Ret Turner Inducted into the CDG Hall of Fame
Costumer Designer Ret Turner was born April 14, 1929 in Marianna Florida. He came to Hollywood near the mid-century mark and set his sights on becoming an actor. He had some marginal success in theatre but found he was better suited to the art of Costume Design. In the early 50s he was hired to head the costume department at NBC, which he ran for 20 years. It was there that he met Costume Designers Ray Aghayan and Bob Mackie. The three partnered together in ownership of the prestigious costume house, Elizabeth Courtney Costumes.
From the early 70s to 2005 Courtneys, as it was known, was “the place” for actors to come for original Costume Design. During the heyday of the musical variety show, Mackie and Turner designed and created over a hundred costumes a week. Ret suggested opening a costume rental house to store the many costumes that were being produced at Courtneys, and EC2 Costume Rentals was born. Costumes from the Carol Burnett Show and Sonny & Cher were the staples of the rental house. The inventory grew as TV specials, Mamma’s Family, and Award shows were designed.
During his career Ret was nominated for 23 Emmys with 5 wins. His resume included The Tennessee Ernie Ford Show, The Jim Nabors Hour, The Andy Williams Show, The Donny and Marie Show, The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour, The Carol Burnett Show, Mama’s Family, four Academy Award shows, six Primetime Emmy shows, and a multitude of TV specials.
Ret was one of the earliest members of the Costume Designers Guild and never wavered in his support of the strength that came with joining together as a union. He contributed to the guild in many capacities, including serving on the Executive Board for many years. Although his credits are long, his greatest legacy is his dedication to helping new talent, then supporting the individuals throughout their careers. He gave of himself unselfishly, and his generosity of spirit was felt by many. It is for all of these contributions that Ret Turner will be inducted into the Costume Designers Guild Hall of Fame during the 19th CDGA (Costume Designer Guild Awards) on Tuesday, February 21, 2017 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.