British art director and producer John Bryan began working as a theatrical set designer when he was only 16. He came to films as a draftsman and later became an assistant director on a variety of distinguished British films. By the late 1930s, Bryan had become a full-fledged art director especially recognized for his recreations of the Victorian era. In 1946, Bryan won an Academy Award for his set designs for Great Expectations. He became a producer in 1951 and continued being active in various aspects of British films until his death in 1969.