Broadway Great Peter Larkin Dies at 93 in Bridgehampton

Peter Larkin at 2012 Southampton Hospital Summer Benefit
Peter Larkin in 2012, Photo: ©PATRICKMCMULLAN.COM

Renowned Broadway and Hollywood set designer Peter Larkin, a four-time Tony winner, died at his Bridgehampton home on Monday, December 16. He was 93.

Born in 1926, Larkin was the son of art historian Oliver Waterman Larkin and grew up in Boston, Massachusetts before attending Deerfield Academy in his home state, and Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut.

Larkin’s storied career began in earnest when he designed the set for a 1951 Broadway adaptation of Henrik Ibsen’s The Wild Duck and he went on to work with a long list of stars from both stage and screen. His craft led him to illuminate numerous plays, musicals, films and television shows as set designer, lighting designer or production designer. Among his many credits, Larkin worked on Dial “M” for Murder, The Teahouse of the August Moon and the original stage production of Peter Pan on Broadway, and movies such as Tootsie, Get Shorty and No Time for Sergeants.

He earned his first Best Scenic Design Tonys in 1954 for Ondine and The Teahouse of the August Moon, and then won another pair of awards in 1956 for Inherit the Wind and No Time for Sergeants. Larkin was also nominated in 1958 for Blue Denim, Compulsion, Good as Gold and Miss Isobel, in 1960 for Greenwillow, and in 1984 for The Rink, a musical with book by Water Mill resident Terrence McNally. Throughout his career, the designer had an impressive 10 Tony nominations and four wins, and worked on a total of 47 Broadway shows. Larkin also received a Drama Desk Award nomination for Outstanding Set Design for The Rink in 1984, and won an Outer Critics Circle Special Citation for No Time for Sergeants in 1956.

He concluded his brilliant theater career as scenic consultant for director Estelle Parsons’ 2003 revival of the Oscar Wilde classic Salome, starring Marisa Tomei, Al Pacino and Dianne Wiest.

Larkin married painter Racelle Strick, who died in 2008, and he leaves behind a stepson, screenwriter Wesley Strick, and stepdaughter Ivy Hamlin.

Peter Larkin
Peter Larkin

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