Special effects legend Ray Harryhausen dies

Farewell to a Titan

by Jennie Kermode

Ray Harryhausen has died, aged 92 <em>Photo: Max Crawford
Ray Harryhausen has died, aged 92 Photo: Max Crawford

Ray Harryhausen, known for the magnificent stop motion creations that featured in the likes of Jason And The Argonauts and Mysterious Island, died today at the age of 92. The inspiration for directors like Steven Spielberg and James Cameron, he was also a much-loved contributor at countless fan events where he toured to talk about his work.

The inventor of 'dynamation', Harryhausen brought to life countless creatures from Greek myth, along with B-movie monsters that had personality as well as the ability to terrify filmgoers. His special effects featured in 15 films and he produced several more. He also authored several books focused on his art and methods. New interest was recently drawn to his work by the release of a remake of one of his classic films, Clash Of The Titans, and he was the focus of a documentary, Ray Harryhausen: Special Effects Titan.

"Willis H. O'Brien started the snowball," he said, referring to the man whose contribution to King Kong inspired his career, "then I picked it up, then ILM picked it up and now the computer generation is picking it up. Where it will end, I don't know. Maybe in holography, although I'm not sure I'd like a grotesque monster appearing in 3-D in my living room."

Two years ago, Harryhausen received a special BAFTA, presented by longstanding fan Peter Jackson, for his lifetime contribution to the film industry. He also has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He is survived by his wfe, Diana Livingstone Bruce.

You can read what Ray Harryhausen had to say about his life's work in this Q&A from 2008.

Share this with others on...

One of those dreamy, dreamy things Guy Maddin on Isabella Rossellini and The Rabbit Hunters

Streaming Spotlight: great escapes How to break out of prison, movie style

Stay-At-Home Seven: April 5-12 Unmissable films on TV and streaming services this week

Back into memory Adam Benzine on Claude Lanzmann: Spectres Of The Shoah

Dream trip Tara Miele and Katie Byron on time, memory and storytelling in Wander Darkly

Nomadland named best by BAFTA Chloé Zhao's drama takes four awards

More news and features

We've recently covered BFI Flare , the Glasgow Short Film Festival, South by Southwest , New York's Rendez-vous with French Cinema, the Glasgow Film Festival, the first part of this year's Berlin Film Festival, Slamdance and Sundance.

Read our full for more.

Visit our festivals section.


Win a copy of Restless Natives in our latest competition coming soon.