Emmy Award-winning costume designer Bill Hargate died September 12, of complications from leukemia, at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles. He was 68.
Hargate began in the New York theatre, working Off Broadway, then moving to Broadway as an assistant to Theoni V. Aldredge and Donald Brooks. He moved to Los Angeles to work with Brooks on the 1968 film Star. Later, he worked in the wardrobe departments of NBC and Universal. He designed numerous television specials in the mid-70s, then took on the series Barbara Mandrell and the Mandrell Sisters in 1980. In 1988 came his most famous job, as costume designer for the hit series Murphy Brown, which lasted until 1996.
On Broadway, his credits included two 1979 revivals, Peter Pan and Oklahoma!. He also provided additional costumes for Doug Henning and His World of Magic in 1984.
He also designed evening wear for many actresses including Geena Davis, Delta Burke, Annie Potts, Kim Basinger, Barbara Mandrell, Ethel Merman and Mary Tyler Moore. The Menswear Association of America gave him the Aldo Award in 1995 and he received a lifetime achievement award from the Costume Designer’s Guild in 2001. He won four Emmys, for the musical special Pinocchio (1976), Once Upon a Brothers Grimm (1977), the PBS special Sylvia Fine Kaye’s Musical Comedy Tonight III/Great Performanaces and Murphy Brown. He was nominated for nine more Emmys.
Hargate is survived by Ted Sprague, his companion of 43 years, as well as his mother and brother.