Albert Whitlock started his career as an actor, appearing in a handful of British studio films while still a teen. He eventually shifted his interest towards the technical side of film, starting off in sign making and lettering, and then becoming a scenic artist. Visual effects would become his forte, specifically focusing on matte painting. Walt Disney noticed the talented young artist in the early '50s and convinced Whitlock to relocate to the U.S. After about ten years of service for the Walt Disney Studios, Whitlock transferred to Universal Studios, where he would become an innovator and prolific worker, developing designs for well over 130 films. He earned two Academy Awards, for his work in the films Earthquake and The Hindenburg. Whitlock died in late 1999.