Parrondo, Gil: Two Time Oscar Winning Designer Dies at 95

Spain’s Gil Parrondo, an Oscar Award winning art director for “Patton” and “Nicholas and Alexandra,” died on Saturday in Madrid. He was 95.

Born in Luarca in Spain’s northern Asturias on June 17, 1921, Parrondo’s big break came early.

Parrondo worked for the first time as art director in 1951 on Antonio del Amo’s “Dia tras Día,” then headed up set decoration on Orson Welles’ 1955 “Confidential Report.”

He served a further apprenticeship working in the art direction departments on a string of big-budget U.S. shoots in Spain, from Stanley Kramer’s 1957 “The Pride and the Passion,” where he secured the cannon for the shoot, to Samuel Bronston’s historical epics shot in studios just outside Madrid over 1961 to 1964, to David Lean’s 1962 “Lawrence of Arabia” and “Doctor Zhivago” in 1965, where he worked with production designer John Box.

Parrondo’s two Oscars were won with director Franklin Schaffner. He received a third nomination for “Travels With my Aunt,” directed by George Cukor.

But Parrondo worked as art director-production designer with Richard Lester on 1976’s “Robin and Marian,” “Cuba” (1979) and “The Return of the Musketeers” (1989).

In a near-80-year career, at the time of his death, he was working on “33 Days,” Carlos Saura’s upcoming movie on Picasso’s painting “Guernica,” starring Antonio Banderas.