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Robert Fletcher, ‘Star Trek’ Film Costume Designer, Dies at 98

Robert Fletcher, a prolific costume designer who worked on the original four “Star Trek” films and had a long career in theater, has died. He was 98.

Fletcher died peacefully in Kansas City, Mo., on April 5. No cause of death was provided.

Robert “Bob” Fletcher worked as a costume designer for over six decades, crafting the iconic look of the Klingons and the Vulcans in the original “Star Trek” movies, starting with “Star Trek: The Motion Picture” in 1979. His last feature film was “Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home” in 1986, and he’s credited with imagining the “monster maroon” Starfleet uniforms worn by William Shatner and company.

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Fletcher also had an extensive career in theater, working as a costume designer on the original Broadway productions of the musicals “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” and “Walking Happy.” He also worked alongside Orson Welles as an actor in a 1956 production of Shakespeare’s “King Lear” at New York City Center. Some of his other costume and set design work included for Lincoln Kirstein’s ballet and opera projects and as a producer on Noel Coward’s “High Spirits” and “Best Foot Forward” with a young Liza Minnelli.

Fletcher was an Emmy nominee for costume design for “North and South, Book II” from 1986, and he was a three-time Tony nominee for his work on “Little Me” (1963), “High Spirits” (1964) and “Hadrian VII” (1969).

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In 1982, he received a Drama Desk Award nomination for Outstanding Costume Design for “Othello” starring James Earl Jones, Christopher Plummer and Dianne Wiest. He was nominated for three Saturn Awards and won the Saturn in 1987 for “Star Trek IV.” In 2005, Fletcher was awarded the Career Achievement Award from the Costume Designers Guild and in 2008, he received a Theatre Development Fund/Irene Sharaff Lifetime Achievement Award for his set design.

Fletcher was married for 65 years to the late Jack Kauflin, who was an original member of the New York City Ballet, a singer and a Broadway dancer.

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