Bill Belew has the distinction of having designed Elvis Presley’s costumes and personal wardrobe from 1968 until his death in 1977. A graduate of the Parsons School of Design in New York, Belew has also designed costumes for a multitude of entertainers, including Lynne Redgrave, Lena Horne, Josephine Baker, Ella Fitzgerald, Gloria Swanson, Sandy Duncan, Victoria Principal, Pia Zadora, Joan Van Ark, Brooke Shields, Jaclyn Smith, Joan Rivers, Gloria Estefan, Gladys Knight, Roberta Flack and Dionne Warwick, as well as Milton Berle, Doc Severensen among a numerous others.
In his varied career, Belew has designed costumes for over 70 theatrical productions, musicals, operas, ballets, TV specials and series. In addition to his highly -acclaimed work for the seminal Elvis Presley television specials in the late 1960s and 1970s _ which introduced a reinvigorated and dynamic Elvis to a whole new generation of fans? Belew’s television special credits include “The Emmy Awards,” “The American Music Awards, ” “ The Grammy Awards, “The ABC 25th Anniversary Special,” “The David Copperfield Music Show,” “The CBS Rolling Stones Special” and “The Carpenters Special”.
Other television credits include “The Steve Allen Show,” “The Captain and Tennille,” “The Flip Wilson Show”, “Dick Clark Wednesday Live,” “The Everly Brothers,” “The Lennon Sisters Series,” Gladys Knight and the Pips,” and the NBC daytime drama “Santa Barbara.” Belew has also designed costume for the situation comedies “Mr. Belvedere,” “Teachers Only,” and “Sister Kate,” starring Stephanie Beacham.
Ballets whose costumes have been designed by Belew include The New York City Ballet productions of “The Firebird” and “Giselle” and The San Francisco Ballet production of “America.”
Belew’s creativity extended to legitimate theatre as well. Among the many stage productions he has costume designed are “Sweet Charity,” “Funny Girl”, at The Long Beach Civic Light Opera,” “Don Juan in Hell” and “An Evening with Kaye Ballard” at The Henry Fonda in Hollywood, “Dear Liar,” with Valerie Harper and Anthony Zerbe at the Huntington Hartford, “Shalom Alecheim” at the Chicago Yiddish Theatre, and “Tosea” at the Chicago Opera.