Tuesday, March 26, 2019
  • Tuesday, Mar. 12, 2019
Production designer William Creber, a 3-time Oscar nominee, dies at 87
William "Bill" Creber
  • LOS ANGELES
  • --

Production designer/art director William “Bill” Creber, a three-time Oscar nominee, died in Los Angeles on March 7 of complications from pneumonia after a prolonged illness. He was 87.

Creber was best known for his work on the original Planet of the Apes (1968) followed by Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970) and Escape from the Planet of the Apes (1971).

Creber’s Oscar nominations came for his designer work on The Greatest Story Ever Told (1964), The Poseidon Adventure (1965) and The Towering Inferno (1975) for which he also received a BAFTA nomination. He was nominated for a Primetime Emmy® in 1964 for Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea and was honored with an Art Directors Guild Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005.

Nelson Coates, president of the Art Directors Guild (ADG, IATSE Local 800), said, “This was the man who designed and then flipped cruise ships, burned skyscrapers, and created an entire ape culture. Though his last feature was 21 years ago, Bill Creber remained a vital influence in the industry, with his institutional memory, sharing of relevant production solutions, and his amazing skills devising, executing, and teaching incredible methods of in-camera visual effects.”

Among Creber’s many additional credits are Islands in the Stream, Any Which Way You Can, Flight of the Navigator and the TV series Mod Squad. His last credit was for 2001’s The Last Brickmaker in America.

Creber is survived by his wife Sally Queen, daughter Carolyn Karges and son Ken Creber. Details for a memorial service will be announced shortly.

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