Ruth E. Carter

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Ruth Carter)
Jump to: navigation, search

Ruth E. Carter (born April 10, 1960) is an African American costume designer, for film and television, with over 40 films to her credit, who has mastered the look of multiple periods and genres in envisioning the clothing and overall appearance of a character or performer.

During her near 30 year film career, Carter has earned two nominations for an Academy Award for Best Costume Design for her work on the films Malcolm X (1992) directed by Spike Lee, and Amistad (1997) directed by Steven Spielberg.


Carter graduated from Hampton University, Virginia, in 1982 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree. She then began her career working as an intern at the Santa Fe Opera in her hometown of Springfield, Massachusetts. While working at the Los Angeles Theater Center, Carter met director Spike Lee, who hired her for his second film, School Daze (1988), and with whom she worked on a number of films thereafter, including Do the Right Thing (1989), Mo' Better Blues (1990), Jungle Fever (1991), and Malcolm X (1992).[1][2] Carter has continued to work on films for Spike Lee, including Oldboy (2013), Da Sweet Blood of Jesus (2014), and Chi-Raq (2015).

In addition to designing costumes for the films of Spike Lee, Carter has worked with legendary directors such as Steven Spielberg and John Singleton, and has dressed actors from Denzel Washington to Josh Brolin, and actresses from Angela Bassett to Jane Fonda.

Carter is also known for her work on What's Love Got to Do with It (1993), Serenity (2005), Four Brothers (2005), Sparkle (2012), The Butler (2013) directed by Lee Daniels, and Selma (2014) directed by Ava DuVernay.

Carter is currently designing costumes for the American television drama series Being Mary Jane on BET Networks, created by Mara Brock Akil and starring Gabrielle Union.[3]

Carter's most recent work has been on the upcoming action thriller film Kidnap (2016) directed by Luis Prieto and starring Halle Berry. Also, Cater is the costume designer for the upcoming American television miniseries 2016 Roots which is a remake of Roots (1977).


In 2002, Carter received a career achievement award from the American Black Film Festival.[4]

In 2015, Carter was presented with the Essence '2015 Black Women in Hollywood Award' at the 8th Annual Black Women in Hollywood Luncheon. See:




  1. ^ Deborah Nadoolman Landis, "Ruth Carter" in Costume Design (Focal Press, 2003), ISBN 978-0-240-80590-0, pp. 37-45. Excerpt available at Google Books.
  2. ^ Pat Kirkham, Women Designers in the USA, 1900-2000: Diversity and Difference (Yale University Press, 2002), ISBN 978-0-300-09331-5, pp. 142-143. Excerpt available at Google Books.
  3. ^ "BET Networks Announces New Programming at Annual Upfront Presentation". The Futon Critic. April 2, 2013. Retrieved April 20, 2013. 
  4. ^ "Actor Mekhi Pfifer and Costume Designer Ruth E. Carter Honored at American Black Film Festival", Jet, July 22, 2002.

External links[edit]