Leslie Dilley

Last updated

Leslie Dilley
Born1941 (age 7980)
Other namesIvor Leslie Dilley
Les Dilley
OccupationProduction designer, art director
Years active1973-present

Leslie Dilley (born 1941) is a Welsh art director and production designer. During his film career from the 1970s to 2000s, he won the Academy Award for Best Art Direction twice for Star Wars (1977) and Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981). Dilley received additional Best Art Direction nominations for Alien (1979), The Empire Strikes Back (1980), and The Abyss (1989). Apart from art direction, Dilley was a production designer for The Exorcist III (1990), Casper (1995), and Son of the Mask (2005).


Early life and education

In 1941, Dilley was born in Rhondda Valley, South Wales. [1] Growing up, Dilley and his family moved to London and lived in Wembley Park. For his post-secondary education, Dilley studied architecture at Willesden Technical College. [2] [3] While working as an apprentice plasterer during college, Dilley was encouraged by a classmate to apply for a job at Pinewood Studios. After Pinewood told him there were no open positions available, Dilley completed a five year plastering apprenticeship at the Associated British Picture Corporation. [4]


While at the ABPC, Dilley began his career as a drafter throughout the 1960s. [1] While working as an Assistant Art Director during the early 1970s, Dilley became an art director for The Three Musketeers (1973). [5] His art director tenure continued throughout the 1970s and 1980s with films such as Superman (1978), An American Werewolf in London (1981) and Never Say Never Again (1983). [6] Outside of these movies, Dilley won the Academy Award for Best Art Direction for Star Wars (1977) and Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981). He additionally received Academy Award nominations for his art directorship on Alien (1979), The Empire Strikes Back (1980), and The Abyss (1989). [7] [8]

During the 1990s to 2000s, Dilley primarily worked as a production designer. Some of his production works during these decades include The Exorcist III (1990), Casper (1995), and Son of the Mask (2005). [5] Dilley has also made cameo appearances in his production designed films, including Deep Impact (1998) and Pay It Forward (2000). [6]

Selected filmography

Dilley has won two Academy Awards for Best Art Direction and has been nominated for three more:


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  1. 1 2 Jankiewicz, Pat (November 2019). "The Man Who Built R2-D2: Leslie Dilley". The Best of Star Wars Insider. Volume 11: Aliens, Creatures and Droids. London: Titan. p. 23. ISBN   9781785851964 . Retrieved 8 March 2020.|volume= has extra text (help)
  2. Waddell, Calum (October 2015). "The Art of War". Star Wars Insider. No. 140. p. 50. Retrieved 8 March 2020.
  3. Langman, Larry (2000). Destination Hollywood: The Influence of Europeans on American Filmmaking. Jefferson, North Carolina and London: McFarland & Company. p. 186. ISBN   078640681X . Retrieved 8 March 2020.
  4. Waddell 2015, pp. 50, 52
  5. 1 2 "Leslie Dilley". British Film Institute. Retrieved 8 March 2020.
  6. 1 2 "Leslie Dilley". Contemporary Theatre, Film and Television. 44. Gale. 2002 via Gale in Context.
  7. dePriest, Joe (25 July 1988). "Art director keeps the ocean on his mind". Rocky Mount Telegram. p. 11.
  8. "Academy Award nominations told". Kilgore News-Herald. 14 February 1990. p. 3.
  9. "The 62nd Academy Awards (1990) Nominees and Winners". oscars.org. Retrieved 1 August 2011.