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Biography

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Overview (2)

Date of Birth 6 May 1935
Date of Death 12 September 2003Los Angeles, California, USA  (leukemia)

Trivia (5)

Got start as assistant to legendary designer Donald Brooks.
Bill (William) Hargate (1935-2003, age 68) born in Saint Louis, grew up in Wellston, a suburb of St. Louis, Missouri; raised by his parents Jennell and Bun Hargate, with a (seven year younger) brother Jim (James). Bill's father Bun owned a decorating and painting business in St. Louis. Bill attended the Normandy High School where he developed a love for stage and film that led to a career in the entertainment industry. During his freshman, junior, sophomore and senior Normandy High School summer vacations, first as a volunteer with the Saint Louis Municipal Opera, Bill eventually was placed on payroll in the wardrobe department. Bill ultimately worked each summer vacation at the Saint Louis Municipal Opera's season of musicals. Upon graduation from Normandy High School in June, 1953, Bill enrolled (1953-Fall) at the Art Institute of Chicago, Goodman School of Theatre, in Chicago, Illinois. Enrolled in the four year degree theater design program, Bill, continued a fifth year, receiving his Master's Degree from the Chicago Art Institute Goodman Theatre in June, 1958. The Goodman Theatre School Scenic Design program was taught by Jack Cornwall (scenic design/painting). Theoni V Aldredge taught costume design. Nick Naselius instructed technical areas of lighting, set construction, stage management. Students were assigned production and crew positions in the presentation of the Main Stage and small stage play production. Design assignments included the Saturday (morning and matinée) Children's Play Program series presented simultaneously with the main stage schedule. Bill became a very good scenic designer, and costume designer in his course of studies. During the Goodman years, Bill returned each summer to work at the Muni Opera Summer Season, assisting costume and wardrobe personnel employed by the Muni company. Theoni Aldredge (Aug.22,1922- Jan.21, 2011), arriving from Athens, Greece in 1949, attended the Goodman School on a scholarship grant. Receiving her Goodman Theatre School Costume Design degree. Theoni was hired as the Goodman's Costume Department head instructor. Theoni Aldredge met Tom Aldredge, an acting major, during their Goodman class work. Theoni married actor-husband Tom Aldredge (1928-2011) in December 1953. Bill became good friends with Theoni and Tom during his Goodman studies. Theoni and Tom remained at the Goodman until Theoni departed Chicago, for NYC at the end of the school year June, 1957. After the 1958 Muni Opera Summer-season, Bill ventured to NYC driving his '57 Chevrolet Bel Air Coupe, to test the prospects for a potential Broadway theatrical career. Arriving in NYC, with Theoni and Tom as established New Yorkers, they advised Bill on locating an apartment residence. Bill assisted Theoni on her theatrical costume design projects becoming entrenched as a costume assistant. Theoni welcomed her former Goodman students to volunteer without compensation, for on the job training. In 1966, Bill relocated to Los Angeles, assisting couture-costume designer Donald Brooks (1928-2005) on the 20th Century Fox Movie Studio production of "Star", featuring Julie Andrews, directed by Robert Wise. Remaining in Hollywood upon completion of principal photography, Donald Brooks began prep work on Blake Edwards' Paramount Studio feature "Darling Lily", with Bill transitioning with Brooks as his costume assistant designer (uncredited). Upon completion of this film project,Bill's costume design career was focused on television production. During this period, Bill's parents and brother Jim relocated from St. Louis to Palm Desert, California, with his father moving his decorating and painting business to the West Coast.
In 1977, Bill Hargate designed the new UCLA Marching Band uniforms introduced at their first 1977 Fall Rose Bowl Football Game in Pasadena, California. The UCLA Blue military styled uniform had to retain the UCLA yellow-gold matador off the shoulder cape. Bill shortened the traditional yellow-gold cape's knee length and fashioned a flared pant trouser leg cuff, an update to the current male fashion vogue. The Busby headpiece was updated, as well. Bill also redesigned the cheer leader uniforms.
At the opening of Ballet Theatre at the old Metropolitan Opera House, then at 40th and Broadway, Bill Hargate attended in a dark suit, but wearing "Ked basketball sneakers" (dirty whites with no laces) as his "ballet costume attire", his fashion statement!
During Bill's last year attending the Chicago Art Institute Goodman Theatre School, Bill was employed as the personal wardrobe dresser for the lead role Professor Henry Higgins, performed by Brian Aherne. Chicago was the first road company, duplicating the Broadway Lerner and Lowe musical hit "My Fair Lady". The musical played at the Blackstone Theatre for a year 1957-1958. Sally Ann Howes performed Eliza Doolittle opposite Brian Aherne's Professor Henry Higgins.

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