Mario Cassar

Special effects technician

Mario Cassar, special effects technician, died of natural causes June 25 while working on “Troy,” the new movie starring Brad Pitt that is currently filming in Cassar’s homeland of Malta. He was 50.

Educated at Kordin Technical School, he started working in the film industry in 1972 as a carpenter, then moved to special effects on “Popeye.” He specialized in mechanics, pyrotechnics, underwater diving, design and construction.

Directors he worked with include Robert Altman, James Cameron, Roman Polanski, Alan Parker, Ridley Scott, and Michael Scorsese. Pics include “Final Justice” and TV miniseries “Christopher Columbus.” This led to more work on movies with an ocean theme, including “Voyage,” “Cutthroat Island,” “Orca Killer Whale” and “U-571.”

Other credits include “Shout at the Devil,” “Midnight Express,” “Clash of the Titans,” “White Squall,” “The Grinch,” “The Count of Monte Cristo” and “Gangs of New York.”

He is survived by wife Isabel and a son.

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