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Robert Koch Woolf, 81; Interior Decorator for Hollywood Celebrities

November 09, 2004|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Robert Koch Woolf, 81, an interior decorator who provided style for such Hollywood celebrities as Cary Grant, Myrna Loy and Loretta Young, died Monday in Montecito of post-surgical complications.

A native of Temple, Texas, Woolf moved to Los Angeles after serving in World War II and became an apprentice interior decorator. He became associated with architect John Elgin Woolf, who later adopted him as an adult, and they worked together from 1947 until the architect's death in 1980. Robert Woolf closed their John and Robert K. Woolf offices on Melrose Place and retired three years later.

The two men, with John concentrating on designing elegant houses and Robert handling the interiors, excelled in what became known as the Greek Revival-influenced Hollywood Regency style. Their work was the subject of a 2003 exhibition, "The Art of Luxury," at the UC Santa Barbara Art Museum.

The museum staged an earlier exhibition of Woolf blueprints in 1987 when Robert and his brother, Gene (also adopted), donated several architectural drawings and two paintings to the institution. Included were samples of Woolf work for Judy Garland, Lillian Gish, Barbara Stanwyck, John Wayne, Greta Garbo and other Hollywood figures.

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