STRATFORD, Ont. - Longtime Stratford Festival designer Desmond Heeley died on Friday night in New York. He was 85.

The three-time Tony winner began his career with the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon, where he worked on productions including "Titus Andronicus" with the late Sir Laurence Olivier.

A working relationship with former Stratford Festival artistic director Michael Langham, established in the U.K., brought Heeley to Canada.

Heeley's lengthy career with the festival spanned five decades, beginning with the 1957 production of "Hamlet" starring Canadian stage and screen legend Christopher Plummer.

Heeley designed nearly 40 productions, including "Cyrano de Bergerac" (1962), "The Duchess of Malfi" (1971), "Amadeus" (1995 and 1996) and "Camelot" (1997).

His last production was "The Importance of Being Earnest" in 2009, directed by and starring Brian Bedford.