Edith Head was an eight-time Academy Award-winning costume designer who dressed the luminaries of Hollywood, influencing fashion and design trends across the world for nearly 60 years in over 1,000 films.
Head, known as "the queen of her profession," clothed motion picture sex gods and goddesses from Mae West to Robert Redford. Called "indomitable" and "a force," Head was credited with winning more Oscars for an individual achievement than any other person at the time of her passing. These honors included best costume design for "The Heiress" (1949), ""Samson and Delilah" (1950), "All About Eve" (1950), "A Place in the Sun" (1951), "Roman Holiday" (1953), "Sabrina" (1954), "The Facts of Life" (1960) and "The Sting" (1973). She was nominated more than 30 times.
Head, who became the favorite costume designer for Hollywood's leading fashion trendsetters, including Grace Kelly and Audrey Hepburn, first began work as a teacher after earning a master's degree from Stanford University. She became disenchanted with her career while teaching romance languages at La Jolla's Bishop's School, deciding teachers were underpaid.
"I saw an ad in The Times for a sketch artist [at $50 a week] ... borrowed some sketches, lied to survive and went to work for C.B. DeMille," she said. Her first creation was outfitting an elephant in gold cloth for a 1923 silent film. She worked for Paramount from 1940 into the 1960s, then moved to Universal. She also designed for television.
Head, a memorable Hollywood figure with her trademark bangs and ever-present, large, oval, black-rimmed glasses, became a legend in her own time. Her distinct looks, persona and reputation have inspired numerous fictional characters in television and film.
|1948||Best Costume Design - Color||The Emperor Waltz||Nomination*|
|1949||Best Costume Design - Black and White||The Heiress||Win*|
|1950||Best Costume Design - Black and White||All About Eve||Win*|
|1950||Best Costume Design - Color||Samson and Delilah||Win*|
|1951||Best Costume Design - Black and White||A Place in the Sun||Win|
|1952||Best Costume Design - Black and White||Carrie||Nomination|
|1952||Best Costume Design - Color||The Greatest Show on Earth||Nomination*|
|1953||Best Costume Design - Black and White||Roman Holiday||Win|
|1954||Best Costume Design - Black and White||Sabrina||Win|
|1955||Best Costume Design - Black and White||The Rose Tattoo||Nomination|
|1955||Best Costume Design - Color||To Catch a Thief||Nomination|
|1956||Best Costume Design - Black and White||The Proud and the Profane||Nomination|
|1956||Best Costume Design - Color||The Ten Commandments||Nomination*|
|1957||Best Costume Design||Funny Face||Nomination*|
|1958||Best Costume Design||The Buccaneer||Nomination*|
|1959||Best Costume Design - Black and White||Career||Nomination|
|1959||Best Costume Design - Color||The Five Pennies||Nomination|
|1960||Best Costume Design - Color||Pepe||Nomination|
|1960||Best Costume Design - Black and White||The Facts of Life||Win*|
|1961||Best Costume Design - Color||Pocketful of Miracles||Nomination*|
|1962||Best Costume Design - Color||My Geisha||Nomination|
|1962||Best Costume Design - Black and White||The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance||Nomination|
|1963||Best Costume Design - Color||A New Kind of Love||Nomination|
|1963||Best Costume Design - Black and White||Love With the Proper Stranger||Nomination|
|1963||Best Costume Design - Black and White||Wives and Lovers||Nomination|
|1964||Best Costume Design - Black and White||A House Is Not a Home||Nomination|
|1964||Best Costume Design - Color||What a Way to Go||Nomination*|
|1965||Best Costume Design - Black and White||The Slender Thread||Nomination|
|1965||Best Costume Design - Color||Inside Daisy Clover||Nomination*|
|1966||Best Costume Design - Color||The Oscar||Nomination|
|1969||Best Costume Design||Sweet Charity||Nomination|
|1970||Best Costume Design||Airport||Nomination|
|1973||Best Costume Design||The Sting||Win|
|1975||Best Costume Design||The Man Who Would Be King||Nomination|
|1977||Best Costume Design||Airport '77||Nomination*|