Zamparelli, Howard Hughes’ chief designer, dies
In that latter role, he oversaw the appearance of everything on both the inside and outside of Hughes‘ fleet of airplanes, as well as his Frontier Hotel, Desert Inn, Sands and Tropicana casinos in Las Vegas.
He also came to be close friends with the billionaire, although he told the Times in that 1981 interview that the last time he saw Hughes face-to-face was in 1958.
Before that, Zamparelli’s daughter said, it wasn’t unusual for Hughes to drop by her father’s house unannounced in the middle of the night, sometimes with a movie star such as Jane Russell in tow, just to talk over ideas or invite the artist to join him for a night on the town.
Later in life, he returned to his first love of painting.
Although Zamparelli said he had numerous other interests as a child, including baseball, music and girls, he showed an early aptitude for painting.
When he was just 14 he had an exhibition of his watercolors in London, and he later studied at the Pratt Institute in New York, where he was influenced by the Bauhaus movement.
Also a skilled musician, who played the violin, bass and piano, Zamparelli performed in an Army band during World War II.
At the time of his death he was working on a book about his years with Hughes.
“He always felt there were injustices done to Howard Hughes, and he wanted to tell the story of someone who knew him personally as a friend,” his daughter said.
She added that the family hopes to eventually publish the manuscript, titled “Enigma.”
In addition to his daughter Gina, Zamparelli is survived by two other children, Marisa Zamparelli and Andrea Zamparelli; his wife, Maureen Hingert-Zamparelli; and brothers Robert and Victor Zamparelli.
Funeral services will be at 9 a.m. Sept. 22 at Holy Redeemer Church in Montrose.