Bo Welch Biography

(Production Designer)

Birthday: November 30, 1951 (Sagittarius)

Born In: Yardley, Pennsylvania, United States

Bo Welch is an American production designer, art director, movie and TV director, and actor. He began his career as a production designer in the 1980s. Over the years, he has delivered quality work in movies such as The Color Purple, Edward Scissorhands, Batman Returns, A Little Princess, The Birdcage, and Men in Black. He has been nominated for the Academy Award four times. In 2019, he was nominated for an Emmy Award for his work as a production designer in the Netflix series A Series of Unfortunate Events. However, his directorial debut (film), the 2003 movie The Cat in the Hat, was rejected by critics and even fetched him an award for the worst director. He has also acted in minor roles in a few movies. He is married to actor Catherine O'Hara and has two sons.

Quick Facts

Also Known As: Robert W. Welch III

Age: 71 Years, 71 Year Old Males


Spouse/Ex-: Catherine O'Hara

siblings: Elizabeth Levinson

children: Luke Welch, Matthew Welch

Born Country: United States

Actors Directors

Height: 1.72 m

U.S. State: Pennsylvania

More Facts

education: The University of Arizona

Childhood & Early Life

Bo Welch was born Robert W. Welch III, on November 30, 1951, in Yardley, Pennsylvania, U.S.

Bo was the only child of his parents. His father worked as a firefighter, and his mother was a cashier at a local supermarket.

Apparently, Bo had expressed his wish to become an actor while in elementary school, but his parents encouraged him to focus on his academics.

In school, Bo was quite active in both basketball and football. He also participated in school plays.

Bo completed his matriculation in 1969. He eventually graduated with a BA degree from the University of Arizona College of Architecture in 1973.

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Bo Welch started his career as a production designer in the 1980s. The 1985 film The Color Purple, for which he had worked as a production designer, fetched him a nomination for the Academy Award for the “Best Production Design” (along with Michael Riva and Linda DeScenna).

For his work in the 1990 Tim Burton fantasy-romance movie Edward Scissorhands, starring Johnny Depp and Winona Ryder, Bo won the 1992 British Academy Film Award, also known as the BAFTA Award, for the “Best Production Design.”

In 1992, the film won the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films award for the “Best Fantasy Film” in 1992.

For his work on the 1992 crime fantasy movie Batman Returns, Bo Welch was nominated for the Awards Circuit Community Award for the “Best Production Design.”

In 1995, the family fantasy movie A Little Princess fetched him a nomination each for the Academy Award for the “Best Production Design” (along with Cheryl Carasik) and the Awards Circuit Community Award for the “Best Art Direction.”

The 1996 movie The Birdcage earned him the Los Angeles Film Critics Association (LAFCA) Award for the “Best Production Design.” The movie also got him nominations for the Academy Award for the “Best Production Design,” the Art Directors Guild (ADG) Award for “Excellence in Production Design,” and the Awards Circuit Community Award for the “Best Art Direction.”

In 1997, his work in the Barry Sonnenfeld science-fiction film Men in Black got him nominated for the Academy Award for the “Best Production Design.” He was also nominated for the ADG Award for “Excellence in Production Design” for the same film.

In 2011, the movie Thor got him nominated for the Saturn Award for the “Best Production Design.”

The 2003 family comedy film The Cat in the Hat was his first film as a director. It was based on a 1957 Dr. Seuss children's book of the same name. Unfortunately, the movie fetched him a Golden Raspberry Award for the “Worst Director.”

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Some of the other noteworthy films that he has worked on as a production designer are Violets Are Blue (1986), The Accidental Tourist (1988), Tim Burton’s Beetlejuice (1988), Ghostbusters II (1989), Barry Sonnenfeld’s Wild Wild West (1999), What Planet Are You From? (2000), Men in Black II (2002), and Men in Black 3 (2012).

He also worked as a production designer in the Netflix original series A Series of Unfortunate Events from 2017 to 2019. The series was based on Lemony Snicket's children's book series of the same name. Bo Welch has also directed five episodes of the series. In 2019, Bo was nominated for the Emmy Award for “Outstanding Production Design for A Narrative Period or Fantasy Program” for his work in the series.

As an art director, he has worked on projects such as The Star Chamber (1983) and Heart of Steel (1983). He has directed series such as Secret Agent Man (2000) and The Tick (two episodes, 2001).

Bo Welch has also appeared as an actor in minor roles in the movies Men in Black II (2002), Men in Black 3 (2012), and Tiebreaker (2014).

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Personal Life

Bo Welch got married to actor Catherine O'Hara on April 25, 1992. Catherine is known for her roles such as Kate in Home Alone, Delia in Beetlejuice, and Moira Rose in Schitt's Creek.

They have two sons, Matthew Welch (born in 1994) and Luke Welch (born in 1997).

Bo and Catherine had met in the late 1980s, while working on Beetlejuice. While Catherine starred in the movie, Bo was the production designer of the film. Director Tim Burton had apparently encouraged them to go on a date. The couple soon fell in love, and Catherine moved with him to Los Angeles.

Though the couple keeps their relationship away from the media spotlight, they are often spotted at red-carpet events. They were present at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party in February 2020.

Bo loves sports and is often spotted working out at the gym. He and his wife own a farm and a few horses. They also own a few dogs and cats.

Some of Bo’s favorite travel destinations are London, Venice, and Berlin. Bo admires the works of Robert De Niro, Angelina Jolie, Leonardo DiCaprio. The Godfather trilogy, Mr. and Mrs Smith, and Titanic are some of his favorite movies.


BAFTA Awards
1992 Best Production Design Edward Scissorhands (1990)
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