Paul Sylbert, ‘Heaven Can Wait’ Production Designer, Dies at 88

Oscar winner’s credits also include “A Face in the Crowd,” “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” “Kramer vs. Kramer” and “The Prince of Tides”

Production designer and art director Paul Sylbert, who won an Academy Award for “Heaven Can Wait,” has died. He was 88.

Sylbert died Saturday in a hospital near his home in Jenkintown, Pennsylvania, producer Hawk Koch announced.

In addition to “Heaven Can Wait” (1978), Sylbert also received an Oscar nomination for designing Barbra Streisand’s “The Prince of Tides” (1991).

Sylbert had recently served on the faculty of the Film & Media Arts Department at Temple University in Philadelphia.

He and his twin brother, the late Richard Sylbert who won Oscars for “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” and “Dick Tracy,” were two of the most sought-after production designers in Hollywood from the late 1950s through the 90s.

They also designed “A Face in the Crowd “(1957) for director Elia Kazan, and Paul did “Bad Company” (1972), “Kramer vs. Kramer” (1979) and “Nadine” (1987) for Robert Benton and “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” (1975) for Milos Forman.

In addition, Sylbert’s film résumé includes such notable works such as “Mikey and Nicky” (1976), “Gorky Park” (1983), “Blow Out” (1981), “The Pope of Greenwich Village” (1984), “Ishtar” (1987), “Biloxi Blues” (1988), “Rush” (1991) and “Rosewood” (1997).

Sylbert wrote and directed the 1971 feature “The Steagle,” starring Richard Benjamin, and wrote “Final Cut,” a 1974 book about his experiences on the set. Sylbert was given the Art Directors Guild Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009.

Sylbert is survived by his wife, Jenny, and their two children.

A memorial service is being planned outside of Philadelphia.