Anthea Sylbert dead at 84: Two-time Oscar-nominated costume designer and producer, has passed away

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Oscar-nominated costume designer and movie producer Anthea Sylbert, who has died at 84, worked on iconic movies such as Shampoo and Rosemary’s Baby.

Anthea Sylbert’s death was confirmed by Robert Romanus, who had directed a documentary about her life. She was born Anthea Giannakouros on 6 October, 1939 in Brooklyn, New York and after studying art history at Barnard College and fashion at the Parsons School of Design, began working as a researcher for a Broadway costume designer. 

According to Variety, “Sylbert was the costume designer on 21 films, including period pieces “Carnal Knowledge,” with Nicholson and Art Garfunkel; “Chinatown”; Mike Nichols’ “The Fortune,” starring Warren Beatty and Nicholson; “The Last Tycoon,” starring Robert De Niro; “Julia,” starring Jane Fonda and Vanessa Redgrave; Norman Jewison’s “F.I.S.T.,” starring Sylvester Stallone. Other films included Elaine May’s “The Heartbreak Kid” and “A New Leaf,” as well as “The Day of the Dolphin,” directed by Nichols.”

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Anthea Sylbert also worked on such iconic movies such as Rosemary’s Baby, Shampoo and King Kong and also worked as a producer on a number of Goldie Hawn films. 

Anthea Sylbert’s first career breakthrough came when she became a costume designer on the 1967 comedy and worked with her husband Paul Sylbert (they married in 1965) on it. This was also the first movie that Hollywood legend Dustin Hoffman starred in. 

Costume designer Anthea went on to work with husband Paul Sylbert on the movie The Steagle, which he wrote and directed and also on a 1972 Western, Bad Company, directed by Robert Benton. Although she was married to Paul Sylbert, Anthea had a working relationship with his twin brother, Richard Sylbert, a production designer and they worked on movies such as Rosemary’s Baby together. 

Oscar-nominated costume designer and movie producer Anthea Sylbert has died Oscar-nominated costume designer and movie producer Anthea Sylbert has died
Oscar-nominated costume designer and movie producer Anthea Sylbert has died | getty

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Anthea was somewhat of a trailblazer and “was the rare woman in the New Hollywood era to segue from the creative side of filmmaking to the business side, first as an executive at Warner Bros. and United Artists and then as Goldie Hawn’s founding partner in a production company.”

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Anthea Sylbert passed away in Skiathos, Greece she had moved there in 2000 with actor Richard Romanus. She divorced Paul Sylbert in 1984. Anthea Sylbert and Richard Romanus were declared honorary citizens of Skiathos in 2021, she is survived by her stepson Robert Romanus as husband Richard Romanus predeceased her.

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