Production designer Robert Boyle, 98, a veteran with nearly 100 highly eclectic film credits — ranging from Ma and Pa Kettle at Home (1954) to Portnoy’s Complaint (1972) — will receive an Honorary Oscar at the 2008 Academy Awards ceremony on February 24, 2008, "in recognition of one of cinema’s great careers in art direction."
Boyle, the subject of the 2000 Oscar-nominated documentary short The Man on Lincoln’s Nose, has earned four Academy Award nominations in the art direction category: North by Northwest (1959), Gaily, Gaily (1969), Fiddler on the Roof (1971), and The Shootist (1976).
In addition to North by Northwest, he collaborated with Alfred Hitchcock on several other projects. He was an associate art director on Saboteur (1942) and Shadow of a Doubt (1943), and was the production designer on The Birds (1963) and Marnie (1964).
Among Boyle’s other screen credits are Another Part of the Forest (1948), An Act of Murder (1948), It Came from Outer Space (1953), How to Succeed in Business without Really Tryingg (1967), In Cold Blood (1967), The Thomas Crown Affair (1968), Private Benjamin (1980), Rhinestone (1984), and Dragnet (1987). His last screen credit was Theo Angelopoulos’ 1991 drama The Suspended Step of the Stork.
Born in Los Angeles in 1909, Boyle trained as an architect. Out of work as a result of the Depression, he began making a living as a film extra. In 1933 he was hired as a draftsman at Paramount’s art department, then headed by Hans Dreier.
Boyle worked on numerous films as a sketch artist, draftsman, and assistant art director before becoming a full-fledged art director at Universal in the early 1940s.
The 2008 Academy Award nominations will be announced at 5:30 a.m. Pacific Time on Tuesday, January 22, 2008.