Franne Lee Obituary, Tony-Winning Costume and Scenic Designer Has Died

Franne Lee Obituary, Death – On August 27, her daughter Stacy Sandler announced that 81-year-old costume and set designer Franne Lee had gone away. Over the course of her career, Lee won three Tony Awards. Ms. Lee’s mother, Frances Elaine Newman, was born on December 30, 1941. At the University of Wisconsin, she started off studying painting but soon changed her major to theater and set design.

Her career in New York City began with her work as a costume designer for Andre Gregory’s Off-Off-Broadway production of Alice in Wonderland, for which she was nominated for an Obie Award (under the name Franne Newman). Eugene Lee, the set designer who later became her long-term companion and colleague—she even adopted his name—was someone she had never worked with before.

Additionally, this was their first time collaborating. With the musical Dude, for which she was in charge of the production design, Ms. Lee made her Broadway debut. She then worked as a set and costume designer for the Broadway revival of Candide in 1974. Love for Love, The Skin of Our Teeth, Some of My Best Friends, Sweeney Todd, Gilda Radner: Live from New York, The Moony Shapiro Songbook, and Rock ‘N Roll! The First 5,000 Years are a few other Broadway shows in which she has starred.

She also contributed as a second costume designer to the 1993 revival of Camelot. In 1974, Ms. Lee and her husband Eugene Lee won the Tony Award for Best Scenic Design for their performance in Candide. The same year, Ms. Lee also received the Tony Award for Best Costume Design. This was her third overall victory when she received the Tony Award for Best Costume Design for Sweeney Todd in 1979.

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