Noel Taylor was the first person acknowledged by the Emmy Awards for costume design in 1965 for the Hallmark Hall of Fame production “The Magnificent Yankee”— the first year that costume design was honored; Taylor has died at the age of 97. Noel Taylor began his career on Broadway (“The Teahouse of the August Moon,” “Auntie Mame”) before his celebrated work for television, that began with his long association with Hallmark Hall of Fame (from the ’50s to the ’70s). Among his additional costume design for TV included The Turn of the Screw (a 1959 production starring Ingrid Bergman), docudrama The Sacco-Vanzetti Story, several productions of KCET’s The Hollywood Television Theater, TV film Right of Way (with Jimmy Stewart and Bette Davis), and several of Katharine Hepburn’s late career TV movie vehicles. In total he received four career Emmy nominations.
Noel Taylor’s Archive interview was conducted on April 19, 2005.
Noel Taylor talked about his early experiences in the theater as an actor and writer before turning his talents to costume designing. He discussed his entrance into television working under NBC contract, primarily on the anthology series Hallmark Hall of Fame. He talked about several of this series productions including “Hamlet,” “The Green Pastures,” “The Magnificent Yankee,” and “Barefoot in Athens.” He discussed such aspects of the craft as creating a shade of white that could be read on camera and painting “embroidery” on costumes as a moneysaving technique. He talked about being recognized by the Emmy Awards for costume design for “The Magnificent Yankee,” in the first year costume design was cited. He detailed his continued work in television including the 1970s KCET series The Hollywood Television Theater, which earned him a second Emmy Award. Lastly, he discussed his long association with Katharine Hepburn on all of her later work, including Mrs. Delafield Wants To Marry. B-roll consisted of photos and costume sketches from Hallmark Hall of Fame, Turn of the Screw, Hollywood Television Theater, Antony and Cleopatra, Eleanor First Lady of the World, and Mrs. Delafield Wants to Marry. The interview was conducted by Gary Rutkowski.