|John Stears with his land speeder from Star Wars (Wiki)|
Passed away this day in 1999
Special Effects in From Russia with Love, Goldfinger, Thunderball, You Only Live Twice, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, The Man with the Golden Gun
Englishman John Stears was nicknamed ‘The Dean of F/X’ or ‘The Real Q’ because of his extensive special effects and innovations portfolio. According to his IMDB profile, Stears created the gadgets on the Aston Martin DB 5 that included the bullet-proof windows, rotating license plates and the machine-guns installed in the front bummers. His contributions do not stop there. He was also involved in the Star Wars franchise and his creativity spawned the lightsaber, the land speeder, the Death Star and robots C3PO and R2-D2.
Stears was nominated for four awards and won three: a Saturn Award for Best Special Effects for Star Wars (1977) shared with John Dykstra, an Oscar for Best Effects, Special Visual Effects for Thunderball (1965) and an Oscar for Best Effects, Visual Effects for Star Wars (1977) shared with John Dykstra, Richard Edlund, Grant McCune, and Robert Blalack.
Passed away this day in 2012
Angelo Palazzi and Major Francois Derval in Thunderball
Paul Stassino was born Phaedros Stassinos on the isle of Cyprus. At 17, he traveled to the UK and studied at the RADA in London. He was cast as Chalik in the British tv series Aggie in 1956 and his first filmic appearance was in the Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger Night Ambush the following year. Stassino did quite a few guest appearances on the small screen including working with Roger Moore on The Saint in three different roles in five episodes spanning 1962 through 1969.
Eventually Stassino moved to Greece, then back to Limassol on Cyprus where he was born. He passed away at the age of 82.
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