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SYFY WIRE obituary

Leslie A. Pope, MCU set decorator for Ant-Man and Avengers: Endgame, dies at 65

By Josh Weiss
Leslie Pope Avengers Endgame

Leslie A. Pope, an Oscar-nominated set decorator known for her work on Marvel Cinematic Universe films (including Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame), has died at the age of 65. Variety reports that Pope — who passed away in Venice, California — was recovering from heart surgery she had received back in February. The news was confirmed to the outlet by her friend, Trish Gallaher Glenn.

Pope originally wanted to go into the medical field as a researcher, going so far as to get a Bachelor of Science in biology before realizing that she didn't have the stomach for animal dissection. Taking some advice from her brother (Matrix cinematographer Bill Pope) who had just graduated from film school, she decided to pursue a career in entertainment.

Leslie A. Pope

Her tenure as a film set decorator began in the 1980s with projects like Martin Scorsese's After Hours and Alan Parker's Angel Heart. Prior to her death, Pope had worked on 40 features and even nabbed an Oscar nomination for Best Art Direction on Gary Ross's Seabiscuit in 2003. She and co-nominee, Jeannine Oppewall, unfortunately lost out on the award to Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, which dominated that year's ceremony.

"People often think that we're interior decorators, which we are to a certain extent," Pope once said in an Academy interview (below). "You never know what we're going to be asked to do to service the script. We're sort of a combination of psychologist and logistics expert and interior decorator and human resources manager. We bring so many different talents to the one job classification. It's hard to describe to someone who hasn't done it."

Her involvement with Marvel Studios began with 2014's Captain America: The Winter Soldier. She wasn't involved with Civil War (2016), but she and the Russo Brothers would later reunit for Infinity War and Endgame, the latter becoming the highest-grossing film in history. In addition, Pope was tapped as set decorator for Peyton Reed's first Ant-Man movie in 2015.

She also got the chance to work on Paul Feig's Ghostbusters reboot (2016) and two Spider-Man movies: Sam Raimi's Spider-Man 3 (2007) and Marc Webb's The Amazing Spider-Man (2012).

(certain info via IMDB)