One of the men who was crucial in bringing E.T. THE EXTRA TERRESTRIAL and ALIEN to life has passed away: Carlo Rambaldi died at the age of 86 in Lamezia Terme, Italy.
Rambaldi won two Oscars in his career, for the aforementioned E.T. and ALIEN, plus another "Special Achievement" Oscar for his work on 1976's KING KONG. Among the other titles to his credit were CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND, CONAN THE DESTROYER and SILVER BULLET. He also helped contributed to several Italian horror flicks, like Argento's DEEP RED and Bava's TWITCH OF THE DEATH NERVE.
If you're wondering about his work on ALIEN, here's a 1979 quote from Ridley Scott: "He designed the mechanics of the head, made the lips work, made the jaws function. Normally you can't stand to have the camera take a close look at things like this, but it was so good I just did a huge close up on it.”
As for E.T., Speilberg said this about the maestro in a 1982 interview: "Carlo was the second most important person on the film."
As those two movies were of major importance to me growing up - and I'm sure I'm not alone as far as that goes - this comes as truly sad news. But, thankfully, his work will live on forever.
RIP, Carlo, you'll be missed. And certainly not forgotten.