X

Lyle R. Wheeler

Lyle Reynolds Wheeler (February 2, 1905 – January 10, 1990) was an American motion picture art director. He received five Academy Awards — for Gone with the Wind (1939), Anna and the King of Siam (1946), The Robe (1953), The King and I (1956) and The Diary of Anne Frank (1959).

Lyle Wheeler studied at the University of Southern California, then worked as a magazine artist and industrial designer. In 1936 he was hired by David O. Selznick to work as a set designer for Selznick's motion picture production company. Wheeler proved to be a creative genius when it came to designing quality sets at reasonable costs and was very much in demand in the industry. By the end of World War II, Wheeler had joined Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation, where he remained as chief art director until the end of the 1950s.

In a career spanning 40 years, Wheeler created sets for more than 350 motion pictures, many of which are considered film classics. His credits include A Star is Born, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, State Fair, The Dolly Sisters, Forever Amber, The Fan, The Pride of St. Louis, The Seven Year Itch, and Carousel and in particular, Gone With the Wind, for which he drew some of the earliest examples of storyboards for film, illustrating not only the art design, but the framing, composition and even the color for nearly every shot in the film, greatly influencing the production. He also created matte paintings for all the ceilings for the sets as well as large set pieces like the facade of Tara. He was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Art Direction 29 times, winning five. In 1951, he was nominated for four different films, three in 1952 and twice for two films in one year.

His television credits include the long-running CBS series, Perry Mason.

Late in life, Wheeler suffered financial reverses and was forced to sell his home. He lost his five Academy Award statuettes when he was unable to pay a bill in excess of $30,000 at a storage facility. His 1959 Oscar for The Diary of Anne Frank was purchased and returned to Wheeler in 1989 by a fan.

Lyle Wheeler died January 10, 1990, at the Motion Picture & Television Country House and Hospital, of pneumonia. He was cremated, and his ashes stored in the vault at the Chapel of the Pines Crematory in Los Angeles.

Movies Made by Lyle R. Wheeler (167)

Posse (1975)

Production Design

The Love Machine (1971)

Production Design

Doctors' Wives (1971)

Production Design

Marooned (1969)

Production Design

In Harm's Way (1965)

Production Design

The Cardinal (1963)

Production Design

Advise & Consent (1962)

Production Design

Blue Denim (1959)

Art Direction

Warlock (1959)

Art Direction

Peyton Place (1957)

Art Direction

April Love (1957)

Art Direction

Desk Set (1957)

Art Direction

Bus Stop (1956)

Art Direction

Hilda Crane (1956)

Art Direction

Carousel (1956)

Art Direction

Untamed (1955)

Art Direction

Broken Lance (1954)

Art Direction

The Egyptian (1954)

Art Direction

The Robe (1953)

Art Direction

Inferno (1953)

Art Direction

Titanic (1953)

Art Direction

Niagara (1953)

Art Direction

Taxi (1953)

Art Direction

My Pal Gus (1952)

Art Direction

Love Nest (1951)

Art Direction

Pinky (1949)

Art Direction

Sand (1949)

Art Direction

The Fan (1949)

Art Direction

Yellow Sky (1948)

Art Direction

Road House (1948)

Art Direction

Deep Waters (1948)

Art Direction

Cluny Brown (1946)

Art Direction

Dragonwyck (1946)

Art Direction

State Fair (1945)

Art Direction

Nob Hill (1945)

Art Direction

Laura (1944)

Art Direction

Rebecca (1940)

Art Direction

Movies starring Lyle R. Wheeler (1)

Same first name: Lyle

Same surname: Wheeler