Ray Harryhausen, King of Stop-Motion Monsters, Dies at 92

Ray Harryhausen, the special-effects and stop-motion pioneer whose work on fantasy and monster movies delighted millions and inspired a generation of filmmakers, died Tuesday at age 92, his family reports.

"Harryhausen's genius was in being able to bring his models alive," the family statement read. "Whether they were prehistoric dinosaurs or mythological creatures, in Ray's hands they were no longer puppets but became instead characters in their own right, just as important as the actors they played against and in most cases even more so."

Filmmakers Steven Spielberg, James Cameron, Peter Jackson, and George Lucas are among those who've credited Harryhausen with lending them inspiration.

Lucas' Industrial Light and Magic's Twitter account sent out a quote from the "Star Wars" creator himself, saying "Without Ray Harryhausen, there would likely have been no Star Wars."

Harryhausen's films included "Mighty Joe Young," "It Came From Beneath the Sea," "20 Million Miles to Earth," "One Million Years B.C.," "The Valley of Gwangi" and "Clash of the Titans."

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