7 May 2013 4:05 PM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Special effects master on fantasy films including Jason and the Argonauts and Clash of the Titans

In 1933, the 13-year-old Ray Harryhausen saw King Kong at the cinema and was hooked – not only by Kong, who was clearly not just a man in a gorilla suit, but also by the dinosaurs. He came out of the theatre "stunned and haunted. They looked absolutely lifelike … I wanted to know how it was done." It was done by using stop-motion animation: jointed models filmed one frame at a time to simulate movement. Harryhausen, who has died aged 92, was to become the prime exponent of the technique and its combination with live action. He created the special effects for fantasy films such as The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad (1958); Jason and the Argonauts (1963), with its famous army of skeletons; and Clash of the Titans (1981).

He was born in Los Angeles to Frederick and Martha Harryhausen, »

- Sheila Whitaker

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