Ben Cooper Artist Frank Romano Passes Away at 97

The artist who created the iconic artwork featured on vintage Ben Cooper costumes and their innovative boxes throughout most the 1960s-1980s, Frank Romano has passed away. He was 97 years old.

Frank Romano designed many of the classic Ben Cooper costumes, including Star Wars, Batman, Superman, Planet of the ApesAlienSesame Street, and many more.

Recently, Romano was featured in the 2019 Ben Cooper/vintage Halloween documentary Halloween in a Box.

As reported by Horror News Network, Romano served in the U.S. Navy and was a proud World War II veteran. After the war, he attended art school, and later answered a newspaper ad for Halloween costume manufacturer, Ben Cooper Inc., where he was interviewed by Ben Cooper himself.

After seeing his portfolio, Cooper was impressed enough to ask Romano to paint a devil that night using only four colors. Romano completed that legendary devil (pictured below), as well as a subsequent clown for Cooper, and those indelible images, which are very much still beloved today, marked the beginning of Romano’s long-lasting relationship with Ben Cooper Inc., where he worked from 1962-1989, helping the company to redefine Halloween itself.

We extend our sincere condolences to Mr. Romano’s family and loved ones.

[Related: Read our 2017 interview with Ira Cooper, son of Nat Cooper and nephew of Ben Cooper, on the history of the iconic Ben Cooper brand here.]

Frank Romano with his devil painting for Ben Cooper. (photo credit: Horror News Network)
Frank Romano with his devil painting for Ben Cooper. (photo credit: Horror News Network)

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Matt Artz

Founded Halloween Daily News in 2012 and the Halloween International Film Festival in 2016. Professional writer/journalist/photographer since 2000.