Walter P`lunkett (June 5, 1902 in Oakland, California – March 8, 1982) the prolific costume designer who worked on more than 150 projects throughout his extensive and important career in the Hollywood film industry.
Born in Oakland, California, and although showing more interest in the schools theatrical group, Plunkett studied Law at the University of California. Moving to New York City in 1923 he began work as a stage actor as well as working costume and set design. After this time building experience in the industry he moved to Hollywood and started work as an extra, although he soon made the change to working in costume and wardrobe.
Hard Boiled Haggerty was Plunkett’s first credited movie work in 1927. RKO studio’s soon acquired his services where he built an enormous costume and wardrobe department, becoming one of the studio’s industry leaders, getting a large amount of freedom, he started work that rivaled that of contemporaries Travis Banton and Adrian.
Plunkett’s best-known work is featured in two films, Gone with the Wind and Singin’ in the Rain, in which he lampooned his initial style of the Roaring Twenties.
In 1951, Plunkett shared an Oscar with Orry-Kelly and Irene for An American in Paris.
Plunkett retired in 1966, after having worked in films, on Broadway, and for the Metropolitan Opera. He spent the last years of his life with his partner Lee, whom he formally adopted so that he could inherit his estate. He died at age 79 in Santa Monica, California.