George Jenkins

Designer

Male

Born: November 20, 1908
Baltimore, Maryland, USA

Died: April 6, 2007
Santa Monica, California

George Jenkins, a set and lighting designer who worked on dozens of Broadway shows, and was four times nominated for a Tony Award, died April 6, 2007, at his home in Santa Monica, CA. He was 98. After a few years serving as assistant to the legendary scenic designer Jo Mielziner, Mr. Jenkins designed his first Broadway set for a 1943 musical comedy called Early to Bed. It was a hit, and in the next few years he became extreme busy, designing the sets and lighting for shows such as Mexican Hayride, I Remember Mama, Dark of the Moon, Are You With It?, Lost in the Stars, Bell, Book and Candle and Strange Fruit.

Obituary: Of Bell, Book and Candle, Harold Clurman wrote "George Jenkins catches the atmosphere of elegant comfort and semi-bohemian familiarity with admirable scenic rightness."

The 1950s brought work on such notable shows as The Bad Seed, Two for the Seesaw, The Desk Set and The Miracle Worker. The latter William Gibson play became one of his best known credits. He was nominated for a Tony Award for the show. His other nominations were for The Happiest Millionaire, Too Late the Phalarope and 13 Daughters.

Writing about Mr. Jenkins' set for his play Two for the Seesaw, Gibson said, "The action took place in two unconnected flats… [George] has conceived these as separable and doubly mobile, riding on tracks onstage and off, and each on its own turntable swinging to present various views of itself from scene to scene. This inventive design…[would] multiply the visual possibilities of a show which…needed every element a variety we could get into it."

He continued to design into the mid-70s, working on comedies like A Thousand Clowns and Sly Fox and dramas like Wait Until Dark and The Royal Hunt of the Sun.

Mr. Jenkins also worked extensively in film, winning an Oscar for his memorably hyper-realistic newsroom sets for "All the President's Men." "It was absolutely faithful; he had re-created it down to the trash on our desks," Carl Bernstein told the Los Angeles Times this week. "It was a remarkable achievement." He got another Oscar nomination for "The China Syndrome." Mr. Jenkins frequently worked with director Alan J. Pakula, working on his films "Klute," "Starting Over," "The Parallax View" and "Presumed Innocent," the designer's final movie credit.

Other films include "Mickey One," "1776," "The Paper Chase," "Night Moves," "Sophie's Choice" and "Orphans."

Jenkins was divorced from his first wife, Barbara. His second wife, television producer Phyllis Adams Jenkins, died in 2004.

Besides his granddaughter, who lives in Santa Monica, Jenkins is survived by his daughter from his first marriage, Jane Jenkins Dumais of New Hampshire.

 

Roles

Playbill Cover - Sly Fox Sly Fox
Apr. 1, 2004 - Aug. 29, 2004
Scenic Design
(Original)
Who's Who
Playbill Cover - Sly Fox Sly Fox
Dec. 14, 1976 - Feb. 19, 1978
Production Design
(Original)
 
    Lighting Design
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Night Watch Night Watch
Feb. 28, 1972 - Jun. 10, 1972
Scenic Design
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - The Only Game in Town The Only Game in Town
May 20, 1968 - Jun. 1, 1968
Scenic Design
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Wait Until Dark Wait Until Dark
Feb. 2, 1966 - Dec. 31, 1966
Scenic Design
(Original)
Who's Who
    Lighting Design
(Original)
Who's Who
Playbill Cover - The Royal Hunt of the Sun The Royal Hunt of the Sun
Oct. 26, 1965 - Jun. 11, 1966
New York Production Supervised
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Generation Generation
Oct. 6, 1965 - Jun. 25, 1966
Scenic Design
(Original)
 
    Lighting Design
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Catch Me If You Can Catch Me If You Can
Mar. 9, 1965 - Jun. 5, 1965
Lighting Designer
(Original)
 
    Scenic Designer
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Jennie Jennie
Oct. 17, 1963 - Dec. 28, 1963
Scenic Design
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Step on a Crack Step on a Crack
Oct. 17, 1962 - Oct. 17, 1962
Scenic Design
(Original)
 
    Lighting Design
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - A Thousand Clowns A Thousand Clowns
Apr. 5, 1962 - Apr. 13, 1963
Scenic Design
(Original)
 
    Lighting Design
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - 13 Daughters 13 Daughters
Mar. 2, 1961 - Mar. 25, 1961
Lighting Design
(Original)
 
    Scenic Design
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Critic's Choice Critic's Choice
Dec. 14, 1960 - May 27, 1961
Production Design
(Original)
 
One More River
Mar. 18, 1960 - Mar. 19, 1960
Scenic Design
(Original)
 
    Lighting Design
(Original)
 
Jolly's Progress
Dec. 5, 1959 - Dec. 12, 1959
Scenic Design
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - The Miracle Worker The Miracle Worker
Oct. 19, 1959 - Jul. 1, 1961
Lighting Design
(Original)
 
    Scenic Design
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Tall Story Tall Story
Jan. 29, 1959 - May 2, 1959
Scenic Design
(Original)
 
