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Joseph Mielziner

Birthplace: Paris, Ile-de-France, France
Death: March 15, 1976 (74)
New York, NY, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Leo Mielziner, Sr. and Ella Lane McKenna Mielziner
Brother of Kenneth MacKenna

Managed by: Ric Dickinson
Last Updated:

About Jo Mielziner

Joseph "Jo" Mielziner (March 19, 1901, in Paris - March 15, 1976, in New York City) was an American theatrical scenic, costume, and lighting designer born in Paris, France. The son of artist Leo Mielziner, Sr. (son of a rabbi), and brother of actor-director Kenneth MacKenna, he was considered one of the most influential theatre designers of the 20th century, designing the scenery and often the lighting for more than 200 productions, many of which became American classics.

Mielziner's Broadway debut was in 1924 with The Guardsman, for which he designed the scenery and lighting. His other Broadway credits include the original productions of Sweet and Low, Another Part of the Forest, Winterset, Dodsworth, Strange Interlude, Carousel, South Pacific, Guys and Dolls, The King and I, A Streetcar Named Desire, Death of a Salesman, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Gypsy, and The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, as well as the film Picnic and the ballet Who Cares?.

During World War II, Mielziner worked as a camouflage specialist with the United States Air Force.

In the course of his career, Mielziner won five Tony Awards and the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Set Design. His influence extended outside of the theatre. He was acquainted with the American artist Edward Hopper, who is said to have modeled his well-known painting Early Sunday Morning after Mielziner's set for Elmer Rice's play Street Scene, produced in 1929.

Mielziner designed the theater at Wake Forest University and co-designed the Vivian Beaumont Theater at Lincoln Center with architect Eero Saarinen. He resided for many years at The Dakota and can be seen working in his studio in an exterior shot in the film Rosemary's Baby.

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Jo Mielziner's Timeline

March 19, 1901
Paris, Ile-de-France, France
March 15, 1976
Age 74
New York, NY, United States