Russian-born Alexander Golitzen was to Universal Pictures what Cedric Gibbons was to MGM and Van Nest Polglaise to RKO: the resident genius art director. In the U.S. since his teens, Golitzen attended the architecture school of the University of Wisconsin. Entering films in 1933, he first worked at MGM, then for such independent producers as Sam Goldwyn and Walter Wanger. When Wanger moved to Universal for the 1942 adventure film Arabian Nights, he took Golitzen with him. A master of Technicolor production design (still a largely uncultivated field in the early 1940s), Golitzen remained at Universal until his retirement in 1974, holding the title of supervising art director from 1954 onward. Nominated for 13 Oscars, Alexander Golitzen won the award for Phantom of the Opera (43), Spartacus (60) and To Kill a Mockingbird (62).
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