As I sit typing these words, it is June 29th. This would have been Ray Harryhausen’s 100th birthday. The pioneer, the trendsetter and trailblazer, the master. Cinema as it exists today would not exist if it hadn’t been for Harryhausen. That’s not hyperbolic overstatement. It is a fact. Happy birthday, Ray—and thank you.
Thinking about Ray today made me want to revisit the trip I made in 2017 to see his collection of models on display in Oklahoma City. The initial article I wrote covering this visit was seen by members of the Harryhausen Foundation and they wrote to thank me for it. That’s amazing praise, and could only have meant more to me if Ray had still been with us and had seen it himself. I like to think he did.
The Ray and Diana Harryhausen Foundation recently asked fans to vote on their favorite Harryhausen creations. Medusa from CLASH OF THE TITANS, my pick for number one, came in third. Talos from JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS came in second. And the Skeleton Army from JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS came in at number one. Honestly no matter which creation had won, it would have been appropriate, as they are all deserving of the status.