Hollywood art director George Jenkins, who won an Oscar for his work on the 1976 film “All the President’s Men,” has died. He was 98.
Jenkins died of heart failure April 6 at his Santa Monica home, his granddaughter, Wylie Griffin, said Thursday.
Jenkins designed and lighted sets on Broadway during the 1940s, gaining prominence for his work on “I Remember Mama” in 1944, before heading to Hollywood at the behest of producer Samuel Goldwyn.
Jenkins’ first work there was on “The Best Years of Our Lives,” the producer’s 1946 drama about World War II veterans that won the Academy Award for best picture.
He went on to work on more than 30 pictures as an art director or production designer.
His Oscar-winning work on “All the President’s Men” included re-creating on a soundstage the newsroom where Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein broke the Watergate scandal.
“It was absolutely faithful; he had re-created it down to the trash on our desks,” Bernstein told the Los Angeles Times. “It was a remarkable achievement.”
His design for the 1979 film “The China Syndrome” earned him a second Oscar nomination.
Jenkins was also the art director for 1962 movie “The Miracle Worker.” He and the director, Arthur Penn, had also worked together on the Broadway play on which it was based.
“From the first time I worked with him, we understood each other,” Penn said. “So we went on to many, many projects together.”
Other films included “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty,” “The Bishop’s Wife,” “Wait Until Dark,” “Klute,” “1776,” “The Paper Chase,” “The Parallax View,” “Funny Lady,” “Starting Over” and “Sophie’s Choice.”
Griffin said Jenkins was born in Baltimore in 1908 (some sources say 1911), studied architecture at the University of Pennsylvania, then designed productions for a Philadelphia theatrical group.