Hollywood Legend Dies at Hammersmith Hospital

Ray Harryhausen was cinema special effects pioneer

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The Ray and Diana Harryhausen Foundation on Facebook

Ray Harryhausen's official website

Hammersmith Hospital

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Ray Harryhausen, a legendary figure in the field of cinema special effects died this week in Hammersmith Hospital in Shepherd's Bush at the age of 92.

Mr Harryhausen had been receiving treatment at the hospital in Du Cane Road for a week and his friend and biographer Tony Dalton described his death as "very gentle and quiet".

His classic films such as Jason and the Argonauts and Clash of the Titans inspired many future movie makers, with scenes of monsters and mythical creatures, brought to life by his pioneering use of stop motion technique.

His death was announced on Facebook by the Ray and Diana Harryhausen Foundation. The announcement said: " The Harryhausen family regret to announce the death of Ray Harryhausen, Visual Effects pioneer and stop-motion model animator.

"He was a multi-award winner which includes a special Oscar and BAFTA. Ray’s influence on today’s film makers was enormous, with luminaries; Steven Spielberg, James Cameron, Peter Jackson, George Lucas, John Landis and the UK’s own Nick Park have cited Harryhausen as being the man whose work inspired their own creations. 

" Harryhausen’s genius was in being able to bring his models alive. 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. 

" Today The Ray & Diana Harryhausen Foundation, a charitable Trust set up by Ray on the 10th April 1986, is devoted to the protection of Ray’s name and body of work as well as archiving, preserving and restoring Ray’s extensive Collection."

His family, including wife Diana and daughter Vanessa also made a more personal announcement on his website, saying: " It is with the deepest sadness that we must announce Ray’s death in London.  Thankfully his passing was quick and painless, but it has of course left a very large void in the lives of Diana, Vanessa and everyone at the Foundation.  It really is the end of an era and a very bright, irreplaceable light has gone from our lives."

 

May 10, 2013