Hollywood's Architect: The Paul R. Williams Story

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Introduction by Brent Glass
Q&A with Bradford Grant, Royal Rodgers, Paul Killmer & Kathy Vance
Film Info
Run Time:56 min
Release Year:2019



Nicknamed “Architect to the Stars,” the African-American architect Paul R. Williams had a life story that could have been dreamed up by a Hollywood screenwriter. Orphaned at the age of four, Williams grew up to build mansions for movie stars and millionaires in Southern California. From the early 1920s until his retirement 50 years later, Williams was one of the most successful architects in the country. His list of residential clients included Frank Sinatra, Cary Grant, Barbara Stanwyck, William Holden, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz. And his name is associated with architectural icons like the Beverly Hills Hotel, the original MCA Headquarters Building and LAX Airport. But even at the height of his career Paul Williams wasn’t always welcome in the restaurants and hotels he designed or the neighborhoods where he built homes, because of his race. Hollywood’s Architect: The Paul R. Williams Story tells the compelling, but little-known story, of how he used talent and perseverance to beat the odds and create a body of work that can be found from coast to coast. Williams was the first African-American member of the American Institute of Architects.


Royal Kennedy Rodgers


Royal Kennedy Rodgers is a producer, director, and writer with experience in local and network news, as well as public broadcasting television. She began her career as a reporter for NBC television stations in New Orleans, Cleveland and Chicago. Then, as an ABC Network News correspondent, based in Los Angeles, she covered assignments as diverse as breaking news, presidential politics and the entertainment industry. She spent ten years as a producer/correspondent for “Chicago Tonight” at WTTW-TV, the PBS station in Chicago. Her professional awards include a local Emmy, and recognition from the San Francisco State School of Journalism, as well as from the American Association of Trial Lawyers. She is currently an independent producer based in Washington, DC.




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