Production designer William Creber, who served as art director on the original â€œPlanet of the Apesâ€ movies, died in Los Angeles on March 7 from pneumonia after a prolonged illness. He was 87.
â€œThis was the man who designed and then flipped cruise ships, burned skyscrapers, and created an entire ape culture,â€ said Nelson Coates, president of the Art Directors Guild. â€œThough his last feature was 21 years ago, Bill Creber remained a vital influence in the industry, with his institutional memory, sharing of relevant production solutions, and his amazing skills devising, executing, and teaching incredible methods of in-camera visual fx.â€
His three Oscar nominations came for his art direction on George Stevensâ€™ â€œThe Greatest Story Ever Told,â€ and on Irwin Allenâ€™s â€œPoseidon Adventureâ€ and â€œTowering Inferno.â€ Other projects he worked on include ABC series â€œVoyage to the Bottom of the Sea,â€ for which he won an Emmy, ABCâ€™s â€œThe Time Tunnel,â€ and CBSâ€™ â€œLost in Space.â€
Creber wasnâ€™t the first in his family to work in Hollywood. The art director followed in the footsteps of his father, Lewis Creber, a former art director at Fox Studio whose credits include â€œState Fairâ€ and all nine seasons of CBSâ€™ â€œPerry Mason.â€
Creber is survived by his Emmy-winning son Kenneth Creber, an art director and set designer who has worked on shows such as â€œMelrose Placeâ€ and â€œPushing Daisies,â€ and his wife, Sally Queen.