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Deborah Nadoolman Landis (born May 26, 1952)[1] is an American author, historian, professor, and costume designer. She worked on such notable films as Animal House, The Blues Brothers, Raiders of the Lost Ark and Three Amigos, all of which credited her as Deborah Nadoolman. Landis served two terms as president of the Costume Designers Guild of which she has been a member for more than thirty years. She is married to director John Landis; their son is screenwriter Max Landis.[2]

Deborah Nadoolman Landis
Deb Nadoolman Landis.jpg
Landis at San Diego Comic-Con in 2016
Born (1952-05-26) May 26, 1952 (age 67)
Other namesDeborah Nadoolman
Alma materUCLA (MFA)
Royal College of Art (PhD)
OccupationCostume designer
Years active1977-2010
John Landis
(m. 1980)
Children2, including Max Landis



Born to a Jewish family,[3] Landis graduated from UCLA with an M.F.A. in costume design in 1975.[4] She earned her Ph.D. in history of design from the Royal College of Art in London.[4] She has created iconic costumes throughout her career, such as the fedora and jacket of Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford), the "college" sweatshirt worn by John "Bluto" Blutarsky (John Belushi), and Michael Jackson's red jacket in Thriller. In addition to many Drama-Logue Awards for her theater designs, she was nominated for an Academy Award in 1988 for Coming to America.[5]

After receiving her doctorate, Landis wrote and edited a number of books including: "Hollywood Sketchbook: A Century of Costume Illustration" (Harper Collins, 2012), "FilmCraft: Costume Design" (Focal Press, 2012), "Hollywood Costume" (V&A Publishing, 2012), Dressed: A Century of Hollywood Costume Design (Harper Collins, 2007), Screencraft/Costume Design (Focal Press, 2003) and 50 Costumes/50 Designers: Concept to Character (University of California Press. 2004). "Hollywood Costume," (the V&A catalogue of the eponymous exhibition) is the Kraszna-Krausz Foundation's 2013 Moving Image Book Award winner.[6]

Landis spent five years researching and designing "Hollywood Costume," which opened on October 20, 2012 at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. With one hundred and thirty iconic costumes loaned by sixty international archives and private collectors, "Hollywood Costume" was universally well reviewed and broke records at the V&A. Over 265,000 visitors saw the show before it closed on January 27, 2013. Landis headed the curation team as Senior Curator, with Sir Christopher Frayling, Guest Curator and Keith Lodwick as V&A Curator. The exhibition was designed by the London firm of Casson-Mann and the score for the exhibition was composed by Julian Scott. The 2013-14 exhibition tour includes the Australian Center for the Moving Image in Melbourne, The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond, and the Phoenix Art Museum in Arizona.

Landis has lectured widely on costume design and taught classes at the University of Southern California, the AFI Conservatory, and is a professor at the University of the Arts London.[citation needed] She was inducted as a Distinguished Alumna at the UCLA Department of Theater, Film and Television in 2005, and honored as a William Randolph Hearst Fellow at the University of Texas, Austin in 2006.[citation needed] In 2007, she served on the Cinefondation Jury at the 60th Cannes Film Festival.[citation needed] In 2009, Landis became the David C. Copley Chair and the Director of the David C. Copley Center of Costume Design at UCLA, School of Theater, Film & Television.[7]

She is mentioned in "The 21-Second Excitation" episode of The Big Bang Theory for her work on Raiders of the Lost Ark and Michael Jackson's Thriller.[citation needed]


(credited as Deborah Nadoolman)


  1. ^ U.S. Public Records Index Vol 1 (Provo, UT: Operations, Inc.), 2010.
  2. ^ Landis Finds New Challenges In Tv .
  3. ^ Bloom, Nate (February 2, 2012). "Jewish stars: Whales, ghosts and 'Smash'". Cleveland Jewish News.
  4. ^ a b UCLA Faculty: Deborah Nadoolman Landis retrieved December 31, 2012
  5. ^ Oscar Nominees Include the Unexpected
  6. ^ "". Archived from the original on 2013-04-30. Retrieved 2013-04-30.
  7. ^ Costume designer Deborah Nadoolman Landis named to Copley Chair at UCLA

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