Irene Sharaff, who won five Academy Awards and was nominated for 10 more for her costume designs in such films as "An American in Paris" and "The King and I," has died. She was 83.
Miss Sharaff, who also won a Tony for her innovative Thai silk designs for the original 1951 Broadway production of "The King and I," died Monday in New York of congestive heart failure. She had emphysema.
Her last work, re-creating costumes for scenes from "The King and I" and "West Side Story," was for "Jerome Robbins' Broadway" in 1989. Her last film was "Mommie Dearest" in 1981.
Miss Sharaff designed costumes, and occasional sets, for 60 stage productions and 40 films, including the ballet sequence in "An American in Paris" in 1951, the film version of "The King and I" in 1956, "West Side Story" in 1961, "Cleopatra" in 1963 and "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf" in 1966--all of which earned her Academy Awards.
Her other films included "Madame Curie," "Meet Me in St. Louis," "Brigadoon," "Call Me Madam," "Guys and Dolls," "Porgy and Bess," "Can Can," "The Taming of the Shrew," "Funny Girl," "Hello, Dolly" and "The Great White Hope."
She frequently designed costumes for both the Broadway and film versions of productions, including "Flower Drum Song," "Funny Girl" and the award winners "The King and I" and "West Side Story."
She was nominated for Tonys for her costumes for "Sweet Charity" in 1966 and "Hallelujah, Baby!" in 1968.
Miss Sharaff costumed such actors as Yul Brynner, Gertrude Lawrence, Gypsy Rose Lee, Judy Garland, Mary Martin, Ethel Merman, Pearl Bailey, Gene Kelly, Sammy Davis Jr., Elizabeth Taylor and Rex Harrison.
She first won acclaim in 1932 with her scenery and costumes for a production of "Alice in Wonderland."
The designer had once considered becoming a painter, and her costumes were known for their use of color--particularly reds, pinks and oranges.
Miss Sharaff, a Bostonian, was trained at the New York School of Fine and Applied Arts, the Art Students League in New York and La Grande Chaumiere in Paris.
Her career included fashion illustrations for Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, Mademoiselle and Seventeen magazines, and costumes for the Ballets Russes de Monte Carlo, the American Ballet Theater and the New York City Ballet.
She also designed for Rhea Mfg. Co. and for fashion shows in Hollywood and New York.