    Lighting Design
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Cue for Passion Cue for Passion
Nov. 25, 1958 - Dec. 27, 1958
Production Design
(Original)
 
    Lighting Design
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Once More, With Feeling Once More, With Feeling
Oct. 21, 1958 - Jun. 6, 1959
Scenic Design
(Original)
 
    Lighting Design
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Two for the Seesaw Two for the Seesaw
Jan. 16, 1958 - Oct. 31, 1959
Lighting Design
(Original)
 
    Scenic Design
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Rumple Rumple
Nov. 6, 1957 - Dec. 14, 1957
Scenic Design
(Original)
 
    Lighting Design
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - The Happiest Millionaire The Happiest Millionaire
Nov. 20, 1956 - Jul. 13, 1957
Scenic Design
(Original)
 
    Lighting Design
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Too Late the Phalarope Too Late the Phalarope
Oct. 11, 1956 - Nov. 10, 1956
Scenic Design
(Original)
 
    Lighting Design
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - The Desk Set The Desk Set
Oct. 24, 1955 - Jul. 7, 1956
Scenic Design
(Original)
 
    Lighting Design
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Ankles Aweigh Ankles Aweigh
Apr. 18, 1955 - Sep. 17, 1955
Scenic Design
(Original)
 
    Lighting Design
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - The Bad Seed The Bad Seed
Dec. 8, 1954 - Sep. 27, 1955
Scenic Design
(Original)
 
    Lighting Design
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - The Immoralist The Immoralist
Feb. 8, 1954 - May 1, 1954
Scenic Design
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Gently Does It Gently Does It
Oct. 28, 1953 - Nov. 28, 1953
Scenic Design
(Original)
 
    Lighting Design
(Original)
 
Touchstone
Feb. 3, 1953 - Feb. 7, 1953
Scenic Design
(Original)
 
    Lighting Design
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Three Wishes for Jamie Three Wishes for Jamie
Mar. 21, 1952 - Jun. 7, 1952
Scenic Design
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Bell, Book and Candle Bell, Book and Candle
Nov. 14, 1950 - Jun. 2, 1951
Lighting Design
(Original)
 
    Scenic Design
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - The Curious Savage The Curious Savage
Oct. 24, 1950 - Nov. 18, 1950
Production Design
(Original)
 
    Lighting Design
(Original)
 
Lost in the Stars
Oct. 30, 1949 - Jul. 1, 1950
Scenic Design
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Time for Elizabeth Time for Elizabeth
Sep. 27, 1948 - Oct. 2, 1948
Scenic Design
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Tonight at 8:30 Tonight at 8:30
Feb. 23, 1948 - Mar. 13, 1948
Scenic Design
(Original)
 
    Scenic Design
(Original)
 
    Scenic Design
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - The French Touch The French Touch
Dec. 8, 1945 - Jan. 5, 1946
Lighting Design
(Original)
 
    Scenic Design
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Strange Fruit Strange Fruit
Nov. 29, 1945 - Jan. 19, 1946
Scenic Design
(Original)
 
    Lighting Design
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Are You with It? Are You with It?
Nov. 10, 1945 - Jun. 29, 1946
Scenic Design
(Original)
 
    Lighting Design
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Memphis Bound! Memphis Bound!
May 24, 1945 - Jun. 23, 1945
Lighting Design
(Original)
 
    Scenic Design
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Common Ground Common Ground
Apr. 25, 1945 - Jun. 23, 1945
Scenic Design
(Original)
 
    Lighting Design
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Dark of the Moon Dark of the Moon
Mar. 14, 1945 - Dec. 15, 1945
Scenic Design
(Original)
 
    Lighting Design
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - I Remember Mama I Remember Mama
Oct. 19, 1944 - Jun. 29, 1946
Scenic Design
(Original)
 
    Lighting Design
(Original)
 
Allah Be Praised!
Apr. 20, 1944 - May 6, 1944
Scenic Design
(Original)
 
    Lighting Design
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Mexican Hayride Mexican Hayride
Jan. 28, 1944 - Mar. 17, 1945
Scenic Design
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Early to Bed Early to Bed
Jun. 17, 1943 - May 13, 1944
Scenic Design
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - The Land Is Bright The Land Is Bright
Oct. 28, 1941 - Jan. 3, 1942
Technical Assistant to Mr. Mielziner
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Stars in Your Eyes Stars in Your Eyes
Feb. 9, 1939 - May 27, 1939
Assistant to Jo Mielziner
()
 
Playbill Cover - The Boys from Syracuse The Boys from Syracuse
Nov. 23, 1938 - Jun. 10, 1939
Assistant to Mr. Mielziner
(Original)
 
 

Inside the Playbill (3)

See more Who's Who

Awards


Drama Desk Award

Year Category Production Winner/Nominee
1977 Outstanding Set Design Sly Fox Nominee

Tony Award

Year Category Production Winner/Nominee
1961 Scenic Design of a Musical 13 Daughters Nominee
1960 Scenic Design of a Play The Miracle Worker Nominee
1957 Scenic Design (Play or Musical) The Happiest Millionaire Nominee
1957 Scenic Design (Play or Musical) Too Late the Phalarope Nominee
 
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