|Birth: ||Oct. 28, 1897|
San Bernardino County
|Death: ||Oct. 24, 1981|
Los Angeles County
Motion Picture Figure.
The legendary Edith Head was born in Searchlight, Nevada as Edith Claire Posener to Max Posener and Anna E. Levy. In 1901 her mother married Frank Spare and the family moved to San Bernardino, California. She received a BA in French at the University of California at Berkeley and an MA in Romance Languages from Stanford in 1920. She taught at the Hollywood School for Girls and took evening classes at Chouinard Art College. In 1924 she borrowed another student's sketches for her portfolio and was hired as a costume sketch artist at Paramount Pictures, despite her lack of experience. In 1923 she married Charles Head but they were divorced in 1936, by which time she had established herself as one of the top Hollywood costume designers. She worked at Paramount for 44 years until 1967, when she began work at Universal Pictures, where she remained until she died. In 1940 she married Wiard Ihnen, a marriage that last until her death. She was nominated for 35 Academy Awards, and won 8 times, a record for any woman. She dressed the most glamorous and famous women in film, and her influence on fashion was far-reaching, although her fashions were conservative. The stars for which she designed reads like a Hollywood hall of fame. She was the favorite designer for the leading film stars in the 1940s and 50s, including Bette Davis, Ginger Rogers, Grace Kelly, Elizabeth Taylor, Audrey Hepburn and Barbara Stanwyck. As studio films declined, she began work as a costume designer in TV. in 1978 she was asked to design a women's uniform for the U.S. Coast Guard, which she said was the highlight of her career and for which she was awarded the Meritorious Public Service Award. Throughout her long career, she wore the same hairstyle and gray, black-rimmed sunglasses and they became her trademark. She died four days before her 84th birthday, on October 24, 1981.
She has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, at 6504 Hollywood Blvd. In 2003 her image appeared on a U.S. postage stamp honoring American costume design. In 2004, she was caricatured in the computer-animated film, "The Incredibles," as the no-nonsense character "Edna Mode," wearing her signature hairstyle and sunglasses. The rock group They Might Be Giants referred to her in a song called "She Thinks She's Edith Head," and the Toronto neo-swing band, Atomic 7, released an album called "Gowns by Edith Head." (bio by: Dan)
Cause of death: Bone marrow disease
Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Glendale)
Los Angeles County
Plot: Cathedral Slope, Plot 1675
GPS (lat/lon): 34.1264, -118.2472
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Record added: May 05, 1998
Find A Grave Memorial# 2881
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