Anthea Sylbert

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Anthea Sylbert
Born (1939-10-06) October 6, 1939 (age 80)
OccupationCostume Designer
Years active1967-1999[1][2]
Spouse(s)Paul Sylbert (?-?)[citation needed]
Richard Romanus (1985-Present)[citation needed]

Anthea Sylbert (born October 6, 1939 in New York City) is an American film producer and award winning costume designer that was active during the "modern era" of American film. She was nominated twice for Academy Awards for best costume design, first at the 47th Academy Awards for Chinatown (1974), and then at the 50th Academy Awards for her work on Julia (1977). In addition, she has more than ten credits as producer or executive producer, including for such works as CrissCross (1991) and the television film Truman (1995), the latter of which earned Sylbert an Emmy. At the 7th Annual Costume Designers Guild Awards in 2005, Sylbert was an honoree, receiving the Lacoste Career Achievement award for film.


Early life and education[edit]

Anthea Sylbert was born Anthea Gianna Kouros in Brooklyn, NY,[1] on October 6, 1939,[3] to what has been described as a "close-knit Greek family".[1] She was interested in artistic activities as a child, and is reported to have learned to sew from a grandmother.[1] Kouros went on to study art at Barnard College.[1]


Following her long period of costume design work, Sylbert took on executive production management roles at the vice president level, first at Warner Borothers, then at United Artists, where she was known, in particular, for her skills at conflict resolution when filmmakers were at odds with the studios.[when?][1] After this period she began a deepening partnership with Goldie Hawn, beginning with the film, Private Benjamin (1980).[1] Ultimately, the two of them would create the Hawn/Sylvebert Movie Company,[when?] which would produce a number of films, including Protocol (1984) and Something to Talk About (1995).[1]


The following is Anthea Sylbert's list of credits, primarily as reported by the British Film Institute.[2]


  • 1999, If You Believe, Executive Producer.[2]
  • 1998, Giving up the Ghost (teleplay), Executive Producer.[2]
  • 1997, Hope, Executive Producer.[2]
  • 1995, Truman, Executive Producer.[2]
  • 1995, Something to Talk About, Producer.[2]
  • 1991, Deceived, Executive Producer.[2]
  • 1991, Crisscross, Producer.[2]
  • 1990, My Blue Heaven, Producer.[2]
  • 1987, Overboard, Producer.[2]
  • 1986, Wildcats, Producer.[2]
  • 1984, Protocol, Producer.[2]

Costumes and costume design[edit]

  • 1978, F.I.S.T., Costumes.[2]
  • 1977, Julia, Principal Costume Designer.[2]
  • 1976, The Last Tycoon, Additional costumes.[2]
  • 1976, King Kong, Costumes.[2]
  • 1975, Shampoo, Costume Designer.[2]
  • 1974, Chinatown, Costume Designer.[2]
  • 1974, The Fortune, Costumes.[2]
  • 1972, Bad Company, Costume Designer.[2]
  • 1971, The Cowboys, Costume Designer.[2]
  • 1971, Carnal Knowledge, Costume Designer.[2]
  • 1969, The Illustrated Man, Costume Designer.[2]
  • 1968, Rosemary's Baby, Costume Designer.[2]

Other credits[edit]

Work on Chinatown[edit]

Sylbert worked with Chinatown (1974) from its earliest days, after her brother-in-law, Richard Sylbert, introduced and recommended her to director Roman Polanski.[4][page needed] Sylber was affectionately know in that close-working, small group of accomplished film-makers as "Ant", for her penchant for "stringently straight" dark skirts and black turtlenecks.[4][page needed] She was further valued because, in a context of a profession where co-worker honesty was not always a given, Sylbert was known to be "utterly unafraid to speak truth, no matter how ugly, to anyone, no matter how powerful".[4][page needed] In this important film context, Sylbert's work was described as breaking with past in its aim at being, "not for beauty or for chic", but rather "to amplify character".[4][page needed] Sylbert was nominated for the 1975 Academy Award for Best Costume Design for her work on the film, which went to Theoni V. Aldredge for her work on The Great Gatsby.[5]

Work on Julia[edit]

Sylbert was nominated for the 1978 Academy Award for Best Costume Design for her work on the film, Julia (1977), which went to John Mollo for his work on Star Wars.[6]

Awards and recognition[edit]

In addition to the 1975 and 1978 Academy Award nominations for best costume design (for Chinatown and Julia, respectively),[5][6] Sylbert won an Emmy for her production of Truman (1995).[1] In 1999, Sylbert and Richard Romanus were nominated for Best Original Screenplay by the Writers Guild of America for the Christmas film they co-wrote, If You Believe.[citation needed] As well, Sylbert was an honoree at the 7th Annual Costume Designers Guild Awards (in 2005), where she received the Lacoste Career Achievement award for film.[7]

Personal life[edit]

Sylbert has been married to actor and writer Richard Romanus since August 11, 1985.[citation needed] In 2004, Sylbert and Romanus moved to the Greek island of Skiathos.[citation needed]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Rubin, Natasha (2018). "Sylbert, Anthea (1939-)". In Bauer, Laura L. S. (ed.). Hollywood Heroines: The Most Influential Women in Film History. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO. pp. 88–90. ISBN 9781440836497. Retrieved 5 February 2020.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab BFI Staff (February 4, 2020). "Anthea Sylbert—Filmography". London, GB: British Film Institute. Retrieved 5 February 2020.
  3. ^ Jorgensen, Jay & Scoggins, Donald L. (2015). Creating the Illusion: A Fashionable History of Hollywood Costume Designers. Philadelphia, PN: Running Press. pp. 318–321. ISBN 9780762458073. Retrieved 5 February 2020.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  4. ^ a b c d Wasson, Sam (2020). The Big Goodbye: Chinatown and the Last Years of Hollywood. New Yourk, NY: Flatiron Books. ISBN 9781250301833. Retrieved 5 February 2020.
  5. ^ a b Academy Staff (April 8, 1975). "The 47th Academy Awards—1975—Dorothy Chandler Pavilion—Honoring movies released in 1974: Costume Design". Beverly Hills, CA: Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 5 February 2020.
  6. ^ a b Academy Staff (April 3, 1978). "The 50th Academy Awards—1978—Dorothy Chandler Pavilion—Honoring movies released in 1977: Costume Design". Beverly Hills, CA: Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 5 February 2020.
  7. ^ CDG Staff (5 February 2020). "7th Annual Costume Designers Guild Awards—Honorees". Retrieved 5 February 2020. Lacoste Career Achievement Film: Anthea Sylbert.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]