Ray Aghayan

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Ray Aghayan
Gorgen Ray Aghayan

(1928-07-28)July 28, 1928
DiedOctober 10, 2011(2011-10-10) (aged 83)
OccupationCostume designer
Partner(s)Bob Mackie

Gorgen Ray Aghayan (July 28, 1928 – October 10, 2011)[1] was an Armenian-American fashion designer and costume designer for the United States film industry. He won an Emmy Award and was nominated for an Academy Award for his costume design.


In 1963–64, Aghayan designed dresses and costumes for Judy Garland for her musical variety show on CBS.[1] He won an Emmy Award in 1967 with his partner Bob Mackie for his work in Alice Through the Looking Glass. Aghayan was also nominated for an Academy Award for Best Costume Design three times for his work in Gaily, Gaily in 1970, Lady Sings the Blues in 1973 and Funny Lady in 1976. He was also responsible for designing the costumes for the opening and closing ceremonies of the 1984 Summer Olympics held in Los Angeles.[2]

Personal life[edit]

Aghayan was born in Tehran, Iran to a wealthy family of Armenian descent. Aghayan's mother, widowed when he was young, was a dressmaker for the Pahlavi family.[1][3] At age 13, Aghayan assisted in designing for the court of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.[1][3] His first dress design was for Fawzia Fuad of Egypt, the first wife of the last Shah of Iran.[3]

Ray Aghayan costume design for Rex Harrison in Doctor Dolittle (1967)

During the 1940s, Aghayan came to California as a young man. His mother joined him 30 years later, just before the Iranian Revolution. Aghayan later became the lifetime partner of costume designer Bob Mackie for nearly 50 years. Early in Bob Mackie's career, he was Aghayan's assistant.[1]


Aghayan died on October 10, 2011, at his home in Los Angeles, California of a myocardial infarction.[4]


  1. ^ a b c d e Vitello, Paul (2011-10-15). "Ray Aghayan, Costume Designer, Dies at 83". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-03-22.
  2. ^ Dennis McLellan (October 14, 2011). "Ray Aghayan dies at 83; award-winning costume designer". Los Angeles Times.
  3. ^ a b c Horwell, Veronica (2011-10-16). "Ray Aghayan obituary". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2019-03-22.
  4. ^ Lentz, III, Harris M. (2014-01-10). Obituaries in the Performing Arts, 2011. McFarland. ISBN 9780786491346.

External links[edit]