Heckroth began his career working with the German national ballet. Later, he moved to Great Britain and, after designing the sets and costumes for the first production of Don Giovanni at Glyndebourne in 1936, worked as a set and costume designer in films such as A Matter of Life and Death (1946) and The Red Shoes (1948), for which he won the Academy Award for Best Art Direction). He was also nominated for two Academy Awards for his art direction and costume designs for The Tales of Hoffmann (1951).
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