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Ray Harryhausen dies

Written by Barbara Vancheri on .

AL 111 Ray animates Snakewoman-p
 
Ray Harryhausen, revered in the world of moviemaking and frequently mentioned by directors, animators, special-effects experts and others in interviews, died today in London. 
 
The Ray and Diana Harryhausen Foundation announced his passing on Facebook. 
 
The  guru, who created the special effects for such movies as “The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad,” “Jason and the Argonauts” and original “Clash of the Titans,” received a special Oscar in February 1992 for “extraordinary scientific and technical achievement in film.” 
 
His boyhood friend, sci-fi author Ray Bradbury had presented the Gordon E. Sawyer Award to him at an earlier function, but a clip was shown the night “The Silence of the Lambs” cleaned up. 
 
Harryhausen’s legacy lives on, courtesy of Steven Spielberg, James Cameron, Peter Jackson, George Lucas, John Landis, Nick Park and countless others. He planted the seeds for their love of movies and the sorts of effects now accomplished by computers and not painstaking, time-consuming moves. 
 
When I interviewed former West View resident Don Waller, a 1974 graduate of North Hills High School, for Peter Jackson’s “King Kong,” he mentioned Harryhausen, as many others have.
 
Waller, who contributed to some of the remake’s epic signature scenes featuring rampaging dinosaurs, supersize spiders and a girl, a gorilla and a skyscraper,  had spent a memorable day at Harryhausen’s London home in the early ’90s. It was a brush with Hollywood history and greatness.
 
Ray with Joe model-p
 
Photos from A.M.P.A.S. courtesy of: The Ray & Diana Harryhausen Foundation.

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