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Irene Sharaff

Irene Sharaff

American costume designer for stage and screen
Irene Sharaff
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro American costume designer for stage and screen
Was Fashion designer Costume designer
From United States of America
Type Fashion
Gender female
Birth 23 January 1910, New York City, New York, USA
Death 10 August 1993, New York City, New York, USA (aged 83 years)
Star sign Aquarius
Académie de la Grande Chaumière
Parsons School of Design
Academy Award for Best Costume Design, Color  
Academy Award for Best Costume Design, Color  
Academy Award for Best Costume Design, Color  
Academy Award for Best Costume Design, Color  
Academy Award for Best Costume Design, Black-and-White  
Tony Award for Best Costume Design 1952
The details (from wikipedia)


Irene Sharaff (January 23, 1910 – August 10, 1993) was an American costume designer for stage and screen. Her work earned her five Academy Awards and a Tony Award.


Sharaff was born in Boston and studied at the New York School of Fine and Applied Arts, the Art Students League of New York, and the Académie de la Grande Chaumière in Paris.


Design for Barbra Streisand in Hello, Dolly! (1969)

After working as a fashion illustrator in her youth, Sharaff turned to set and costume design. Her debut production was the 1931 Broadway production of Alice in Wonderland, starring Eva Le Gallienne. Her use of silks from Thailand for The King and I (1951) created a trend in fashion and interior decoration.

Sharaff's work was featured in the movies West Side Story (Academy Award, 1961), Cleopatra (Academy Award, 1963), Meet Me in St. Louis, Hello, Dolly!, Mommie Dearest, The Other Side of Midnight, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (Academy Award, 1966), Guys and Dolls, The Best Years of Our Lives, The King and I (Academy Award, 1956), An American in Paris (Academy Award, 1951), Funny Girl and Porgy and Bess.

She also designed sets and costumes for American Ballet Theatre, the New York City Ballet, and the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, and contributed illustrations to fashion magazine's such as Vogue and Harper's Bazaar. Among her Broadway design credits are Idiot's Delight, Lady in the Dark, As Thousands Cheer, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Flower Drum Song, and Jerome Robbins' Broadway.

The TDF/Irene Sharaff Lifetime Achievement Award was named for Sharaff. She was its first recipient in 1993. The award is now bestowed annually to a costume designer who, over the course of his or her career, has achieved great distinction and mastery of the art in theatre, film, opera or dance.


Irene Sharaff died in New York City of congestive heart failure, complicated by emphysema, at the age of 83. Sharaff bequeathed her collection of books, along with that of her partner, Mai-Mai Sze, to the New York Society Library.

Awards and nominations

  • 1977 Academy Award for The Other Side of Midnight (nominee)
  • 1969 Academy Award for Hello, Dolly! (nominee)
  • 1968 Tony Award for Hallelujah, Baby! (nominee)
  • 1967 Academy Award for The Taming of the Shrew (nominee)
  • 1966 Academy Award for Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (winner)
  • 1964 Tony Award for The Girl Who Came to Supper (nominee)
  • 1963 Academy Award for Cleopatra (winner)
  • 1961 Academy Award for West Side Story (winner)
  • 1961 Academy Award for Flower Drum Song (nominee)
  • 1960 Academy Award for Can-Can (nominee)
  • 1959 Academy Award for Porgy and Bess (nominee)
  • 1959 Tony Award for Flower Drum Song (nominee)
  • 1958 Tony Award for West Side Story (nominee)
  • 1957 Tony Award for Shangri-La, Candide, Happy Hunting, and Small War on Murray Hill (nominee)
  • 1956 Academy Award for The King and I (winner)
  • 1955 Academy Award for Guys and Dolls (nominee)
  • 1954 Academy Award for Brigadoon (nominee)
  • 1954 Academy Award for A Star is Born (nominee)
  • 1954 Academy Award for Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Color for A Star is Born (nominee)
  • 1953 Academy Award for Call Me Madam (nominee)
  • 1952 Tony Award for The King and I (winner)
  • 1951 Academy Award for An American in Paris (winner)


Royal robe design for Yul Brynner in The King and I (1956), for which Sharaff won an Oscar.
Headdress for Elizabeth Taylor in the title role of Cleopatra (1963), which won another Oscar for Sharaff.
  • 1981 Mommie Dearest
  • 1977 The Other Side of Midnight
  • 1970 The Great White Hope
  • 1969 Hello, Dolly!
  • 1969 Justine
  • 1968 Funny Girl
  • 1967 The Taming of the Shrew
  • 1967 Barbra Streisand: A Happening in Central Park
  • 1966 Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
  • 1965 The Sandpiper
  • 1963 Cleopatra
  • 1961 Flower Drum Song
  • 1961 West Side Story
  • 1960 Can-Can
  • 1959 Porgy and Bess
  • 1956 The King and I
  • 1955 Guys and Dolls
  • 1954 A Star is Born (Production Designer)
  • 1954 Brigadoon
  • 1953 Call Me Madam
  • 1951 The Guy Who Came Back
  • 1951 An American in Paris
  • 1950 Shadow on the Wall
  • 1950 Key to the City
  • 1949 In the Good Old Summertime
  • 1948 Every Girl Should Be Married
  • 1948 A Song Is Born
  • 1947 The Unfinished Dance
  • 1947 The Romance of Rosy Ridge
  • 1947 Fiesta
  • 1947 The Hucksters
  • 1947 The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
  • 1947 Song of the Thin Man
  • 1947 The High Barbaree
  • 1947 The Arnelo Affair
  • 1947 The Beginning or the End
  • 1947 If Winter Comes
  • 1947 Living in a Big Way
  • 1947 The Bishop's Wife
  • 1946 Two Sisters from Boston
  • 1946 The Secret Heart
  • 1946 Courage of Lassie
  • 1946 The Dark Mirror
  • 1946 Love Laughs at Andy Hardy
  • 1946 Ziegfeld Follies (Production Designer)
  • 1946 Easy to Wed
  • 1946 The Green Years
  • 1946 The Hoodlum Saint
  • 1946 The Best Years of Our Lives
  • 1945 Twice Blessed
  • 1945 The Valley of Decision
  • 1945 The Picture of Dorian Gray
  • 1945 Adventure
  • 1945 The Hidden Eye
  • 1945 Her Highness and the Bellboy
  • 1944 Meet Me in St. Louis
  • 1944 Gaslight
  • 1944 The Thin Man Goes Home
  • 1944 Andy Hardy's Blonde Trouble
  • 1944 Gentle Annie
  • 1944 Broadway Rhythm
  • 1943 Swing Shift Maisie
  • 1943 A Stranger in Town
  • 1943 I Dood It
  • 1943 Madame Curie
  • 1943 The Human Comedy
  • 1941 The Devil and Miss Jones
  • 1941 Mr. and Mrs. Smith
  • 1941 You'll Never Get Rich
  • 1939 Eternally Yours
  • 1938 Vivacious Lady


  • Sharaff, Irene. Broadway and Hollywood: Costumes Designed by Irene Sharaff, Van Nostrand Reinhold Co (1976)
The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article on 05 Nov 2020. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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