Guy Edward Hearn, a founding member of the Department of Theater Arts at UCLA and an expert in theater design, died Wednesday at his home in West Los Angeles of cancer. He was 72.
Hearn, whose most recent project was the designing of an unfinished theater in Palm Springs, came to UCLA in 1947 and was on the initial faculty of what now is the Department of Theater, Films and Television.
Mel Helstien, a longtime colleague, said Hearn--whose students included television's Carol Burnett and Joyce DeWitt--was mainly responsible for the Continental seating concept installed at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion of the Music Center. That concept provides for more space between rows of seats so patrons may get to the seats more easily and there are no aisles. Without aisles there are more seats available facing the stage.
In all, he designed or consulted on 34 theaters around the world including Thailand, Pakistan, Germany and the Virgin Islands. Locally he was involved in the design of the Japan America Theatre in downtown Los Angeles and the campus theater at UC Santa Barbara.
Hearn, who retired from UCLA in 1978 after teaching and directing 25 plays there, is survived by two sons. Donations in his name are asked to the Kaiser Foundation Hospital, Kaiser Hospice Program, Los Angeles.