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Ken Adam Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (1)  | Trade Mark (1)  | Trivia (12)  | Personal Quotes (6)

Overview (4)

Born in Berlin, Germany
Died in London, England, UK
Birth NameKlaus Hugo Adam
Nickname Heinie the Tank-buster

Mini Bio (1)

Ken Adam was a British movie production designer, best known for his set designs for the James Bond films of the 1960s and 1970s, as well as for Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964).

His first major screen credit was as production designer on the British thriller Spin a Dark Web (1956). In 1961 he was hired for the first James Bond film, Dr. No (1962).

Adam did not work in the second James Bond film, From Russia with Love (1963) because he was working in Stanley Kubrick's Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964). This enabled him to make his name with his innovative, semi-futuristic sets for further James Bond films, such as Goldfinger (1964), Thunderball (1965), You Only Live Twice (1967), Diamonds Are Forever (1971), The Spy Who Loved Me (1977), and his last Bond film was Moonraker (1979).

Adam returned to work with Kubrick on Barry Lyndon (1975), for which he won an Oscar. He also worked in The Ipcress File (1965) and its sequel Funeral in Berlin (1966), Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1969), Sleuth (1972), and The Madness of King George (1994), for which he won his second Oscar for Best Art Direction.

In 2003, Adam was knighted for services to the film industry and Anglo-German relations.

He died on 10 March 2016 at his home in London at the age of 95.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Pedro Borges

Spouse (1)

Maria-Letizia Moauro (16 August 1952 - 10 March 2016) ( his death)

Trade Mark (1)

He often uses timeless production design, and future-look combined with old culture design.

Trivia (12)

In 1999 a special exhibition of his production design sketches was held in London.
His family left Germany in 1934 to avoid the Nazis, moving to England. When war came, he joined Britain's Royal Air Force and became their only German fighter pilot.
He was awarded the OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) before being awarded the the Knight Bachelor of the Order of the British Empire in the 2003 Queen's Birthday Honours List for his services to film production design and British-German relations.
Member of jury at the Cannes Film Festival in 1980
Member of the jury at the Berlin International Film Festival in 1999
He flew Hawker Typhoon ground attack aircraft with 609 squadron of the RAF in the battle of Normandy. Many of his targets were SS troops.
He was trained as an RAF pilot by future film star Michael Rennie.
Born in Berlin in 1921, and growing up in a prosperous Jewish family, the Adam family fled the Nazis in 1934, settled in London, where Ken Adam studied architecture and volunteered to fly for the Royal Air Force during World War II. He was one of only three German-born pilots permitted in the RAF.
In September 2012, he handed over his entire body of work to the Deutsche Kinemathek. The collection comprises approximately 4,000 sketches for films from all periods, photo albums to individual films, storyboards of his employees, memorabilia, military medals, and identity documents, as well as all cinematic awards, including Adam's two Academy Awards.
He turned down the opportunity to work on 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), after he found out that Stanley Kubrickhad been working with NASA for a year on space exploration, and that would put him at a disadvantage in developing his art.
He was unable to work on For Your Eyes Only (1981), as he was busy with Pennies from Heaven (1981).
In 1999, during the Victoria and Albert Museum exhibition "Ken Adam - Designing the Cold War", Adam spoke on his role in the design of film sets associated with the 1960s through the 1980s.

Personal Quotes (6)

[Discussing his ambitious volcano set for the James Bond film You Only Live Twice (1967): "The challenge appealed to me also, the shape of the volcano. I knew if it didn't work I'd never work in movies again. [Producer] Cubby Broccoli asked me how much it would cost. I quoted him a million dollars, which at that time was a huge amount of money. He said if I could do it for a million, then do it. That's when I really began to worry."
I guess one has to be a little crazy. (About designing the famous Vulcano-set for You Only Live Twice (1967))
[on Stanley Kubrick] Most days during production [of Dr. Strangelove] I drove him to the studio... I recommend this as a way to get to know your director.
[on designing the first James Bond film]: I felt I needed to work in England pretty soon, lest I be forgotten.I said yes to Dr. No (1962), and thought I was prostituting myself.
As a production designer, you offer a form of escapism that is often more exciting than reality.
Films, being a visual entertainment, should offer a form of escapism for an audience. I can achieve more reality in terms of dramatic value for the screenplay by not copying nature, architecture or whatever really exists.

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