#RespectYourElders: Eugene Lee (born 1939) is an award-winning American set designer. He is most known for his work on Broadway and his role as an original production designer for “Saturday Night Live,” where he still works today.
Lee got his start on Broadway in 1972 for his work on “Dude.” Though the show only lasted a few weeks, it helped Lee begin to solidify his Broadway career. Over the next few decades his career included work on “Wicked,” “Candide” and “Sweeney Todd.” Lee is also known for his work at the iconic Rhode Island theater, Trinity Rep, which is known for pushing boundaries with its scripts and accompanying set designs.
Lee is often described as humble and hardworking, with “Saturday Night Live” creator Lorne Michaels calling Lee the “only actual genius” he has ever worked with. Lee has worked almost exclusively in New York throughout his career and still makes the commute weekly from Providence, Rhode Island, which is around 3 hours away.
“I work really hard for an old guy!” Lee says in an interview with Vanity Fair. And so he does. Throughout his impressive career, Lee has won three Tony awards and one Emmy. If you want to learn more, take a look at this recent feature.