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November 20, 2009

Woody Crocker Passes at 68

Won Primetime Emmy for art direction in 1992.

Woody Crocker, an Emmy-award winning production designer, died October 19, 2009, of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, among family members at his home in Salem, Oregon. He was 68.

Crocker worked for many years as an art director and production designer for television productions and feature films, ranging from his first project as an art director, Sasquatch—The Legend of Big Foot, in 1974, to such series as Felicity, Providence and Scrubs. He became a production designer on the 1990 feature film Why Me?

He is best remembered for his eclectic work on the popular series Northern Exposure, which aired on CBS from 1990-95. Crocker designed 103 episodes of this series, and won an Emmy for outstanding individual achievement in art direction for a series in 1992. He earned an Emmy nomination the following year.

Born James Elwood Crocker in Corvallis, Oregon, he received his early education in a one-room schoolhouse. He found his calling at age six, when he won a statewide art competition. He performed in school plays in high school, and studied theater at the University of Oregon. In the 1960s, he toured Europe and Asia, building sets and designing costumes for two USO tours.

Crocker continued to work in theater throughout the 1960s and early 1970s, taking time out only to serve a tour of duty with the U.S. Army in Vietnam. In 1974, he switched his focus to film production.

In addition to his work as an art director and production designer, Crocker used his talent in other artistic pursuits, including landscape design.

Crocker is survived by two sons, two grandchildren, his former wife of eleven years, Marian Brown Crocker, and his longtime partner, Albert Cummings.

A celebration of Woody’s life will be held on Saturday, November 21, 2009, at 2:00 p.m., at the Elsinore Theatre, 170 High Street SE, Salem, OR 97301.

Contributions in Crocker’s memory may be made to OHSU Foundation, 1121 SW Salmon, Suite 100, Portland, OR 97205. Please note on check “ALS in memory of Woody Crocker.”

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