Wayne Fitzgerald

Wayne Fitzgerald (March 19, 1930 – September 30, 2019)[1] was an American film title designer. Over a career that spanned 55 years, he designed close to five hundred motion picture and television main and end title sequences for top directors such as Francis Ford Coppola, John Huston, Mike Nichols, Robert Redford, Roman Polanski, Arthur Penn, Michael Cimino, Warren Beatty, Herbert Ross, John Hughes, and Quentin Tarantino.[2]

Wayne Fitzgerald
Wayne Fitzgerald in 1987.jpg
Fitzgerald in 1987
Born(1930-03-19)March 19, 1930
DiedSeptember 30, 2019(2019-09-30) (aged 89)
OccupationTelevision and motion picture title designer
Years active1956–2003

Film title workEdit

A native of Los Angeles, Fitzgerald graduated from Art Center College of Design in 1951, and went to work at Pacific Title & Art Studio. His first major motion picture title design was for MGM's Raintree County (1957). He worked on a great many titles during his 17-year tenure at Pacific Title, becoming head of the art and design department. During that time, Pacific Title did all the motion picture title work for Warner Bros., MGM, and 20th Century Fox, as well as some for Paramount Pictures and Columbia Pictures, plus independents. Neither Pacific Title nor its employees received title design credit. As a result, Fitzgerald did not receive credit for many of his early designs, such as The Three Faces of Eve (1957), Imitation of Life (1959), Pillow Talk (also 1959), The Music Man (1962), My Fair Lady (1964); or for early television shows such as Maverick (1957), Mister Ed (1961), The Beverly Hillbillies (1962), and Alfred Hitchcock's Suspicion.

In addition to providing an entertaining background for the credits, Fitzgerald's titles often set the mood. For The Music Man he directed a group of 35 technicians who built sets and painted and animated the musical instruments and marching band. He then shot and edited the sequence.[3] In the film Max Dugan Returns (1983), the title character does not appear for half an hour. Fitzgerald's titles with Bob Kurtz animation provided a background for the character.[4] For Bonnie and Clyde (1967), Fitzgerald used old snapshots and a quick-cut style driven by sound that melded seamlessly with film editor Dede Allen's editorial style. The photos established the mood and look of the 1930s, and referenced the fact that Bonnie and Clyde were known for taking snapshots of themselves, which they sent to the press. Until the music starts to fade in, the only sound is the click of a Brownie camera.[5]

While working together on Bonnie and Clyde, Warren Beatty convinced Fitzgerald to strike out on his own. He left his job as head of the art department at Pacific Title and formed Wayne Fitzgerald FilmDesign. Chinatown (1974), Nine to Five (1980), Footloose (1984), Total Recall (1990), to name a few, followed. In addition to opening titles, Fitzgerald shot second unit and edited montage sequences for Rocky III and Tootsie (both 1982).

Fitzgerald also continued to design titles for prime time television shows Night Gallery (1971), McMillan & Wife (1971), Dallas (1978), Matlock (1986), and Columbo (1971–75). He won an Emmy Award in 1987 for The Bronx Zoo. He also designed for the daytime soap operas The Bold and the Beautiful (CBS) 1987 (EMMY 1987), One Life to Live (ABC) 1984, and The Guiding Light (CBS) 1991 (EMMY 1992), and again in 2002 with his son Eric Fitzgerald, also a title designer.

In 1993 Fitzgerald briefly joined the digital graphic design firm, Pittard-Sullivan. It became Pittard-Sullivan-Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald's last work with the company was in 1995, after which he reformed his company, Wayne Fitzgerald FilmDesign, Inc.[6]

In 1995, Fitzgerald designed the logo for the Motion Picture Editors Guild.[7]

Personal lifeEdit

Fitzgerald was a member of the Directors Guild of America. He was a two-term governor in the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, representing title designers, and a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. He lectured at UCLA and AFI, and participated in panel discussions in Los Angeles and New York. He also taught at Art Center College of Design.

Fitzgerald died September 30, 2019.


Select Pacific Title (1956–1968) titlesEdit

Wayne Fitzgerald/FilmDesign (1968–1993)Edit

Pittard/Sullivan/Fitzgerald (1993–1995)Edit

Wayne Fitzgerald/Filmdesign (1995–2003)Edit


Fitzgerald won a Primetime Emmy with David Oliver Pfeil for outstanding main title design on The Bronx Zoo in 1987. He won Daytime Emmys for The Bold and the Beautiful in 1987, and The Guiding Light in 1992. He was nominated for Daytime Emmys in 1994 with Judy Korin for Days of Our Lives, and with Eric Fitzgerald in 2003 for The 50th Anniversary Season of The Guiding Light.[8]


  1. ^ Barnes, Mike (September 30, 2019). "Wayne Fitzgerald, Prolific Main Title Designer, Dies at 89". The Hollywood Reporter. The Hollywood Reporter, LLC. Retrieved September 30, 2019.
  2. ^ Wayne Fitzgerald on IMDb
  3. ^ "Title designer for 'Music Man' lives on San Juan - Journal of the San Juans".
  4. ^ Forget the film, watch the titles
  5. ^ The importance of a singular, guiding vision: an interview with Arthur Penn. - Free Online Library
  6. ^ Whitney, Daisy A Legacy of Innovation: Pittard Sullivan Was Once Synonymous With Broadcast Design Television Week 20 June 2005
  7. ^ "What 60 Years Of Unity Can Accomplish".
  8. ^ Awards for Wayne Fitzgerald on IMDb

External linksEdit