John Iacovelli, beloved L.A. theater set designer, dies at 64

John Iacovelli, beloved L.A. theater set designer, dies at 64

John Iacovelli, the Emmy-winning prolific scenic designer for stage and screen and invaluable collaborator for L.A. theater artists for many decades, died Friday. He was 64.

2 Messages for “John Iacovelli, beloved L.A. theater set designer, dies at 64”

  1. Charles McCarry says:

    The kindest and most generous person I have ever known in this profession. I cherished his friendship, he was a beloved colleague. My heart is broken. I pray that his influence as an educator has helped create a generation of replacements who share his values, because without those values they, as designers, will never tell be able tell the truth about the human condition, with charm and wisdom, as he did on every project and in every conversation. We have lost an irreplaceable talent, and a very dear man.

  2. D Q says:

    John was a generous, creative person who knew how to enable story telling through his designs. I am going to borrow and paraphrase the brilliant writing of the writers of Succession’s episode “Church and State” .

    John Iacovelli had that twinkle in his eye, full of life. His students at UC Davis, UC Riverside and other universities adored him, because John wrought some of the most wonderful sets that would take you to another place or time. He was a man who expanded for his students, the edges of a world and its possiblities. Talked about lighting, materials, angles. Now and then brightened the skies a little. Opened people’s hearts. John fed that bright flame in souls, the creative flame of story telling and lights the hearts of others in a cold world. He had a generous estimation of the the world and he took the time to share the wonders of set design for movies and theater for others. If he spotted interest, he try to encourage the growth of its students. I took his class as an undergrad on set design. He was an energetic professor. I was already set on a career outside Hollywood, and John invited me to spend a day on the set of Babylon 5 back in the 1990s.. Nothing like seeing a real working set for the very first time. Unforgettable, it was a hot day in Sun Valley and you walk from the bright sun into a very believable, dark space station. He encouraged learning and using design to help tell stories, to uplift, to encourage others, and to inspire talent. Godspeed. And God bless. A kind soul.

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