RIP: Costume Designer Willa Kim dies at 99
BroadwayWorld is saddened to report that the beloved Broadway costume designer Willa Kim has died at 99, after years of struggling with her health.
Following a brief stint in the film industry, Kim began her theatrical career as an assistant to Raoul Pene du Bois on historical productions such as the original productions of Gypsy, The Music Man, and Wonderful Town.
During an expansive career that covered more than five decades, Kim went on to design the costumes for over 20 Broadway productions, as well as many Off-Broadway and regional productions. In 1981 and 1991 Kim won the Tony Award for Best Costume Design, for The Will Rogers Follies and Sophisticated Ladies, respectively. She was nominated for the same award an additional four times, and is a three-time Drama Desk Award Winner. Kim's most recent outing on the Great White Way was for Victor/Victoria in 1995. In addition to her theatre work, Kim designed costumes for over 50 Eliot Feld productions and for the American Ballet Theatre.
Kim came of age in the theatre at a time when the professional world contained even more roadblocks to success for women than it does now. In 2011, Kim sat down with Women in Theatre to talk about her illustrious career and working in the theatre as a woman.