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'Star Wars' designer Ralph McQuarrie passes away at 82

Washington, Mon, 05 Mar 2012 ANI

Washington, Mar 5 (ANI): Ralph McQuarrie, who created the concept art behind George Lucas' famous 'Star Wars' movies, died at his home in Berkeley, California on March 3. He was 82.


According to the Washington Post, he passed away from complications arising due to Parksinson's disease. The announcement of his death was made on his official website, ralphmcquarrie.com.


A commercial artist and designer whose career included stints at Boeing and Kaiser Graphic Arts and creating animations of Apollo space flights for CBS News, McQuarrie's conceptual paintings were crucial in winning 20th Century Fox's approval to put 'Star Wars' in production.


The success of his 'Star Wars' paintings launched a late feature film career for McQuarrie that included helping design such classics as 'Raiders of the Lost Ark', 'ET: The Extra-terrestrial', 'Back to the Future', 'Cocoon', 'Total Recall', and the original TV series 'Battlestar Galactica'.


"I am deeply saddened by the passing of such a visionary artist and such a humble man," CBS News quoted George Lucas as saying in a statement.


"Ralph McQuarrie was the first person I hired to help me envision Star Wars. His genial contribution, in the form of unequaled production paintings, propelled and inspired all of the cast and crew of the original 'Star Wars' trilogy.


"When words could not convey my ideas, I could always point to one of Ralph's fabulous illustrations and say, 'Do it like this'," he said.


In addition to film work, McQuarrie also designed book covers (notably for science fiction) and advertising. (ANI)


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