Ray Harryhausen, the visual effects master famed for skeleton battle in Jason and the Argonauts, dies aged 92
George Lucas and Peter Jackson pay tribute to Harryhausen, with Lucas saying without his influence there would be no Star Wars
Nick Clark is the arts correspondent of The Independent. He joined the newspaper in June 2007, initially reporting on the stock markets. He has covered beats including the City, and technology, media and telecoms and made the switch to arts in December 2011. He has also contributed articles to the sports section.
Wednesday 08 May 2013
Ray Harryhausen, who thrilled and terrified generations of moviegoers with his monstrous animated creations, has died at the age of 92.
The visual effects pioneer, who worked on films including Clash of the Titans and Sinbad, influenced directors from Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson to James Cameron as well as Wallace & Gromit creator Nick Park.
His death was announced by the Ray and Diana Harryhausen Foundation in a statement. Harryhausen, who was described as “truly unique in the history of movies as a special effects technician” by director John Landis, brought models to life - from mythical creatures to prehistoric dinosaurs - with stop-motion animation.
Among his most memorable scenes was the battle between seven skeletons and the heroes of Jason and the Argonauts in 1963, which took three months to film.
Harryhausen was first inspired by the effects used in King Kong, and as a teenager experimented with puppet animation at home.
George Lucas has hailed Harryhausen in the past, calling him an “inspiration” to everyone in the special effects industry, and adding without him “there would likely have been no Star Wars”.
Jackson has also said that without Harryhausen’s influence, Lord of the Rings “would never have been made. Not by me at least.”
Harryhausen, who was also a writer and producer, won a string of awards for his work, which included a special Oscar and Bafta. Originally from Los Angeles, he had lived in London since 1960 until his death.
TVJamie's Sugar Rush reveal's campaigning chef's new foe
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 What marriage would look like if we actually followed the Bible
- 2 If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
- 3 'Heartbreaking' Syria orphan photo wasn't taken in Syria and not of orphan
- 4 Bob Geldof offers to take four refugee families into his home 'immediately' as he condemns humanitarian crisis as a ‘f**king disgrace'
- 5 Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
The Gamechangers trailer: Daniel Radcliffe stars in GTA movie
Three million books were judged by their covers - this is what happened
Anne Hathaway is already being stung by Hollywood ageism, aged 32
No Escape, film review: Thriller generates plenty of excitement but soon collapses
The Lobster trailer: Colin Farrell has 45 days to find a lover or he'll be turned into an animal
Britain to take more refugees as Cameron bows to pressure after more than 250,000 back our campaign
Senior British politicians tell David Cameron: When dead children are being washed up on beaches – it's time to act
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
Make your voice heard: Sign The Independent's petition to welcome refugees