dress with the sun ray pleats glimpsed in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953) and, subsequently, at the 1953 Photoplay Awards (over Travilla's objections); and, of course, the white cocktail dress famously uplifted above the subway grate in The Seven Year Itch (1955). One of three versions of the latter sold at auction for $ 4.6 million in 2011. Despite their close working relationship, Travilla later went on record describing Marilyn on a personal level as 'childlike' and plagued by feelings of inadequacy.


After his contract with Fox expired in 1956, Travilla tended to his own exclusive label, designing a collection of ready-to-wear 'California' fashion. In the 1960's, he continued to freelance, working primarily for television. He showed off a young Connie Sellecca to great effect in a murder mystery revolving around the fashion industry, fittingly titled She's Dressed to Kill (1979). Ever synonymous with a bygone era of glamour, he went on to win two Emmy Awards for Outstanding Costume Design for The Scarlett O'Hara War (1980) and for Dallas (1978). An exhibition of his personal collection, under the auspices of his longtime collaborator William Sarris, went on a world tour in 2008.

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Filmography

all 77

Movies 76

TV Shows 1

self 1

Costume Design
The Thorn Birds

The Thorn Birds (1983)

TV
3
Costume Design
Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy

Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy (1981)

Movie
Costume Design
Evita Peron

Evita Peron (1981)

Movie
Costume Design
The Silent Lovers

The Silent Lovers (1980)

Movie
Costume Design
The Scarlett O'Hara War

The Scarlett O'Hara War (1980)

Movie
Costume Design
This Year's Blonde

This Year's Blonde (1980)

Movie
Costume Design
Cabo Blanco

Cabo Blanco (1980)

Movie
Costume Design
She's Dressed to Kill

She's Dressed to Kill (1979)

Movie
Costume Design
The Secret Life of an American Wife

The Secret Life of an American Wife (1968)

Movie
Costume Design
Valley of the Dolls

Valley of the Dolls (1967)

Movie
8
Himself
Valley of the Dolls: A World Premiere Voyage

Valley of the Dolls: A World Premiere Voyage (1967)

Movie
Costume Design
Take Her, She's Mine

Take Her, She's Mine (1963)

Movie
Costume Designer
Mary, Mary

Mary, Mary (1963)

Movie
Costume Design
The Stripper

The Stripper (1963)

Movie
Costume Design
From the Terrace

From the Terrace (1960)

Movie
Costume Design
Bus Stop

Bus Stop (1956)

Movie
5
Costume Design
23 Paces to Baker Street

23 Paces to Baker Street (1956)

Movie
Costume Design
The Proud Ones

The Proud Ones (1956)

Movie
Costume Design
The Revolt of Mamie Stover

The Revolt of Mamie Stover (1956)

Movie
Costume Design
The Bottom of the Bottle

The Bottom of the Bottle (1956)

Movie
Costume Design
The Lieutenant Wore Skirts

The Lieutenant Wore Skirts (1956)

Movie
Costume Design
The Rains of Ranchipur

The Rains of Ranchipur (1955)

Movie
Costume Design
The Tall Men

The Tall Men (1955)

Movie
Costume Design
The Left Hand of God

The Left Hand of God (1955)

Movie
Costume Design
How To Be Very, Very Popular

How To Be Very, Very Popular (1955)

Movie
Costume Design
The Seven Year Itch

The Seven Year Itch (1955)

Movie
6.3
Costume Design
There's No Business Like Show Business

There's No Business Like Show Business (1954)

Movie
8
Costume Design
Three Young Texans

Three Young Texans (1954)

Movie
Costume Design
Black Widow

Black Widow (1954)

Movie
Costume Design
Broken Lance

Broken Lance (1954)

Movie
Costume Design
The Raid

The Raid (1954)

Movie
Costume Design
Garden of Evil

Garden of Evil (1954)

Movie
Costume Design
Princess of the Nile

Princess of the Nile (1954)

Movie
Costume Design
River of No Return

River of No Return (1954)

Movie
2
Costume Designer
Hell and High Water

Hell and High Water (1954)

