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J. Michael Riva; designed sets for films, at 63

By Stacey Plaisance
Associated Press / June 13, 2012
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NEW ORLEANS — Oscar-nominated production designer J. Michael Riva, whose film credits ­include ‘‘The Amazing Spider-Man,’’ ‘’A Few Good Men,’’ and ‘‘The Color Purple,’’ has died after suffering a stroke in New Orleans. He was 63.

In a statement Tuesday, Sony Pictures spokesman Steve Elzer said Mr. Riva, who lived in Los Angeles, was in New Orleans working on the Quentin Tarantino film ‘‘Django Unchained’’ and was preparing to head to the set when he suffered a stroke June 1.

According to the statement, Mr. Riva died June 7 ‘‘surrounded by his family.’’

Tarantino, who has been in New Orleans directing ‘‘Django Unchained,’’ said in a statement that the crew is ‘‘devastated by this tragic loss as we persevere on his wonderful sets.’’

Mr. Riva earned an Academy Award nomination for his work on 1985’s ‘‘The Color Purple.’’ His ­other production design work include three of the ‘‘Lethal Weapon’’ films, ‘‘Scrooged,’’ “The Goonies,’’ ‘’Dave,’’ and ‘‘Ordinary People.’’

A private service is planned this week in Los Angeles. Planning is also underway for a public celebration .

The family asked that contributions be made to either H.O.P.E. for Haiti or A Place Called Home, a South Central Los Angeles haven for at-risk youth that offers programs in education and the arts.

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