By B.J. Hammerstein
Martin Pakledinaz, a two-time Tony Award-winning costume designer from Sterling Heights, died Sunday following a battle with brain cancer at his home in Manhattan, his spokesman said. He was 58. Pakledinaz, who graduated from Wayne State University in 1975, received Tonys for the 1999 revival of “Kiss Me, Kate” and for “Thoroughly Modern Millie,” a 2002 musical based on the 1967 movie starring Julie Andrews. Janet Schmitt, who worked in the management office for WSU’s theater department from 1980 through 2001, said that Pakledinaz remained grounded despite his Broadway success. In 1999, she recalled, he returned to receive WSU’s Arts Achievement Award. “He was so pleasant and so humble, and when he was here to receive the award, he even spent time doing a question-and-answer session with the students,” Schmitt said. Broadway theaters will dim their lights for one minute beginning at 8 tonight to honor Pakledinaz.
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