Visual effects pioneer Ray Harryhausen, whose sci-fi and fantasy creations were brought to life in such films as the original Clash of the Titans and The 7th Voyage of Sinbad, died in London today, according to his Facebook page. He was 92.
Born in Los Angeles on June 29, 1920, Harryhausen pioneered the stop-motion animation technique (he himself was inspired by watching the original 1933 King Kong and started out by making stop-motion films in his garage), bringing rubber and clay to life and fueling the imaginations of young moviegoers for decades, reaching back to such matinee favorites as Mighty Joe Young (1949), It Came From Beneath the Sea (1955), Earth vs. The Flying Saucers (1955), 20 Million Miles to Earth (1957), Jason and the Argonauts (1963), Mysterious Island (1961) and the Sinbad movies. Although the multi-award winner never won any Oscars for his hugely influential work (even the stop-motion Tauntauns in The Empire Strikes Back owe a debt to Ray), the Academy honored him with the Gordon E. Sawyer Award in 1992 for his technological contributions to the industry.