Special Effects Legend Carlo Rambaldi Dies at 86

August 10, 2012


Italian special effects legend Carlo Rambaldi--the man responsible for creating the weird, long heads of such popular long-headed aliens as E.T. and the Alien xenomorph--has died after a long battle with a yet-unspecified illness. He was 86.

Rambaldi had a career that spanned thirty years, over which he took home three Academy Awards for his work, winning in '77 for King Kong, '80 for Alien, and 1983 for E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial. He also did creature effects for Dune and Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and designed Conan the Destroyer's montrous Dagoth, which ended up being pretty much the only cool part of Conan the Destoyer. In 1971, his work on the giallo film A Lizard in Woman's Skin proved so convincing it led to controversy: a scene in which dogs were subjected to gruesome experiments brought animal abuse charges against director Lucio Fulci, forcing Rambaldi to bring his robotic prop dogs into the courtroom just to prove that Fulci wasn't a dog-killing psycho. On the other side of the believability spectrum, he was also nominated for a Razzie for his work on King Kong Lives, which was really not his best King Kong work. Still, though, that Dagoth was pretty cool looking.


(Thanks, Phil.)

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