Ray harryhausen

Ray Harryhausen

  • Birth

    Raymond Frederick Harryhausen was born in Los Angles, California USA
  • 1930's

    After seeing King Kong in 1933 for the first of many times on its release Harryhausen spent his early years experimenting in the production of animated shorts, the scenes utilizing stopmotion animation, those featuring creatures on the island. were the work of animator Willis O'Brien. Harryhausen also became friends with an aspiring writer Ray Bradbury, Bradbury and Harryhausen joined the Los Angeles Science Fiction League formed by Forrest J. Ackerman in 1939, and the 3 became lifelong friends.
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    During World War 2 Harryhausen served in the United States Army Special Services Division as a loader, clapper boy, gofer and later camera assistant, while working at home animating short films with the use and development of military equipment. Following the war he salvaged several rolls of discarded 16 mm surplus film from which he made a series of fairy tale shorts which he called his "Teething-rings". In 1947 Harryhausen was hired as an assistant animator on his major film, Mighty Joe Young
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    The first film with Ray Harryhausen in full charge of technical effects was The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms in 1953 which began development under the working title Monster From the Sea.Throughout most of his career, Harryhausen's work was a sort of family affair. His father did the machine work, while his mother assisted with some miniature costumes. After Harryhausen's father died in 1973, Harryhausen contracted his armature work out to another machinist. An occasional assistant, George Lofgren
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    Harryhausen had married Diana Livingstone Bruce in 1963. After The Three Worlds of Gulliver in 1960 and Mysterious Island in 1961, both great artistic and technical successes, his next film is considered by film historians and fans as Harryhausen's masterwork, Jason and the Argonauts in 1963. In 1966 Harryhausen was then hired by Hammer Film Productions to animate the dinosaurs for One Million Years B.C.
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    1970's and 1990's

    In the early 1970s, Harryhausen had also concentrated his efforts on authoring a book, Film Fantasy Scrapbook, produced in three editions as his last three films were released .In 1986 Harryhausen formed The Ray & Diana Harryhausen Foundation, a registered charity in the UK and US, which preserves all of his collection and promotes the art of stop-motion animation and Harryhausen’s contribution to the genre
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    In 2002, young animators Seamus Walsh and Mark Caballero helped Harryhausen complete The Story of the Tortoise and the Hare. This was the sixth and final installment of the Harryhausen fairy tales. Harryhausen continued his lifelong friendship with Ray Bradbury until his death in 2012. In June 2010, it was announced that the Ray and Diana Harryhausen Foundation had agreed to deposit the animator's complete collection of some 50,000 pieces with the National Media Museum in Bradford England.
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    Raymond Frederick Harryhausen died at the age of 92 in London England, cause of death is unknown. His family announced his death via Twitter and Facebook. The Daily Mirror quoted Harryhausen's website, saying his "influence on today’s film makers was enormous, with luminaries Steven Spielberg, James Cameron, Peter Jackson, George Lucas, John Landis and the UK's own Nick Park have cited Harryhausen as being the man whose work inspired their own creations."