Richard Conway, a special effects supervisor who collaborated closely with director Terry Gilliam, has died, his family announced. He was 79.
Conway began working in television in the 1960s, where he began his career working alongside Gerry Anderson. He worked on shows such as “Thunderbirds,” “Captain Scarlet” and “Joe 90”. While there, Conway met fellow visual effects pioneer George Gibbs and together they would go on to work on the 1969 classic “The Battle of Britain.”
From there, Conway segued into film work. He was a senior effects supervisor on Dino De Laurentiis’ “Flash Gordon.” It was Conway who created the unforgettable multi-colored skies around Mongo and its neighboring planets.
Other films Conway worked on included “Conan the Barbarian,” “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” and “Sunshine.” He also contributed to Jim Henson’s “Labyrinth.” During this time, Conway met Gilliam and the two began their collaboration together, working on “Monty Python’s Meaning of Life,” “Brazil” and “The Adventures of Baron Munchausen.” The latter landed Conway a nomination for best visual effects at the 1990 Academy Awards.
In a statement, filmmaker Danny Boyle said, “I was heartbroken and so sorry to hear of Richard’s passing. I know he was facing a bleak prognosis but we texted back and forth a few times recently and I reminded him of how wonderful his work was and how wonderful he was to work with. What he (and all of his team) achieved with ‘Sunshine’ is one of my proudest moments in film. He had patience and imagination and experience and I learned so much from him. Not least how to behave graciously under pressure. Courage is grace under pressure and he was a lion. Godspeed Richard, may he run free in the fields once again.”
Conway is survived by his wife, Dawn, and two sons, Daniel and Sam.
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