Stop-motion and special effects wizard Ray Harryhausen died today in London. He was 93.
Harryhausen was first entranced by stop-motion after watching Willis O'Brien's creations in 1933's King Kong. He dabbled in home movies before going on to create model animation for sci-fi films over the next 46 years. Harryhausen was particularly known for creating monsters, dinosaurs, apes, and other creatures that actually interacted with the actors of the films. His first feature was Mighty Joe Young in 1946, and he went on to do the special effects for films like The 7th Voyage of Sinbad, It Came From Beneath the Sea, One Billion Years B.C., and The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms. One of his most famous scenes was in Jason and the Argonauts, in which Harryhausen created seven living skeletons that fight with human actors.
Over the years, Harryhausen has received a number of awards, including a special Oscar and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Countless modern filmmakers - from Steven Spielberg to Tim Burton to James Cameron to Rick Baker - cite Ray Harryhausen as an influence.