Visual effects legend Ray Harryhausen dies at 92

Scott Meslow
The Week
Special effects creator Ray Harryhausen poses next to the enlarged model of Medusa from his 1981 film Clash of the Titans in 2010.

Harryhausen, who broke new ground in films like Jason and the Argonauts and Clash of the Titans, leaves behind a remarkable and enduring cinematic legacy

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."

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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:

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