George James Hopkins
March 23, 1896
|Died||February 11, 1985 (aged 88)|
|Occupation||Set designer, playwright and production designer|
George James Hopkins (March 23, 1896 - February 11, 1985) was an American set designer, playwright and production designer.
A native of Pasadena, California, Hopkins got his start designing scenery on stage after studying design in college. He moved to films in 1917, working as an art director for various studios. During his long career, Hopkins was nominated for thirteen Academy Awards and won four.
Hopkins had a professional and intimate relationship with silent film director William Desmond Taylor, whose unsolved murder was one of early Hollywood's biggest scandals.
On the 1922 morning that Taylor's body was found, Charles Eyton instructed Hopkins to remove a basket of documents from the murder scene, and Hopkins obeyed. Hopkins' unpublished 1981 autobiography, Caught in the Act, was used as a major source for Charles Higham's book on the Taylor murder.
Over the course of his career, Hopkins was nominated 13 times for an Academy Award, all in the category of Art Direction. Today, the award is named Best Production Design, but during the 1940s and 1950s, this award recognized both Art Directors and Set Decorators with the same award. Also, prior to 1967, the Art Direction category was typically separated into different categories, one containing only Color films and the other with only Black-and-White films (the exceptions being 1957 and 1958).