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(Credit: Universal Pictures)


Isidoro Raponi, mechanical effects expert, dies aged 76

The renowned mechanical effects master Isidoro Raponi who collaborated with directors like Steven Spielberg has passed away at the age of 76.

Born in Italy Raponi started out as an apprentice for another special effects expert named Carlo Rambaldi since Rambaldi’s shop was just across the street from Raponi’s family bookstore. Hired by Rambaldi when he was just 18, Raponi went on to work on various projects in the Italian film industry before moving to Hollywood.

Raponi continued to work with Rambaldi on productions like King KongAlien and E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. On all these films, the unique special effects received a lot of attention from fans and critics which led to further accolades as well. After that, Raponi decided to start his own journey and worked with Walt Disney on several projects.

While his work on films such as  Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Alien have become a major part of his legacy, Raponi also managed to score a unique achievement by designing the dinosaurs on Disney’s Baby: Secret of the Lost Legend in special ways. Throughout his career, Raponi’s talents were recognised by his colleagues and film fans all over the world.

According to a statement made by a publicist for Disney, Raponi passed away at a rehab facility in Los Angeles due to complications caused by congestive heart failure. He is survived by his wife Nina and daughter Tiziana.

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