Theoni V Aldredge
With over 150 stage productions, numerous ballets and several films to her credit, Theoni V. Aldredge ranked as one of the most prolific and successful costume designers of the late 20th Century. Born and raised in Greece, Aldredge was inspired to become a costumer after seeing the film version of "Caesar and Cleopatra" in 1946. Moving to America, she trained at the Goodman Theatre School where she made her debut with 1950's "The Distaff Side." In 1953, she married actor Tom Aldredge and the couple settled in New York City. After debuting in films with "Girl of the Night" (1960), Aldredge began her long association as a resident designer at Joseph Papp's New York Shakespeare Festival with a 1961 production of "Much Ado About Nothing." Over the next three decades at the NYSF, she crafted the appropriate clothing for many Shakespearean productions (the acclaimed Edwardian-set "Much Ado About Nothing" in 1973), revivals ("Threepenny Opera," 1977), and landmark musicals ("Hair," 1967 and "A Chorus Line," 1975).
In 1974, producer David Merrick tapped Aldredge to create the lavishly beautiful 1920s-era wardrobe for the film version of "The Great Gatsby." While the film itself was dramatically inert, no one faulted the look of the film. Douglas Slocombe's pristine cinematography captured Aldredge's ravishing designs and the Academy took note by bestowing her with that year's Best Costume Design Oscar. Three years later, Broadway finally honored Aldredge for her stage work, presenting her with the 1977 Tony Award for her witty 1930s wardrobe featured in the musical "Annie." She continued to craft extraordinary designs for several of Broadway's most popular shows, including "Barnum" (1980), "42nd Street" (1981), "Dreamgirls" (1982), "La Cage aux Folles" (1984) and "The Secret Garden" (1991). Onscreen, Aldredge dressed Faye Dunaway and her co-stars in such films as "Network" (1976), "Eyes of Laura Mars" (1978) and "The Champ" (1979). John Huston tapped her to revisit her award-winning designs for the disappointing film version of "Annie" (1982), although her work was stellar. Cher wore clothing designed by Aldredge in her Oscar-winning turn in "Moonstruck" (1987) as did Jessica Lange in "Night and the City" (1992) and the 1995 CBS remake of "A Streetcar Named Desire." As the new millennium approached, Aldredge remained active, still dividing her time between films like "The Rage: Carrie 2" (1999) and stage productions such as the revival of "Gore Vidal's The Best Man" (2000). After a lifetime of creating stunning costumes for all manner of medium and genre, Aldredge passed away on January 21, 2011.