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
- Who are the real gay marriage bigots?
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- What the collapse of the Ming Dynasty can tell us about American decline
- Don't worry: World War III will almost certainly never happen
- Why is American internet so slow?
- 22 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Religious liberty should be a liberal value, too
- Watch The Daily Show mock Fox News' confused man-crush on Vladimir Putin
- This energy source could solve all of our problems — so why is no one talking about it?
- The new bride who had a horrifying allergic reaction to her husband's sperm
Subscribe to the Week