n Wednesday, Hollywood visual effects pioneer Ray Harryhausen, who helped to launch the modern blockbuster with his work in stop-motion films like Mighty Joe Young, Jason and the Argonauts, and Clash of the Titans, died in London at age 92.
The news of Harryhausen's death was announced by The Ray and Diana Harryhausen Foundation, a charitable organization devoted to archiving, preserving, and restoring Harryhausen's decades of visual effects work. "Harryhausen's genius was in being able to bring his models alive," says the statement. "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."
The statement also includes tributes from Hollywood luminaries who benefited from Harryhausen's visual effects work, including Steven Spielberg, James Cameron, Peter Jackson, and George Lucas, who said, "Without Ray Harryhausen there would likely have been no Star Wars."
Here, watch a video compilation of Harryhausen's pioneering work in visual effects:
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Why China's Communist Party is headed for collapse
- 31 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Why Texas Republicans may want to cool the anti-Obama land-grab talk
- He said he was leaving. She ignored him.
- How to make perfect fried rice in 6 easy steps
- Why the poor's investment of choice is so alarming
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- Why we need a maximum wage
- Obama doesn't have a manhood problem — but conservatives certainly do
- Why atheism doesn't have the upper hand over religion
Subscribe to the Week