Cedric Gibbons

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Cedric Gibbons
Cedric Gibbons in 1936
Born Austin Cedric Gibbons
(1890-03-23)March 23, 1890
Brooklyn, New York City, U.S.
Died July 26, 1960(1960-07-26) (aged 70)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Resting place Calvary Cemetery, East Los Angeles
Occupation Art director, set decorator
Years active 1919 – 1956
Dolores del Rio
(m. 1930; div. 1941)

Hazel Brooks
(m. 1944)
Relatives Veronica Cooper (niece)

Austin Cedric Gibbons (March 23, 1890[1] [2]– July 26, 1960) was an Irish-American 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. He was nominated 38 times for the Academy Award for Best Production Design and won the Oscar 11 times.[3]


In addition to his credits as set decorator and art director, Cedric Gibbons is credited for directing one feature film, Tarzan and His Mate (1934)

Austin Cedric Gibbons was born in New York City[1][2]to architect Austin P. Gibbons and Veronica Fitzpatrick Simmons. He was privately tutored and studied at the Art Students League of New York. In 1911 he began working in his father's office as a junior draftsman. Art director at Edison Studios in New Jersey from 1915, he served in the US Navy during World War I. He then joined Goldwyn Studios, and began a long career with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in 1924, when the studio was founded.[4]

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.[5]

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 about 150 films.

Personal 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 [6] he married actress Hazel Brooks, with whom he remained until his death.

Gibbons' second cousin Frederick Gibbons—a musician, orchestra conductor, and entertainer who worked with him at MGM—was the father of Billy Gibbons of the rock band ZZ Top.

On July 26, 1960, Gibbons died in Los Angeles at age 70. He is buried in the Calvary Cemetery, East Los Angeles.


Gibbons' 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 theaters 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 Gibbons designed, which were first awarded in 1929, are still being presented to winners at Academy Awards ceremonies each year.

Academy Awards

Awards 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. ^ a b "Ancestry.com".
  2. ^ a b "Ancestry.com".
  3. ^ "Nominee Facts - Most Nominations and Awards" Archived 2016-04-25 at WebCite, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences; retrieved November 29, 2015.
  4. ^ "Cedric Gibbons, M-G-M Artist, 65". The New York Times. July 27, 1960. Retrieved 2017-12-02.
  5. ^ "Cedric Gibbons Biography". theoscarsite.com. Retrieved 2010-02-28.
  6. ^ "Glamour Girls of the Silver Screen". Retrieved 2013-07-05.

External links

  • Cedric Gibbons on IMDb

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