Ray Harryhausen

(1920 – 2013)

Raymond Frederick Harryhausen was born in Los Angeles. From childhood he was intrigued by movies and animation, inspired by films such as “The Lost World” (1925) and “King Kong” (1933). As a teenager he built dioramas featuring prehistoric creatures and filmed them with a 16-millimeter camera, carefully hitting the “run” button to move the film one frame at a time.

By the time he was in his early 20s he was friends with Forrest Ackerman and Ray Bradbury, two men who shared Harryhausen's fondness for storytelling and animation. Ackerman became a writer, editor, and memorabilia collector; Bradbury became one of the world's most celebrated SF and fantasy writers. Willis O'Brien was also an early influence, encouraging Harryhausen to attend art school.

Harryhausen's work on such movies as “Mighty Joe Young” (assisting O'Brien), “Jason and the Argonauts,” “One Million Years B.C.,” and “Clash of the Titans” (1981) was widely praised for its ability to blend stop-motion effects (models filmed one frame at a time) and live action.

He won Count Dracula Society, Inkpot, Iconosphere Award, and Saturn awards, and was elected to the First Fandom Hall of Fame in 2008.

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