'Alien' and 'E.T.' Effects Artist Carlo Rambaldi Passes Away at Age 86

August 10, 2012
Source: Washington Post

Carlo Rambaldi

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.

Find more posts: Movie News, Obituaries



My hero when I was a kid...R.I.P.

Gianni Persello on Aug 10, 2012


Bless him.

Quanah on Aug 10, 2012


A true artist, from the days when special effects were actually special.

grimjob on Aug 10, 2012


Tragic. I am a professional artist. I was 13 when ET came out. One of my first portraits was of that character. He helped to shape our view of extraterrestrials and inspired us to wonder about them. Rest in Peace.

RambaldiIsTheGreatestEver on Aug 10, 2012


Where are the artists to replace these legends? It's a sad day to lose someone to talented and influential.

max on Aug 12, 2012


Good question, Max. The truth is that no one will replace them....but they will inspire many to follow in their footsteps. That's the best we can hope for. Rambaldi is no longer with us, but his work remains.

Scopedog on Aug 13, 2012

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