F. WITTOP TONY-WINNING DESIGNER, 89
NEW YORK — Freddy Wittop, a Tony Award-winning costume designer, died Feb. 2 after a brief illness at the JFK Medical Center in Atlantis, Fla. He was 89.
Wittop had recently been chosen as the 2001 recipient of the Theatre Development Fund’s Irene Sharaff Award for lifetime achievement in theatrical costume design. The award will be accepted posthumously on his behalf at a reception on April 6 at the New York Marriott Marquis Hotel here.
Born in Bussum, the Netherlands, Wittop moved with his family to Brussels, where he apprenticed at the age of 13 with the resident designer at the Brussels Opera. He moved to Paris in 1931 and designed for the Follies Bergere and other music halls, creating hundreds of costumes for the chorus as well as such stars as Josephine Baker.
Wittop started designing for the Ice Capades in 1942, the same year he created costumes for George Abbott’s musical, “Beat the Band.” In 1949, he designed the costumes for The Latin Quarter Night Club Revue, followed by “Heartbreak House,” “Carnival” and “Subways are for Sleeping.”
In 1964, he won the Tony Award for Best Costume Design for “Hello Dolly,” starring Carol Channing. Subsequently, he was nominated five times for Best Costume Design for “The Roar of the Greasepaint, the Smell of the Crowd,” “I Do! I Do!,” “The Happy Time,” “A Patriot for Me,” and “Lovely Ladies, Kind Gentlemen.”
In addition to his career as a theatrical costume designer, Wittop also held a position as adjunct professor in the School of Drama at the University of Georgia.
He is survived by a sister, Martina Wittop Koning of the Netherlands.