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Movie effects innovator Petros Vlahos dies at 96

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 20, 2013 at 12:26 am •  Published: February 20, 2013
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Vlahos took huge leaps forward in the process with the chariot race in the 1959 Charlton Heston epic "Ben Hur" and in Julie Andrews' and Dick Van Dyke's romp through a chalk-drawing wonderland in 1964's "Mary Poppins."

He kept up his partnership with Disney in effects-heavy films like 1969's "The Love Bug" and 1971's "Bedknobs and Broomsticks."

When in subsequent decades sci-fi and fantasy films became dominant at the box office, Vlahos' techniques became dominant in filmmaking, essential to movies like "Avatar" and to every film in the "Star Wars" saga.

He and his collaborators won an Academy Award for their composite processes in 1965, and he and his son Paul Vlahos shared another Oscar in 1995 for the blue-screen advances made by Ultimatte.