by Maggie Bell

Special effects artist Carlo Rambaldi was born on 15 September 1925 in Vigarano Mainarda Emilia-Romagna. After studying at the Academy of Fine Arts in Bologna, where he became interested in the musculature of the human body and electrical engineering, Rambaldi had a successful career as an artist before entering the movie industry.  

In his early years he worked with Italian directors Dario Argento and Lucio Fulci, known for their campy and gruesome horror films.  Rambaldi moved to the United States after produced Dino de Laurentiis invited him to work on King Kong, for which he designed a forty-foot tall puppet that earned him an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects in 1977.  He remained in the U.S. for over a decade, working on films like Steven Spielberg’s E.T. The Extra Terrestrial and Ridley Scott’s Alien.  Rambaldi died in Calabria on 10 August 2012.  

Further Reading:

Slotnik, Daniel E. “Carlo Rambaldi Dies at 86; Maestro of Special Effects in Movies”, The New York Times, August 10, 2012. 

Carlo Rambaldi with models for Ridley Scott’s Alien (1979).

Carlo Rambaldi with drawings for E.T. (1982).

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