Lawrence G Paull, Production Designer on ‘Blade Runner’ and ‘Back to the Future,’ Dies at 81

Oscar-nominee and BAFTA winner also worked on “Romancing the Stone” and “City Slickers”

Lawrence G Paull
Photo courtesy of Spooky Stevens

Lawrence G. Paull, who was an Oscar-nominated production designer on the classics “Blade Runner” and “Back to the Future,” has died. Paull died on Nov. 10 in La Jolla, California. He was 81.

Among Paull’s other credits are Robert Zemeckis’ “Romancing the Stone” and Ron Underwood’s “City Slickers.” He also worked on “Born Yesterday,” “Predator 2,” “Harlem Nights,” “Escape From L.A.” and “Naked Gun 33-1/3: The Final Insult.”

“I was very saddened to read of Larry’s passing,” director Ridley Scott said in a statement. “I haven’t seen him in a number of years. But I remember I was always struck by his staunch and faithful support of the strange plan for the unique world of ‘Blade Runner.’ Between Syd and myself, and Larry, it was a challenging, monumental task for him and against all odds. The proof is in his work in the film. So I guess WE won. My hat comes off for him, and he was an always pleasant and agreeable man.”

Paull was born in Chicago and received a bachelor’s degree in architecture from the University of Arizona. He started working on films in the ’70s as an art director before eventually advancing to becoming a production designer. Throughout his career, he worked with directors including Scott, Zemeckis, Paul Schrader, John Carpenter, Peter Fonda, Jon Avildsen, John Badham and Jonathan Kaplan.

Following his retirement from the film industry, he joined Chapman University in 2004 as a teacher as part of a Master’s degree curriculum for production design students. Paull was also a senior filmmaker-in-residence at the American Film Institute, and he has also been a guest speaker at Harvard University, USC, UCLA, Catholic University and the University of Arizona.

Paull is survived by his wife of 36 years, Marcy Bolotin, son Michael Paull, sister Lesley Cavanagh and brother-in-law Craig Bolotin.

In lieu of flowers, the family has requested donations be made in Larry’s memory to a charity of your choice. There will be no services.