William Creber, Production Designer on ‘Planet of the Apes’ and ‘The Poseidon Adventure,’ Dies at 87

Creber was a three-time Oscar nominee

William “Bill” Creber, a three-time Oscar-nominated Production Designer and Art Director known for his work on “Planet of the Apes” (1967) and “The Poseidon Adventure” (1972) died in Los Angeles on March 7 of complications from pneumonia after a prolonged illness. He was 87.

Creber’s Oscar nominations came for his work as a production designer on “The Greatest Story Ever Told” (1964), “The Poseidon Adventure” and “The Towering Inferno” (1975) for which he also received a BAFTA nomination. Creber was nominated for a Primetime Emmy in 1964 for “Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea” and was honored with an Art Directors Guild Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005.

“This was the man who designed and then flipped cruise ships, burned skyscrapers, and created an entire ape culture,” said Nelson Coates, president of the Art Directors Guild in a statement to TheWrap. “Though his last feature was 21 years ago, Bill Creber remained a vital influence in the industry, with his institutional memory, sharing of relevant production solutions, and his amazing skills devising, executing, and teaching incredible methods of in-camera visual fx.”

Creber was also celebrated for his work on the original “Planet of the Apes” (1968) followed by “Beneath the Planet of the Apes” (1970) and “Escape from the Planet of the Apes” (1971). Among his many additional credits are “Islands in the Stream,” “Any Which Way You Can,” “Flight of the Navigator” and the TV series “Mod Squad.” Creber’s last credit was for 2001’s “The Last Brickmaker in America.”

Creber is survived by his wife Sally Queen and son Ken Creber. Details for a memorial service will be announced shortly.