PaperCity Magazine

PaperCity Dallas March 2023

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69 laughing and smiling," she says. "I really got to know him during the process of making the film — It was quite a journey." Broadway Bound Long before the Texas Rose Festival landed on Winn Morton's radar, there was the circus. He was obsessed with it. As a child, his father took him to see the animals as they were unloaded from boxcars, and later at home he'd draw his favorite tigers and elephants on a sketchpad. He had talent, so at 6 years old his parents enrolled him in private art classes with noted painter Alexandre Hogue. By the time he started Highland Park High School, he was designing sets for school plays. While his parents envisioned a career as a fine artist — he was sent to SMU to study painting — Morton dreamed of working for the circus. A year later, he dropped out of SMU and headed to Florida to study at the Ringling School of Art. When the director of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus suggested he might get work if he sketched costumes faster, Morton decamped for New York City and a stint at Parsons to hone his skills. Throughout the 1950s and '60s he designed sets and costumes for hundreds of live TV productions for NBC and CBS, including The Ed Sullivan Show and Arthur Godfrey's number-one-rated show. He mounted large-scale ice extravaganzas for The Roxy Theatre in New York and lavish sets and costumes for opera, live theater, and countless Broadway and touring productions, dressing stars including Lucie Arnez and Sandy Dennis. By the late '70s. he'd grown tired of New York and moved back to Dallas with his longtime partner, Harry Lewis, whom he'd met years earlier. Learning of Morton's Broadway background, Dallas socialites clamored to hire him for their charity balls and private parties. As his old friend and former Rose Festival colleague Bob Cook says, "Money was never a problem. If you wanted Winn, you found the money. There were always women ready to outdo the other — "My ball is bigger than yours," that kind of thing." Throughout the 1980s, Morton

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