Movie News

Ray Harryhausen (1920-2013)

Movie News
Mike Smith

Michael Smith - quite possibly the world's biggest 'Jaws' fan - heads up Moviehole's international reviewing team.

James Cameron. Steven Spielberg. John Lasseter. Rick Baker. Peter Jackson. No, the category isn’t Oscar winners. It’s a list of people whose careers were influenced by one of films true legends: Ray Harryhausen. Harryhausen, whose career spanned six decades, died today in London. He was 92.

Beginning with 1942’s “Tulips Shall Grow” and ending with his best known film, 1981’s “Clash of the Titans,” Harryhausen inspired moviegoers throughout the world.

Born in Los Angeles on June 29, 1920, Harryhausen’s life changed when, in 1933, he saw the original “King Kong.” Interested in filmmaking, and experimenting in animation, a friend introduced him to Willis O’Brien, who had created Kong. He showed O’Brien some of his work and was soon taking classes in sculpture and graphic arts. In 1939 he and an author friend joined a local Science Fiction League which was presided over by Forrest J. Ackerman. The author was Ray Bradbury and the three remained friends up until their deaths.

After securing a job working on George Pal’s “Puppetoons” he was drafted into the United States Army, where he was placed in the Special Services Division under the command of Colonel Frank Capra. He was a jack-of-all-trades for Capra, filling in wherever a hand was needed on his film crew. After his discharge Harryhausen went to work on his first big film, 1947’s “Mighty Joe Young,” which allowed him the chance to work with his idol, O’Brien, who went on to win that years Academy Award for Best Special Effects. He went on to produce the visual effects for such films as “The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms,” “Earth vs the Flying Saucers,” “The 7th Voyage of Sinbad” and it’s sequels, “One Million Years B.C.” and “The Valley Gwangi.”

I had the opportunity to meet Mr. Harryhausen on a couple of occasions and a nicer man with a genuine affection for his fans you will never find.

In 1992 he received the Gordon E. Sawyer award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. But perhaps a greater honor came in PIXAR’s hit film “Monsters, Inc., where Mike Wozowski takes his dinner date to the best place in town. It’s name: Harryhausens.

ShareShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someoneShare on Google+Pin on Pinterest

About Mike Smith

Michael Smith - quite possibly the world's biggest 'Jaws' fan - heads up Moviehole's international reviewing team.

View All Posts

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Subject

Your Message

captcha

More in Movie News

spoos

Teaser Trailer : Spooks : The Greater Good

Caffeinated ClintJanuary 30, 2015
fifth-620x400

A teaser for The 5th Wave crashes down

Caffeinated ClintJanuary 30, 2015
karlurban

Karl Urban will see Pete’s Dragon

Caffeinated ClintJanuary 30, 2015
rachel taylor

Rachel Taylor is best friend to Jessica Jones

Ashleigh DaviesJanuary 30, 2015
DOGD48BTS15905.dng

Jay Roach will tame the Mad Dogs

Ashleigh DaviesJanuary 29, 2015
terminator_genisys_sarah_connor

Superbowl Spot : Terminator Genisys

Caffeinated ClintJanuary 29, 2015
300A-03125.dng

300: Rise of an Empire helmer to take on heist drama

Ashleigh DaviesJanuary 29, 2015
swank-sarandon

Swank and Sarandon join animated comedy Spark

Ashleigh DaviesJanuary 29, 2015
New_Ted_Render

Trailer: Ted 2

Ashleigh DaviesJanuary 29, 2015

Login

Lost your password?