Denis Olsen, prolific artist on movies, television, theater and commercials, is set to receive the Art Directors Guild Scenic, Title and Graphic Artists Lifetime Achievement Award at the 24th Annual “Excellence in Production Design” Awards on Saturday, February 1, 2020, returning this year to the InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown in the Wilshire Grand Ballroom. This is the second of four Lifetime Achievement Awards to be announced by the Art Directors Guild.
Olsen began his career as an Art Director at KCOP (Channel 13). He worked for various studios and other entertainment companies for more than 40 years including Superior Backings as a scenic and sign painter, The Walt Disney Studios in entertainment development, Warner Bros. Studios in their scenic department and J.C. Backings Corp. as the lead man on backdrops and special artwork for movies, television, theater and commercials. Olsen’s career also included countless productions at 20th Century Fox, MGM Studios, KNXT and CBS-TV.
His numerous film credits include Ghostbusters, Rocky 2 & 3, The Muppet Movie, Romancing the Stone, Mr. Mom, Star Trek 2 & 3, Johnny Dangerously and Poltergeist, among many others. His TV credits include All in the Family, Soap, Three’s Company, One Day at a Time, The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Fame. In addition to his set work on the Emmys and the Oscars, Olsen’s talents have graced several television variety shows including The Carol Burnett Show, The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour, The Smothers Bros. Show, Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In and Cher.
He also worked on projects for Disney World and Disneyland, Epcot, Tokyo Disneyland, Marineland, Universal Studios Tours and Six Flags Magic Mountain. Olsen is credited for creating some of the stunning Las Vegas show sets including the MGM Grand stage, Folies Bergère, David Copperfield and Siegfried & Roy.
Olsen was curator at the ADG’s Gallery 800 in North Hollywood, retiring in 2017. He created over 40 art exhibits highlighting personal artwork of members of the ADG. He also served on the ADG Executive Board for several years.
The ADG Lifetime Achievement Awards are presented to outstanding individuals in each of the guild’s four crafts. As previously announced, Joe Alves will receive the ADG Lifetime Achievement Award from the Production Designers and Art Directors Council. The honorees for the Set Designers and Model Makers, and Illustrators and Matte Artists will be announced shortly. Previous recipients include: Jeannine Oppewall (2019), Norm Newberry (2018), René Lagler (2017); Jim Fiorito (2019) John Moffitt (2018), Albert Obregon (2017), Bill Anderson (2016); William F. Matthews (2019), James J. Murakami (2018), Cate Bangs (2017); and Ed Verreaux (2019), Marty Kline (2018), Joe Musso (2017).Scenic Artist Denis Olsen to Receive Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2020 ADG Awards Click To Tweet