Obit of the Day: "E.T.’s Geppetto"
Hollywood’s friendliest alien and its scariest were both designed by the same man, Carlo Rambaldi. Rambaldi designed the wide-eyed, long-necked, heart-warming E.T. for Steven Spielberg’s* 1982 classic. Three years earlier he designed the metallic, sharp-toothed, stomach-residing alien from Ridley Scott’s sci-fi horror masterpiece, Alien. Both other-worldy creatures earned Mr. Rambaldi Academy Awards for visual effects.
Rambaldi, a graduate of the Academy Fine Arts of Bologna, and began working in films in 1957. He came to wide notice for his work on the Italian horror film Deep Red and was brought to L.A. by Dino DeLaurentis to assist in the 1976 remake of King Kong. His work on that film earned him a special achievement Oscar, along with Glen Robinson and Frank Van der Veer.
He remained forever a traditionalist dismissing CGI (computer-based effects) as too costly and time-consuming, proudly reminding people that E.T. was created in three months for $1 million.
The effects master passed away at the age of 86.
*Spielberg was the person who gave Rambaldi his nickname that serves as the title of this post.
Sources: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, IMDB.com, and Alt Film Guide
(Image of E.T. is copyright of Universal Studios and courtesy of dvdsnapshot.com)