Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Yellow Submarine Art Designer Heinz Edelmann & Brenda Joyce, Jane in Many Tarzan Movies

Heinz Edelmann

Graphic designer Heinz Edelmann, who served as art director on the animated film Yellow Submarine, passed yesterday at the age of 75.

Heinz Edelmann was born in Aussig in what was then Czechoslovakia. He attended the Dusseldorf Art Academy. His career as a graphic designer dates to 1958. Starting in 1961 he taught graphic design and illustration at various schools in both Holland and Germany. It was in the Sixties that he became known for his work on posters and magazine illustration. It was Edelmann, along with American contemporary Milton Glaser, who pioneered what would become known as the psychedelic style before even Peter Max.

It was in 1967 that Heinz Edelmann receive a call from Charlie Jenkins, the director of special effects on animated film based on the songs of The Beatles, Yellow Submarine. It was initially planned that Edelman would only work eight weeks during which he would design the look of the movie. In the end Edelmann worked an entire year on Yellow Submarine, often sleeping only four hours a night to complete the project. He was in charge of over 200 artists. In the end, Yellow Submarine would take a toll on Edelmann's health. It took him two years to recover from working on the film.

Although best known for his work on Yellow Submarine, Edelmann did much more . In the Sixties he did illustrations for the German magazine Twen. He also created illustrations for the newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. He designed many book covers for the publisher Klett-Cotta in Stuttgart. Among the book covers he designed was the first cover of the German edition of Lord of the Rings in 1971. He worked in advertising for ten years, much of his time spent at the ad agency Putz in Cologne. He did a great number of posters for public broadcaster Westdeutscher Rundfunk. Heinz Edelmann's style would drift away from the psychedelia he used Yellow Submarine after the Sixties.

As mentioned earlier, Edelmann taught at many schools through the years. Most recently Heinz Edelmann taught design at the Stuttgart Academy of Fine Arts.

In the United States Heinz Edelmann is best known for Yellow Submarine and very little of his other art is recognised in here. That having been said, he should be recognised as one of the best graphic designers of the 20th Century. Indeed, his work in magazines and in advertising is often incredible. Of course, while most of his art is not well known in the United States, it can be certain that he will be remembered here through the incredible work he did on Yellow Submarine.

Brenda Joyce

Actress Brenda Joyce, best known for her role as Jane in many Tarzan movies, passed on July 4 at the age of 92. She was a student at UCLA and part time model when she was signed to 20th Century Fox. She made her film debut in the movie The Rains Came in 1939. She would go onto appear in eleven films, including the Alice Faye vehicle Little Old New York and the Milton Berle comedy Whispering Ghosts. It was in 1945 with the film Tarzan and the Amazons that Brenda Joyce became the second actress to play Jane and one of the few blondes to do so. She would be the only actress to Jane opposite two different actors as Tarzan, playing opposite Johnny Weissmuller for every movie but Tarzan's Magic Fountain in 1949, the first film to feature Lex Barker as Tarzan. She continued to appear in other films as well, including the family drama The Enchanted Forest and such B movie thrillers as The Spider Woman Strikes Back.

Brenda Joyce left acting following Tarzan's Magic Fountain. She moved to Washington D. C. where she worked in the immigration department. In 1971 Joyce appeared as herself in two episodes of Mr. Roger's Neighborhood.

Brenda Joyce was one of those many starlets who never achieved a good deal of success in Hollywood, despite having a good deal of talent. Her performance in The Rains Came was exceptional, and she did well in many other movies. Sadly, it may have been the Tarzan films which doomed her career. Before the Tarzan movies, Joyce played in a wide variety of film genres, including comedies, dramas, and musicals. Following Tarzan and the Amazons, Joyce increasingly appeared in B-movies. Quite simply, in playing Jane, Brenda Joyce may have become typecast. This is sad given her talent. She was a truly lovely and gifted actress who could have had a great career had she simply been given the chance.

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