Movie
Costume Design
King of the Khyber Rifles

King of the Khyber Rifles (1953)

Movie
Costume Design
Man in the Attic

Man in the Attic (1953)

Movie
Costume Design
How to Marry a Millionaire

How to Marry a Millionaire (1953)

Movie
1
Costume Design
Appointment in Honduras

Appointment in Honduras (1953)

Movie
Costume Design
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953)

Movie
6.5
Costume Design
Powder River

Powder River (1953)

Movie
Costume Design
The Farmer Takes a Wife

The Farmer Takes a Wife (1953)

Movie
Costume Design
Pickup on South Street

Pickup on South Street (1953)

Movie
5
Costume Design
The Girl Next Door

The Girl Next Door (1953)

Movie
Costume Design
Bloodhounds of Broadway

Bloodhounds of Broadway (1952)

Movie
Costume Designer
Monkey Business

Monkey Business (1952)

Movie
1
Costume Design
Don't Bother to Knock

Don't Bother to Knock (1952)

Movie
Costume Design
Viva Zapata!

Viva Zapata! (1952)

Movie
Costume Design
The Day the Earth Stood Still

The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)

Movie
6.1
Costume Design
Meet Me After the Show

Meet Me After the Show (1951)

Movie
Costume Design
Rawhide

Rawhide (1951)

Movie
Costume Design
Bird of Paradise

Bird of Paradise (1951)

Movie
Costume Design
American Guerrilla in the Philippines

American Guerrilla in the Philippines (1950)

Movie
Costume Design
I'll Get By

I'll Get By (1950)

Movie
Costume Design
Mister 880

Mister 880 (1950)

Movie
Costume Design
No Way Out

No Way Out (1950)

Movie
Costume Design
Panic in the Streets

Panic in the Streets (1950)

Movie
6
Costume Design
The Gunfighter

The Gunfighter (1950)

Movie
Costume Design
The Daughter of Rosie O'Grady

The Daughter of Rosie O'Grady (1950)

Movie
Costume Design
Mother Didn't Tell Me

Mother Didn't Tell Me (1950)

Movie
Costume Design
The Inspector General

The Inspector General (1949)

Movie
Costume Design
Dancing in the Dark

Dancing in the Dark (1949)

Movie
Costume Design
Look for the Silver Lining

Look for the Silver Lining (1949)

Movie
Costume Design
Flamingo Road

Flamingo Road (1949)

Movie
Costume Supervisor
Adventures of Don Juan

Adventures of Don Juan (1948)

Movie
Costume Design
Two Guys from Texas

Two Guys from Texas (1948)

Movie
Costume Designer
Silver River

Silver River (1948)

Movie
Costume Design
My Wild Irish Rose

My Wild Irish Rose (1947)

Movie
Costume Design
Escape Me Never

Escape Me Never (1947)

Movie
Costume Design
Cry Wolf

Cry Wolf (1947)

Movie
6
Costume Designer
The Unfaithful

The Unfaithful (1947)

Movie
2
Wardrobe Designer
Love and Learn

Love and Learn (1947)

Movie
Costume Design
Nora Prentiss

Nora Prentiss (1947)

Movie
Wardrobe Designer
The Beast with Five Fingers

The Beast with Five Fingers (1947)

Movie
4.25
Costume Design
The Woman of the Town

The Woman of the Town (1943)

Movie
Costume Design
The Desperadoes

The Desperadoes (1943)

Movie
6
Costume Design
Fiesta

Fiesta (1941)

Movie

Ratings

Average 6.03
Based on 409 Thousand movie and tv ratings over time
1941
1950
1953
1951
1983
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Information

Known For
Costume & Make-Up

Gender
Male

Birthday
1920-03-22

Deathday
1990-11-02 (70 years old)

Birth Place
Los Angeles, United States of America

Relationships
Dona Drake (1944-01-01 - 1989-01-01)

Citizenships
United States of America

Also Known As
William Jack Travilla, Bill, William Travilla

Awards
Academy Award for Best Costume Design, Color


This article uses material from Wikipedia.
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