Production designer William Creber, who served as art director on the original Ã¢â‚¬Å“Planet of the ApesÃ¢â‚¬Â movies, died in Los Angeles on March 7 from pneumonia after a prolonged illness. He was 87.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“This was the man who designed and then flipped cruise ships, burned skyscrapers, and created an entire ape culture,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Nelson Coates, president of the Art Directors Guild. Ã¢â‚¬Å“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 fx.Ã¢â‚¬Â
His three Oscar nominations came for his art direction on George StevensÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ Ã¢â‚¬Å“The Greatest Story Ever Told,Ã¢â‚¬Â and on Irwin AllenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Ã¢â‚¬Å“Poseidon AdventureÃ¢â‚¬Â and Ã¢â‚¬Å“Towering Inferno.Ã¢â‚¬Â Other projects he worked on include ABC series Ã¢â‚¬Å“Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea,Ã¢â‚¬Â for which he won an Emmy, ABCÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Ã¢â‚¬Å“The Time Tunnel,Ã¢â‚¬Â and CBSÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ Ã¢â‚¬Å“Lost in Space.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Creber wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t the first in his family to work in Hollywood. The art director followed in the footsteps of his father, Lewis Creber, a former art director at Fox Studio whose credits include Ã¢â‚¬Å“State FairÃ¢â‚¬Â and all nine seasons of CBSÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ Ã¢â‚¬Å“Perry Mason.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Creber is survived by his Emmy-winning son Kenneth Creber, an art director and set designer who has worked on shows such as Ã¢â‚¬Å“Melrose PlaceÃ¢â‚¬Â and Ã¢â‚¬Å“Pushing Daisies,Ã¢â‚¬Â and his wife, Sally Queen.