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.
Ray Davies' Sunny Afternoon scoops the most awardsTheatre
Grace DentChannel 4 show proves there's no app for happiness
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Alan Rickman admits editing 'terrible' script with friends in Pizza Hut behind backs of writers on Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
- 2 Rarest Beanie Baby of them all could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
- 3 Driving while dehydrated can be just as dangerous as drink driving, study suggests
- 4 Ben Affleck asked TV chiefs to hide slave-owning ancestry, new hacked Sony emails published by Wikileaks claim
- 5 Farmer told to tear down mock-Tudor castle after hiding construction behind hay bales
Better Call Saul creator Peter Gould on the creative concerns of a prequel, season 2 and the mind-numbing realities of the small courts
Britain's Got Talent 2015: RSPCA investigating Marc Metral's miming dog after cruelty complaints
Glastonbury 2015: Emily Eavis says Prince rumours 'completely untrue'
One Direction: Louis Tomlinson launching his own record label, has already 'signed two acts'
Star Wars 7: The Force Awakens: Luke Skywalker actor Mark Hamill admits he was suspicious of 'Star Trek guy' JJ Abrams
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate