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Bob Mackie

Bob Mackie

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Also Known As: Robert Gordon Mackie Died:
Born: March 24, 1940 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Monterey Park, California, USA Profession: fashion designer, accessories designer, costume designer, sketch artist, set designer

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

One of a handful of fashion designers for the stars to actually be known to a wide sector of the public, Mackie has created gowns which have caressed, enhanced and glamorously exaggerated the female form in particular since the 1960s. After studies in art school, Mackie worked as a sketch artist for the legendary Jean Louis and as a member of the equally famed Edith Head design team. He then struck out on his own, attracting attention for his work on TV adaptations of "Brigadoon" and "Alice Through the Looking Glass" (both 1966), winning his first of many Emmys for the latter.Mackie soon began creating togs for some of the various divas who would make his name, most notably Carol Burnett and Diana Ross. His glamorous ideas for "Diana Ross and the Supremes and the Temptations on Broadway" (1969) won him another Emmy, and he became the primary creative force behind the costumes for the long-running "The Carol Burnett Show" (CBS, 1967-78). For the next several decades, Burnett would be Mackie's most loyal customer; he did work for her feature "Chu Chu and the Philly Flash" (1981), many TV shows ("Fresno" 1986, "Plaza Suite" 1987, "Julie and Carol: Together Again" 1989), and her later short-lived variety...

One of a handful of fashion designers for the stars to actually be known to a wide sector of the public, Mackie has created gowns which have caressed, enhanced and glamorously exaggerated the female form in particular since the 1960s. After studies in art school, Mackie worked as a sketch artist for the legendary Jean Louis and as a member of the equally famed Edith Head design team. He then struck out on his own, attracting attention for his work on TV adaptations of "Brigadoon" and "Alice Through the Looking Glass" (both 1966), winning his first of many Emmys for the latter.

Mackie soon began creating togs for some of the various divas who would make his name, most notably Carol Burnett and Diana Ross. His glamorous ideas for "Diana Ross and the Supremes and the Temptations on Broadway" (1969) won him another Emmy, and he became the primary creative force behind the costumes for the long-running "The Carol Burnett Show" (CBS, 1967-78). For the next several decades, Burnett would be Mackie's most loyal customer; he did work for her feature "Chu Chu and the Philly Flash" (1981), many TV shows ("Fresno" 1986, "Plaza Suite" 1987, "Julie and Carol: Together Again" 1989), and her later short-lived variety series, "Carol & Company" (1990-91) and "The Carol Burnett Show" (1991). He also provided Burnett's costumes for her return to Broadway in "Moon Over Buffalo" in 1995. For Burnett, Mackie designed both outlandish outfits suited to her engagingly broad comic skits (notably, the green curtain dress complete with rods for the "Gone With the Wind" spoof) and the sequined, floor-length, slit-skirted gowns she so often wore in her famous chats with the audience.

Mackie's next major client was Cher, and his omnipresent penchant for both the campy and the sexy really came to the fore. Some of his spiky creations for the lanky singer-actress were downright glamour punk in style, and Mackie's unabashed outrageousness would later suit Madonna ("The 63rd Annual Academy Awards" 1991), Bette Midler ("Gypsy" 1993) and many other stars eager to be sensuous, bizarre or both simultaneously.

Mackie won more Emmys designing clothes for Mitzi Gaynor's 70s song and dance fests on TV, and he won Oscar nominations for the features "Lady Sings with Blues" (1972, with Ross), "Funny Lady" (1975) and "Pennies from Heaven" (1981). Mackie has also designed for the stage for the likes of Carol Channing ("Lorelei" 1974) and Alexis Smith ("Platinum" 1978) and took a stab and producing and libretto writing for the staging of "Movie Star" (1982).

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

2.
 It's Burlesque (2001) Interviewee
5.
 Edith Head: Designing Woman (2000) Interviewee
8.
 Made in the USA (1994)
10.
 Armistead Maupin's Tales of the City (1994) Richard Evan Hampton
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1962:
Worked as a sketch artist for fashion designer Jean Louis; was also a member of designer Edith Head's staff
1963:
Chosen by Ray Aghayan to be Aghayan's assistant for the CBS variety series "The Judy Garland Show"
:
Earliest credits designing costumes for TV specials, "Brigadoon" and "The Wonderful World of Burlesque II--The Danny Thomas Special", receiving his first Emmy nomination for the latter
1967:
Earliest feature film work included the comedy, "Divorce American Style"
:
With Aghayan, designed costumes for the long-running CBS variety series, "The Carol Burnett Show"; also marked some of earliest work for Carol Burnett
1969:
Earliest work for Diana Ross included designed costumes for the NBC TV special, "Diana Ross and the Supremes and the Temptations on Broadway"
1971:
Designed costumes for a theatrical revival of the landmark 1940s musical, "On the Town"
:
Designed costumes for the CBS variety series, "The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour"; also marked some of earliest designing work for Cher
1972:
Received first Oscar nomination for Best Costume Design for the musical drama, "Lady Sings the Blues", a biopic of Billie Holliday starring Diana Ross; collaborated with Aghayan
1974:
With Aghayan designed costumes for the Broadway musical, "Lorelei", a quasi-sequel to "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes" starring Carol Channing
1974:
Shared second Academy Award nomination for Best Costume Design for "Funny Lady"
:
Created costume designs for the CBS variety series, "The Sonny and Cher Show"
1978:
Designed costumes for the Broadway musical, "Platinum", starring Alexis Smith
1981:
Received third Oscar nomination for his designs for "Pennies From Heaven"
1982:
Co-produced and collaborated on the libretto for the stage musical, "Movie Star", performed in Hollywood; also designed the costumes
1985:
Appeared on Broadway (and in the televised version) in the fundraising special, "Night of 100 Stars II"
:
Designed the costumes for the NBC comedy anthology series, "Carol and Company", starring Burnett
1991:
Designed Carol Burnett's costumes for the short-lived NBC variety series, "The Carol Burnett Show"
1994:
Created the costumes for the short-lived Broadway musical "The Best Little Whorehouse Goes Public"
1995:
Designed Burnett's costumes for her return to Broadway, "Moon Over Buffalo"
1999:
Created the costumes for the HBO special "Cher: Live in Concert at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas"; received Emmy Award
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Education

Chouinard Art Institute: Pasadena , California - 1958 - 1961

Notes

Mackie was twice named Most Creative Fashion designer by US magazine in 1982 and 1983

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Lulu Nicholson. Divorced; mother of Mackie's son Robin.
wife:
Marianne Wolford. Married on March 14, 1960; divorced.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Charles Robert Mackie.
mother:
Mildred Agnes Mackie.
son:
Robin Gordon Mackie. Born c. 1959; mother, Lulu Nicholson; died from complications from AIDS in March 1993.

Bibliography close complete biography

"Dressing for Glamour"

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