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Paul Fortune, L.A. Designer to the Stars, Dies at 69


The second club, the moody Les Deux Café, was created in collaboration with the designer Michèle Lamy and installed at Mr. Fortune’s direction inside an Arts and Crafts bungalow cum crack house, resurrected and transported by truck across a parking lot to a new locale.

And it was at Les Deux Cafe, with its self-aware design quotations from Old Hollywood nightspots like Chasen’s, Scandia and the Brown Derby, that Mr. Fortune laid the groundwork for what is probably his signal achievement: the design of the Tower Bar, the clubby, walnut-paneled dining establishment that opened in 2007 and quickly became the Hollywood power nexus it remains.

Like so many other newcomers to the land of self-invention, Mr. Fortune adjusted and burnished his biography as he went along. While he would eventually acquire some of the affectations of a swell, he was born Paul Stephen Fortune Fearon on Sept. 5, 1950, in a suburb of Liverpool, England, to Frances (Fortune) Fearon, a telephone operator, and Kevin Fearon, a production manager at a company that supplied Christmas hampers to Harrods.

When he was still a boy, Mr. Fortune’s family relocated to a large and ramshackle house in Cheshire, England, within earshot of the lion’s roar at the Chester Zoo. “Paul’s natural flair was a driving force” in the restoration of Cranwood, as the house was called, his brother, Mark Fearon, said in an email. Mr. Fearon and Mr. Brock are his survivors.

As a youth, Mr. Fortune often dragged his three siblings to country house sales and auctions, Mr. Fearon explained, not only helping his parents furnish Cranwood, but also showing an unwavering conviction about the correctness of his own taste. This was to be an earmark of his design practice and recurring theme in “Notes on Décor, Etc.,” a 2018 book he wrote that was equal parts portfolio, memoir and how-to.


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