Carlo Rambaldi

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For the Italian painter of the Baroque period, see Carlo Antonio Rambaldi.
Carlo Rambaldi
Carlo Rambaldi al Giffoni Film Festival 2010 - cropped.jpg
Carlo Rambaldi in 2010
Born (1925-09-15)September 15, 1925[1]
Vigarano Mainarda, Italy
Died August 10, 2012(2012-08-10) (aged 86)
Lamezia Terme, Italy
Nationality Italian
Citizenship Italian citizen
Education Academy of Fine Arts of Bologna[2]
Occupation Special effects
Visual effects
Notable work(s) E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
King Kong (1976)
Spouse(s) Bruna Rambaldi (née Basso)
Children Vittorio Rambaldi
Alessandro Rambaldi[1]
Awards 3 Oscars
Academy Awards Special Achievement Award
Saturn Award
BAFTA Film Award (nominated)
David di Donatello Special
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Special
Los Angeles Italian Film Awards Outstanding Achievement Award
Mystfest Special
Razzie Award (nominated)[1]

Carlo Rambaldi (September 15, 1925 – August 10, 2012) was an Italian special effects artist who is most famous for designing the title character of the film E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) and the mechanical head-effects for the creature in Alien (1979) (for each of them Rambaldi won an Oscar).[3][4]


Rambaldi also has worked on Profondo Rosso (Deep Red) (1975), King Kong (1976), Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977), Nightwing (1979), Possession (1981), Dune (1984), King Kong Lives (1986), and Cameron's Closet (1988). In addition to the two Oscars for Visual Effects, he also won a third Special Achievement Academy Award for visual effects in John Guillermin's King Kong (1976).[5]

Rambaldi had the distinction of being the first special effects artist to be required to prove that his work on a film was not 'real'. Dog-mutilation scenes in the 1971 film A Lizard in a Woman's Skin were so convincingly visceral that its director, Lucio Fulci, was prosecuted for offences relating to animal cruelty. Fulci would have served a two-year prison sentence, had Rambaldi not exhibited the film's array of props to a courtroom, proving that the scene was not filmed using real animals.

In the early days of his career, Rambaldi did special effects work for such Italian films as Siegfried (1957), Medusa vs the Son of Hercules (1962), Bloody Pit of Horror (1965), Planet of the Vampires (1965), Hercules and the Princess of Troy (1965), The Odyssey (1968), Twitch of the Death Nerve (1972), Night of the Devils (1972), Andy Warhol's Frankenstein (1974) and Andy Warhol's Dracula (1974). He also created the monsters for Silver Bullet (1985) and Conan the Destroyer (1984).

In the T.V. show Alias, J.J. Abrams paid homage to Carlo Rambaldi by naming the character of Milo Rambaldi after him.[6]

Born in Vigarano Mainarda, Emilia Romagna, Rambaldi died on August 10, 2012 in Lamezia Terme, Calabria, where he had lived for many years.[7]


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