On 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
- Watch out, China — America is working on dogfighting drones
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- How the Simpsons/Family Guy crossover revealed the worst of both shows
- How liberals are unwittingly paving the way for the legalization of adult incest
- Why the Chinese military is only a paper dragon
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- The troubling persistence of eugenicist thought in modern America
- Libertarianism's terrible, horrible, no good, very bad idea
- Why America won't have enough money to battle ISIS
- 11 facts yü should know about the umlaut
Subscribe to the Week