Carlo Rambaldi, the three-time Academy Award-winning Italian-born visual effects artist responsible for creating the alien E.T. in Steven Spielberg’s E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, died today in Lamezia Terme, Italy after a long illness, according to the Washington Post. He was 86 years old.
Born on September 15, 1925 in Vigarano Mainarda, Emilia-Romagna, Italy, Rambaldi got his start in the Italian film industry providing visual effects for films such as Bloody Pit of Horror and Mario Bava’s highly influential sci-fi chiller Planet of the Vampires. He would later reunite with Bava to execute the gory murder sequences for one of the acclaimed filmmaker’s finest films, Twitch of the Death Nerve (a.k.a. A Bay of Blood). In 1971, Rambaldi’s mutilated dog effects for Lucio Fulci’s psychedelic giallo Lizard in a Woman’s Skin were deemed so realistic that the director was prosecuted in Italian court on charges of animal cruelty. Only after Rambaldi presented the fake dog effects in court was Fulci exonerated.
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