Willis O'Brien

Active - 1933 - 2002  |   Born - Mar 2, 1886   |   Died - Nov 8, 1962   |   Genres - Horror, Historical Film, Science Fiction, Epic, Fantasy

Share on

Biography by Sandra Brennan

Distinguished special effects expert Willis O'Brien was an innovator of stop-motion photography. Before he began toying with effects and trick photography in 1914, O'Brien had been a cartoonist for the San Francisco Daily News and a professional marble sculptor. His early filmwork caught the eye of the Edison company and they signed him on to a series of short films about the Stone Age. Some of his best effects can be seen in The Lost World (1925), King Kong (1933), and Mighty Joe Young (1949). His effects for the latter film earned O'Brien an Oscar. One of his chief innovations was the substitution of rubber for clay in his stop-motion models.

Movie Highlights

See Full Filmography