An Italian special effects expert who worked on Alien and E.T. The Extra-terrestrial has died at the age of 86.
Carlo Rambaldi passed away in the southern Italian city of Lemezia Terme on Friday (10Aug12) after a long illness.
Rambaldi won a special achievement Oscar in 1977 for his work on the 1976 version of King Kong, and he later went on to win the Visual Effects Academy Award twice - for Sir Ridley Scott's Alien and Steven Spielberg's E.T.
He designed the title character of the popular children's film, and director Spielberg has paid tribute to his former co-worker, declaring, "Carlo Rambaldi was E.T.'s (puppetmaster) Geppetto."
Jeffrey Okun, the chair of the Visual Effects Society, has also added his own tribute, branding Rambaldi's talent "immense".
In a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, he says, "While I never met Mr. Rambaldi, I know I speak for the entire Society when I say that the lifelike breakthrough puppeted alien he created for ET significantly raised the bar for all creatures, including what would become CG created creatures.
"His ability to inject emotion into plastic and metal still stands as a monument to what is possible... His talent was immense and he will be missed, but his legacy and challenge will live on."
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The film is expected to continue without Mendes' involvement.