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Alan M. Kimmel

Date of passing: 
June 02, 2017

Alan Kimmel was a multiple Emmy Award-winning television and theatrical scenic designer.

Alan Kimmel was a multiple Emmy Award-winning television and theatrical scenic designer.

A proud native New Yorker, he was a graduate of Manhattan's High School of Music and Art, earned an MFA at Carnegie Mellon University, and was a 50+ year member of United Scenic Artists, Local 829, of New York City. He was the set and costume designer for the original New York production of You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown, and all subsequent national and international tours. Other stage credits include the original New York productions of Mother Earth, Monopoly, Night Ride, At Wit's End, Honey I'm Home, and the acclaimed off- Broadway revivals of Fortune and Men's Eyes, Cabin in the Sky, and Carnal Knowledge.

He designed for many regional theatres across the country, including residencies at the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Seattle Repertory Theatre, The Charles Playhouse in Boston, Casa Manana Musicals of Fort Worth, and the Actors' Workshop of San Francisco which hosted Alan's design for the American premiere of Pinter's The Birthday Party. His designs for opera included Die Fledermaus for Opera Pacific/Michigan Opera Theatre and the American premiere of Zaza for Cincinnati Opera.

He spent years as Staff Designer for ABC-TV Network News, Public Affairs and Special events, and won the Emmy Award for World News Tonight's "A Line in the Sand" and another for The Morning Show. He designed the sets for Nightline, 20/20, the International Olympic Games of Innsbruck, Montreal and Lake Placid, This Week with David Brinkley, Eye to Eye with Connie Chung and the Presidential Primaries Election and Inaugurations of 1980 and 1984. He also earned awards from the Broadcast Designers Association, the New York International Film & Television Festival, and recognition from Dupont/Columbia Broadcast Excellence in Journalism.

He was a guest lecturer and scenic advisor at Lincoln Center, Fordham University, Fairfield University, New York Institute of Technology, Skidmore College, SUNY/Fredonia, and Texas Christian University. Exhibitions of his work have been held at the Koogler/McNay Art Museum in San Antonio Texas, the Sackler Gallery in Stamford Connecticut, the United States Institute for Theatre Technology and the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, New York.

His iconic stage designs for You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown brought Alan international recognition for their striking simplicity and originality. His highly esteemed television career brought scenic integrity into the world of broadcast journalism.

Kimmel died peacefully in his home in New York City on June 2, 2017. Robert McCullough, his devoted husband for the past 41 years, was at his side throughout his battle with PLS (a form of ALS).

Alan was an avid daily (and Sunday) solver of New York Times Crossword puzzles and cherished his life in the city where he was born, regularly attending theatre, opera, concerts and museums. In addition to his husband, Alan is survived by his cousins including Beth Singer of Washington, DC, Randi Chalfin-Piney, Lena Smith and his brother, Joel Kimmel of Los Angeles, along with his godchildren Elena Byhoff and Dylan Brody. All of Alan's survivors as well as numerous colleagues have been inspired by Alan's talent and heart. Alan brought all who knew him his appreciation of art, culture, Gershwin tunes, Strauss waltzes, Klimt portraits, Chaplin movies and Barbara Cook.

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Alan M. Kimmel

Alan M. Kimmel

Photo credit: 
Courtesy Robert McCullough