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Eddie Marks, Longtime Western Costume Company President, Dies at 76

Eddie Marks, a member of the costume department on such films as The Breakfast Club, The Witches of Eastwick and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, and the president of the Western Costume Company since 1992, has died. He was 76.

Marks died Monday of natural causes during a visit to Prague, a spokesman for the company told The Hollywood Reporter.

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Marks joined Western Costume in 1989 as a vice president and became president three years later. He helped steer the company from a cramped Melrose Avenue warehouse near the Paramount lot to a hangar-sized building on Vanowen Street in North Hollywood in 1990.

Western Costume was founded sometime between 1912 and 1915 and has been among the world’s largest suppliers of costumes ever since. “What makes us stand out from our competitors is that, over the last 30 years, I’ve bought 11 companies that were costume rental companies,” Marks told THR in a 2019 profile of Western Costume.

The company has been closed because of the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes since July 14.

Edward Howard Marks was born on July 1, 1947, in Bayonne, New Jersey. His family moved to Los Angeles in 1952, and his father, Lambert Marks, worked in the wardrobe department on such films as Some Came Running (1958), Point Blank (1968) and Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore (1974).

Eddie Marks started his own career in the mailroom of MGM Studios in 1965. He gravitated to costuming, with his duties including sizing and helping with fittings, and worked with Elvis Presley on Girl Happy (1965), Spinout (1966) and Stay Away, Joe (1968).

He left MGM to freelance and was the costume supervisor on the 1972-77 ABC crime drama The Streets of San Francisco.

In 1988, he shared an Emmy for outstanding achievement in costuming for a miniseries or a special for his work on Shakedown on Sunset Strip, a CBS telefilm.

His other credits included The China Syndrome (1979), Melvin and Howard (1980), Revenge of the Nerds (1984), The Golden Child (1986), Dead Poets Society (1989), National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989) and Postcards From the Edge (1990).

Survivors include his wife, Debby; sons Branden — a costume supervisor on the CBS series S.W.A.T. and a costumer on several Marvel films — and Garret; grandson Aiden; and siblings Sanford and Wendy.

“Eddie was tightly woven into the fabric of the costume industry and supported so many aspiring costumers as they launched their careers,” Western Costume said in a statement. “He will be dearly missed by all who knew him.”

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