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 Robert Boyle

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Robert Boyle

  • Birth 10 Oct 1909 Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, USA
  • Death 1 Aug 2010 Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, USA
  • Burial Unknown
  • Memorial ID 55848809

Motion Picture Production Designer. Working most notably with Alfred Hitchcock, he created some of the best remembered scenes in film history. Raised on a ranch in the San Joaquin valley, he received a degree in architecture from the University of Southern California in 1933, but due to the Depression found himself essentially without opportunities. He took an artist job at Paramount, left for a time to paint in Mexico, then returned to Hollywood where he joined both RKO and Universal, and was given ever-increasing responsibilities. Boyle helped Universal with Lon Chaney Jr's 1941 "The Wolf Man", then first partnered with Mr. Hitchcock in 1942's "Saboteur", in which he gave the illusion that Norman Lloyd was falling from the Statue of Liberty's torch by having him spin in a chair while being photographed by an upward-moving camera. After World War II service as a US Army combat photographer in Europe, he returned to his film career where he was to gain renown with his contributions to roughly 80 features. He did whatever was necessary to create the desired effect, sometimes, as with "North By Northwest" (1959), "The Birds" (1963), and 1969's "Gaily, Gaily", working on a Hollywood set, while at others, such as in 1967's In Cold Blood" and the 1971 "Fiddler on the Roof" traveling to distant places. The crop-dusting scenes in "North By Northwest" used a toy airplane against Cary Grant, while Mount Rushmore was created by slide-projecting large photographs; the seagull attack from "The Birds" had Tippi Hedren in a real phone booth, but the birds were filmed on the coast, induced to dive by throwing fish into the water, and the town was made from mattes. On the other hand, the Russian village in "Fiddler on the Roof" was in Yugoslavia, while "In Cold Blood" used the actual Kansas farmhouse where the film's tragedy took place. Boyle retired after the 1979 "Winter Kills" in which he also had a small role, but for the rest of his life was to participate in numerous documentaries. Nominated for the Academy Award four times, he received a special lifetime Honorary Oscar in 2008. Of his collaboration with the great Hitchcock, he said: "It was a meeting of equals: the director who knew exactly what he wanted, and the art director who knew how to get it done".

Bio by: Bob Hufford


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Bob Hufford
  • Added: 3 Aug 2010
  • Find A Grave Memorial 55848809
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Robert Boyle (10 Oct 1909–1 Aug 2010), Find A Grave Memorial no. 55848809, ; Maintained by Find A Grave Unknown.