Robert Boyle wins Honorary Oscar for his art direction career

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Monday, February 25, 2008 American art director and production designer Robert F. Boyle was honoured last night at the Academy Awards.

Hired as an extra in films during the Great Depression, the young architect became a draftsman at Paramount Studios, moving on to become a sketch artist and assistant art director, before becoming a full-fledged art director in the early 1940s, at Universal Studios.

His credits include Alfred Hitchcock films Saboteur (1942), North by Northwest (1959), and The Birds (1963). Other films to his credit include The Thomas Crown Affair (1968), Gaily, Gaily (1969), Fiddler on the Roof (1971), and The Shootist (1976).

The Oscar-nominated documentary short The Man on Lincoln's Nose (2000) chronicles his career, which includes the 1997 Art Directors Guild's Lifetime Achievement Award and four Oscar nominations.

Transcript

Cquote1.svg Oh, thank you all for being here today.

That's the good part of getting old. I don't recommend the other.

It's not possible for me to express my appreciation to the countless people who helped me on this great trip, this wonderful journey of being in the movies.

But I can thank the members of the Board of Governors of the Academy and to Nicole Kidman who so graciously introduced me.

I would like to remember some of the old folk, like Hans Dreier who took a chance and gave me my first job in the movies, and to "Hitch" who also took a chance and gave me my first big film. And I also would like to remember that Hitch introduced me to the screenwriter Bess Taffel, who became my wife and my companion throughout this wonderful journey. I also would like to thank my children and grandchildren who supported me with their love and support, thank them.

To Norman Jewison who made moviemaking fun and much laughter while dealing with real subjects. And to Don Siegel, who cut to the chase and gave us truth.

And with all of these, there was my beginning at the USC School of Architecture and my great colleagues in the Art Directors Guild who supported me, and, finally, to Jean Firstenberg who introduced me to the American Film Institute and the opportunity to give back to the next generation of storytellers.

Since I've been around here for almost a century, I've noted a lot of conflicts, but there was one bright image in this whole life of ours, and that was the arts, and particularly the art of the moviemakers, of the moving image that we all love.

So I have, I have had the good fortune to be a part of this and I thank you all for being there for me. Thank you.

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Sources

  • Email from the Academy Publicity Department, sent on Sunday, February 24, 2007.
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