- The Washington Times - Monday, April 10, 2006

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Gretchen Rau, a veteran film set decorator who shared one Academy Award this year for her work on “Memoirs of a Geisha,” died March 29 of a brain tumor, her son said. She was 66.

For “Memoirs of a Geisha,” she helped evoke early 20th-century Japan with a lavish production set decorated with rice paper screens, oil lamps, teacups and other hallmarks of the time.

Miss Rau and production designer John Myhre won an Oscar for art direction for their work on the film.

Though Miss Rau was too ill to attend last month’s ceremony, she watched on television with her family.

During a 25-year career, she worked on more than 30 films. Her credits include “A River Runs Through It,” “Six Degrees of Separation,” “Nobody’s Fool,” “The Crucible” and “The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou.” Her last film was “The Good Shepherd,” directed by Robert De Niro and due for release this year.

A New Orleans native, Miss Rau moved to New York City in 1966 and joined a commercial production house before moving to feature films.

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