In Search of Costumer Mary Ann Nyberg


Nanette Fabray, America's musical theater sweetheart and vivacious actress, singer, and dancer of film and television, died at her home in Palos Verdes Estates on Thurday, February 22, 2018. She was 97 years old.

You can read more about Miss Fabray on our sister page Fifties Hollywood Glamour.




In 1953, Fabray starred with Fred Astaire, Jack Buchanan, and Cyd Charisse in the hit musical comedy "The Band Wagon." 

"The Band Wagon" is considered one of Metro Goldwyn Mayer's finest musicals. The song "That's Entertainment" was written specifically for the film and has become an industry standard. 

Nominated for multiple Academy Awards, it has been selected for preservation in The United States Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant."

Cyd Charisse as Gabrielle Gerard backstage with Nanette Fabray  as Lily Marton in formals designed by Mary Ann Nyberg   1953 "The Band Wagon"
Cyd Charisse as Gabrielle Gerard backstage with Nanette Fabray
as Lily Marton in formals designed by Mary Ann Nyberg 
1953 "The Band Wagon"

Among the nominees for an Academy Award was Mary Ann Nyberg for Best Costume Design in Color.

Mary Ann Nyberg Costume Sketch for Fred Astaire in The Band Wagon 1953
Mary Ann Nyberg Costume Sketch for
Fred Astaire in The Band Wagon 1953
Bonham's Auctions
Mary Ann Nyberg was born February 7, 1923 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She first married movie critic and film historian Arthur Knight. She was married to Don J. Koch when she died on September 19, 1979.

While her film credits only spanned two years, Nyberg was nominated twice for an Oscar for Best Costume in Color. The first time was for 1953's "The Band Wagon" and again for 1954's "A Star is  Born."

Mary Ann Nyberg Costume Design Sketch for Cyd Charisse in 1953's The Band Wagon
Mary Ann Nyberg Costume Design Sketch for
Cyd Charisse in 1953's The Band Wagon
Bonham's Auctions

Costume design difficulties arose between the naive twenty-one year old Nyberg and the talented yet demanding Judy Garland for the film "A Star is Born." Garland requested veteran costumer Jean Louis design her outfits. Irene Sharaff also shared credits for the film.

Nyberg would go on to design costumes for "Lili", "Carmen Jones", and "The Man With the Golden Arm."

Mary Ann Nyberg Costume Design Sketch for Dorothy Dandridge in Carmen Jones
Mary Ann Nyberg Costume Design Sketch for
Dorothy Dandridge in Carmen Jones
Bonham Auctions

While very little information on Nyberg can be found prior to or after her Hollywood costuming days, her legacy remains in those designs. 

1 comment:

Victoria Rickert said...

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