Where Are They Now: Albert Brenner Went From Window Dressing to Oscar Noms

  • Variety
Growing up among his native Brooklyn’s brick-and-fire-escape facades in the 1930’s, production designer-to-be Albert Brenner often dreamed of the wide open spaces depicted in his favorite Saturday-matinee Westerns. At 16, he landed his first “art job”: dressing windows for a New York City department store.

Two years later, Brenner swapped mannequins for military service and flew in B-24 bombers until World War II ended in 1945. On the G.I. Bill, he attended Yale University, graduating with skills in drafting, and went into summer stock theater under designer Samuel Leve, toiling away on plays like “The Fifth Season” and gaining a union card in the process.

He developed his designer chops in New York on TV shows like “The Phil Silvers Show,” “Car 54, Where Are You?” “Captain Kangaroo” and “Playhouse 90.” His first day on the Silvers show, where he eventually earned $250 a week, was nearly his last, when he
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