'Alien' and 'E.T.' Effects Artist Carlo Rambaldi Passes Away at Age 86
Most fans of Alien are aware of H.R. Giger's contribution to the iconic designs of the xenomorph, but it was the work of Italian puppeteer & designer Carlo Rambaldi that really made the dripping, soulless alien head come to life on the big screen. Rambaldi and Giger won Oscars for their work, and Rambaldi went on to build another alien, this time the title character in Spielberg's E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial, for which he won another Oscar and beat out Blade Runner's Douglas Trumbull in the process. Washington Post brings the unfortunate news that Rambaldi passed away in Italy at age 86 today after a long illness. More below.
Rambaldi, who also worked on Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Dune, and the 1976 King Kong, was influential in lower budget films before he broke into big Hollywood productions. His work on the 1971 movie A Lizard in Woman's Skin was apparently so convincing that the film's director was prosecuted for animal cruelty, and Rambaldi himself had to show the court the props he created to convince them it was fake. Sounds like a badge of honor for an FX whiz. Viewers of the ABC series "Alias" may remember the name Rambaldi as the mysterious prophet who was responsible for much of the show's mythology, and J.J. Abrams named this character after Carlo to pay his respect to the man's visual effects career. Rest in peace.