Biography

An Oscar-nominated production designer who held a longtime working relationship with filmmaker Woody Allen, Mel Bourne's keen sense of urban visuals would result in memorable settings for such films as Manhattan (1979) and The Fisher King (1991). A Chicago native who resided in Tribeca since the 1950s, the sharp-eyed designer's lifelong urban habitation proved the ideal inspiration for his chosen career. Studying chemical engineering at Purdue University early on, Bourne opted for a career in theater after serving in World War II and subsequently studying at Yale, where he would assist production designer Robert Edmond Jones. Bourne was working mainly in commercials when his work on Howdy Doody and The Hallmark Hall of Fame lead Woody Allen to offer the burgeoning designer a position on the film Annie Hall (1977), and with that film, the duo cemented a professional bond that would stretch through Allen's Broadway Danny Rose (1984). Also working with such directors as Michael Mann (Manhunter [1986]) and Adrian Lyne (Fatal Attraction [1987]), Bourne would continue to work through the dawn of the new millennium. After suffering a brief illness in late 2002, Mel Bourne died of heart failure in January 2003. He was 79. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi