Shirley Ritts

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Shirley Ritts (October 28, 1920 – February 24, 2008) was an American interior designer whose company helped to popularize rattan furniture in the United States during the 1950s and 1960s.[1] Ritts was the mother of photographer and music video director, Herb Ritts (August 13, 1952 – December 26, 2002).[1]

Shirley Ritts was born in Baltimore, Maryland, on October 28, 1920.[1] Her father was an ophthalmologist.[1] She married her husband, Herb Ritts (senior) in 1950, who happened to own a furniture company at the time.[1] The Ritts Company benefited from the popularity of rattan furniture during the post-World War II era.[1] Herb Ritts acted as the company's furniture designer, while Shirley was in charge of sales and marketing.[1] The couple had four children whom they raised in a 27 room Spanish-style house in Brentwood, California.[1]

Shirley Ritts assisted with the set design on Elvis Presley's 1961 film, Blue Hawaii, in which she used rattan furniture and Polynesian design.[1] Ritts often traveled extensively once her company introduced a line of high-end acrylic furniture.[1]

Ritts and her husband, Herb, divorced during the late 1970s.[1] Then remarried him in the 1990s until his death in 2000. [1]

Shirley Ritts died of emphysema at her home in Brentwood, California, on February 24, 2008, at the age of 87.[1]

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