Costume Designer Patricia Norris dies at 83
By Pat Saperstein
March 4, 2015
Patricia Norris, the Oscar-nommed and Emmy-winning production designer and costume designer of “12 Years a Slave,” “Twin Peaks,” “Scarface” and numerous other films and television shows, died of natural causes in Van Nuys, Calif. on Feb. 20. She was 83.
Working with noted directors including David Lynch, Terrence Malick, Robert Altman, Wim Wenders and Brian de Palma, she was Oscar-nommed six times, for “12 Years a Slave,” “Sunset,” “Victor, Victoria,” “The Elephant Man” and “Days of Heaven.”
Though she didn’t win the Oscar for “12 Years,” she did win Costume Designers Guild Excellence in Period Film Award.
Norris, who was known as Patty, was the only person to receive Lifetime Achievement Awards from both the Costume Designers Guild and the Art Directors Guild.
She had a longtime collaboration with Lynch. She designed the costumes for Lynch’s “The Elephant Man,” “The Straight Story,” “Lost Highway,” “Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me” and the “Twin Peaks” pilot, for which she won an Emmy. As production designer, she helped craft the atmospheric and evocative look of Lynch’s influential “Blue Velvet” as well as for “Lost Highway,” “Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me” and the “Twin Peaks” pilot.
“With Patricia you get no freak-outs, no whining,” said Lynch. “As a person and as a friend, she is solid gold,” Lynch said at the time of her ADG honor.
Norris was production designer on films including “Killing Them Softly,” and “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford.”
She designed costumes for those films as well as “The Sunshine Boys,” “The Immigrant,” “Silent Movie,” and “Johnny Dangerously.”
She is survived by her sons Patrick, Michael and Chris and her daughter Kathy.
Born: 3/22/1931, U.S.A.
Died: 2/20/2015, Van Nuys, California, U.S.A.
Patricia Norris’ westerns – production manager, costume designer, wardrobe:
The Good Guys and the Bad Guys – 1969 [wardrobe]
Rio Lobo – 1970 [costume designer]
Support Your Local Gunfighter – 1971 [costume designer]
The Missouri Breaks – 1971 [costume designer]
Zandy’s Bride – 1974 [costume designer]
The Master Gunfighter – 1975 [costume designer]
Breakheart Pass – 1975 [costume designer]
Sunset – 1988 [costume designer]
Return to Lonesome Dove (TV) – 1993 [production designer, costume designer]
The Hi-Lo Country – 1998 [production designer, costume designer]
The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Bob Ford – 2007 [production designer, costume designer]