Edwin B. Willis

Last updated
Edwin Booth Willis
Born(1893-01-28)January 28, 1893
DiedNovember 26, 1963(1963-11-26) (aged 70)
Hollywood, California
OccupationMotion picture set designer & decorator
Years active19251957
Relatives Verna Willis (sister)
Lionel Lindon (nephew)

Edwin Booth Willis (January 28, 1893 November 26, 1963) was an American motion picture set designer and decorator.


Willis worked exclusively at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studios for his entire career. During his career as a set designer Willis worked on over 600 separate productions. The Internet Movie Database lists his 577 film credits as set decorator, 163 credits as interior decorator and 24 credits as art director.

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer American media company

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. is an American media company, involved primarily in the production and distribution of feature films and television programs. One of the world's oldest film studios, MGM's headquarters are located at 245 North Beverly Drive in Beverly Hills, California.

He was nominated for the Academy Award in his profession 32 times, in certain years receiving multiple nominations. Willis won the Oscar on eight occasions. He was born in Decatur, Illinois and died of cancer in Hollywood, in 1963.

Academy Awards American awards given annually for excellence in cinematic achievements

The Academy Awards, also known as the Oscars, are a set of awards for artistic and technical merit in the film industry. Given annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), the awards are an international recognition of excellence in cinematic achievements as assessed by the Academy's voting membership. The various category winners are awarded a copy of a golden statuette, officially called the "Academy Award of Merit", although more commonly referred to by its nickname "Oscar".

The Academy Award for Best Production Design recognizes achievement for art direction in film. The category's original name was Best Art Direction, but was changed to its current name in 2012 for the 85th Academy Awards. This change resulted from the Art Director's branch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) being renamed the Designer's branch. Since 1947, the award is shared with the set decorator(s). It is awarded to the best interior design in a film.

Decatur, Illinois City in Illinois, United States

Decatur is the largest city and the county seat of Macon County in the U.S. state of Illinois, with a population of 76,122 as of the 2010 Census. The city was founded in 1829 and is situated along the Sangamon River and Lake Decatur in Central Illinois. In 2017, the city's estimated population was 72,174.

Major awards

Academy Awards

Interior decoration (Color)

Interior decoration (Black & white)

Art direction/Set decoration (Color)

Art direction/Set decoration (Black & white)

<i>The Bad and the Beautiful</i> 1952 film by Vincente Minnelli

The Bad and the Beautiful is a 1952 American melodrama that tells the story of a film producer who alienates all around him. The film was directed by Vincente Minnelli and written by George Bradshaw and Charles Schnee. It stars Lana Turner, Kirk Douglas, Walter Pidgeon, Dick Powell, Barry Sullivan, Gloria Grahame and Gilbert Roland. The Bad and the Beautiful resulted in five Academy Awards out of six nominations in 1952, a record for the most awards for a movie that was not nominated for Best Picture nor for Best Director.

<i>Julius Caesar</i> (1953 film) 1953 film by Joseph L. Mankiewicz

Julius Caesar is a 1953 epic Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer film adaptation of the play by Shakespeare, directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz, who also wrote the uncredited screenplay, and produced by John Houseman. The original music score is by Miklós Rózsa. The film stars Marlon Brando as Mark Antony, James Mason as Brutus, John Gielgud as Cassius, Louis Calhern as Julius Caesar, Edmond O'Brien as Casca, Greer Garson as Calpurnia, and Deborah Kerr as Portia.

<i>Somebody Up There Likes Me</i> (1956 film) 1956 film by Robert Wise

Somebody Up There Likes Me is a 1956 American drama film based on the life of middleweight boxing legend Rocky Graziano. Joseph Ruttenberg was awarded a 1956 Oscar in the category of Best Cinematography. The film also won the Oscar for Best Art Direction. It was directed by Robert Wise.

Academy Award nominations

Interior decoration

Interior decoration (Black & white)

<i>When Ladies Meet</i> (1941 film) 1941 film by Robert Zigler Leonard

When Ladies Meet is a 1941 American romantic comedy film by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer starring Joan Crawford, Robert Taylor, Greer Garson, Herbert Marshall, and Spring Byington in a story about a novelist in love with her publisher. The screenplay by S.K. Lauren and Anita Loos was based upon a 1932 play by Rachel Crothers. The film was directed by Robert Z. Leonard, who also co-produced the film. The film was a remake of the 1933 pre-Code film of the same name, which starred Ann Harding, Myrna Loy, Robert Montgomery, and Frank Morgan in the roles played by Garson, Crawford, Taylor and Marshall.

<i>Random Harvest</i> (film) 1942 film by Mervyn LeRoy

Random Harvest is a 1942 film based on the 1941 James Hilton novel of the same name, directed by Mervyn LeRoy. Claudine West, George Froeschel, and Arthur Wimperis adapted the novel for the screen, and received an Academy Award nomination. The film departed from the novel in several significant ways, as it proved nearly impossible to translate to film otherwise. It starred Ronald Colman as a shellshocked, amnesiac World War I soldier, and Greer Garson as his love interest.

Madame Curie is a 1943 biographical film made by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. The film was directed by Mervyn LeRoy and produced by Sidney Franklin from a screenplay by Paul Osborn, Paul H. Rameau, and Aldous Huxley (uncredited), adapted from the biography by Ève Curie. It stars Greer Garson, Walter Pidgeon, with supporting performances by Robert Walker, Henry Travers, and Albert Bassermann.

Interior decoration (Color)

<i>Thousands Cheer</i> 1943 film by George Sidney

Thousands Cheer is a 1943 American musical comedy film directed by George Sidney and released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Produced at the height of the Second World War, the film was intended as a morale booster for American troops and their families.

<i>Kismet</i> (1944 film) 1944 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer film directed by William Dieterle

Kismet is a 1944 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer film in Technicolor starring Ronald Colman, Marlene Dietrich, Joy Page, and Florence Bates. James Craig played the young Caliph of Baghdad, and Edward Arnold was the treacherous Grand Vizier. It was directed by William Dieterle, but was not a success at the box office. Dieterle had directed Marlene two decades prior in the German silent film Man by the Wayside, which was both the first role in which Dietrich was cast competitively and Dieterle's directorial debut.

<i>National Velvet</i> (film) 1944 Technicolor sports film directed by Clarence Brown

National Velvet is a 1944 American Technicolor sports film directed by Clarence Brown and based on the novel of the same name by Enid Bagnold, published in 1935. It stars Mickey Rooney, Donald Crisp, and a young Elizabeth Taylor. In 2003, National Velvet was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant."

Art direction/Set decoration (Black & white)

<i>Madame Bovary</i> (1949 film) 1950 film by Vincente Minnelli

Madame Bovary is a 1949 American romantic drama film adaptation of the classic novel of the same name by Gustave Flaubert. It stars Jennifer Jones, James Mason, Van Heflin, Louis Jourdan, Alf Kjellin, Gene Lockhart, Frank Allenby and Gladys Cooper.

<i>The Red Danube</i> 1950 film by George Sidney

The Red Danube is a 1949 American drama film directed by George Sidney and starring Walter Pidgeon. The film was based on the 1947 novel Vespers in Vienna by Bruce Marshall.

<i>Too Young to Kiss</i> 1951 film by Robert Zigler Leonard

Too Young to Kiss is a 1951 American romantic comedy film directed by Robert Z. Leonard and starring June Allyson and Van Johnson. It was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Art Direction. For her performance in the film, Allyson received the 1951 Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy.

Art direction/Set decoration (Color)

Art Direction/Set Decoration

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