Ray Harryhausen Passes Away

Category: News
Ray Harryhausen, a master of stop-motion animation and visual effects pioneer, has died at age 92 in London.

Harryhausen's earned a reputation for his work, including the animation on Mighty Joe Young, which won the Academy Award for special effects (1949); The 7th Voyage of Sinbad, his first color film; and Jason and the Argonauts, featuring a famous sword fight against seven skeleton warriors.

Harryhausen's last film was Clash of the Titans, produced in the early 1980s.

The death was announced on the Ray and Diana Harryhausen Foundation Facebook page. "Ray's influence on today's filmmakers was enormous, with luminaries. Steven Spielberg, James Cameron, Peter Jackson, George Lucas, John Landis and the UK's own Nick Park have cited Harryhausen as being the man whose work inspired their own creations," the page states.

It continues: "Harryhausen's genius was in being able to bring his models alive. Whether they were prehistoric dinosaurs or mythological creatures, in Ray's hands they were no longer puppets but became instead characters in their own right, just as important as the actors they played against and in most cases even more so."

Tributes have been heaped upon Harryhausen for his work by his peers in recent years. They include George Lucas, Peter Jackson, Nick Park, and others.

Director Terry Gilliam (Brazil, 12 Monkeys, The Fisher King) sums it up nicely on the Facebook page: "What we do now digitally with computers, Ray did digitally long before but without computers. Only with his digits."

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