You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Gene Francis Warren Sr.

Gene Francis Warren Sr., an Academy Award-winning special-effects director, died in Burbank on July 17 after a long struggle with cancer. He was 80.

Warren started his career in the entertainment industry as an animator and puppeteer working at George Pal’s Puppetoons in the late 1940s and early ’50s.

Puppetoons were three-dimensional characters animated by stop-motion cinematography that starred in dozens of one-reel Paramount shorts for nearly a decade. He created “Jasper” and “Tubby the Tuba,” two of the more popular Puppetoons.

Warren later brought his talents to feature-length films; his special-effects wizardry was seen in dozens of films spanning from the mid-’50s to the late ’70s, including “Tom Thumb” (1958), “The Seven Faces of Dr. Lao,” “The Blob,” “Spartacus” and “The Andromeda Strain.”

He and Tim Baar shared the special effects Oscar for their work in MGM’s 1960 “The Time Machine.”

Warren served as the special-effects designer on the pilots and various episodes of “Star Trek,” “The Twilight Zone” and “The Outer Limits.”

He also helped create training films and documentaries for NASA and served as production supervisor on various stage productions.

Warren devoted many of his later years as a guest lecturer at USC, UCLA and various sci-fi and film conventions.

His son, Gene Warren Jr., is an Oscar-winning special-effects designer at Fantasy II Film Effects. Warren also is survived by two other sons, six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Popular on Variety

More Scene

  • Cara Delevingne'Carnival Row' TV show premiere,

    Cara Delevingne Talks Immigration, Taylor Swift's Battle With Scooter Braun

    Cara Delevingne, whose faerie character in “Carnival Row” finds herself washed ashore as a refugee in a foreign land, said she was immediately drawn by the show’s fantastical take on issues of immigration and assimilation. “It’s a cause that I have been involved in for a long time,” Delevingne told Variety at the premiere of [...]

  • John Travolta, Fred Durst. John Travolta,

    John Travolta Recalls Fans Breaking Into His House: 'I Was Scared the First Time'

    Nobody can accuse John Travolta of not being gracious to his fans, whether it’s an autograph, a selfie or, you know, a home invasion or two. “I’ve only had two people that actually invaded my house,” Travolta told Variety at the premiere of “The Fanatic” at the Egyptian Theater on Thursday night. “They were just [...]

  • Sublime Primetime

    How Emmy-Nominated Writers’ Rooms Keep Politics in Mind

    In a world filled with elections, social movements and national tragedies, how open should the doors of a writers’ room actually be? For some of this year’s Emmy-nominated shows, those doors are wide open. Before the 71st annual Primetime Emmy Awards air on Sept. 22, the Writers Guild of America West and Writers Guild Foundation, [...]

  • 50 Cent Power S6 Premiere

    50 Cent, Snoop Dogg & Trey Songz 'Power' Up New York City for Massive Season 6 Premiere

    “Power” is entering its final season, but you would never know if you walked by Madison Square Garden in Manhattan on Tuesday night. Starz pulled out all the stops for its ratings powerhouse “Power,” throwing a massive premiere event, complete with a full-length concert at Madison Square Garden from Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson and a [...]

  • Diane Warren'Late Night' Film Premiere, Arrivals,

    Songs of Hope to Honor Diane Warren, Marc Shaiman, Boi-1da, More at 15th Annual Event

    Cancer research and treatment center City of Hope today announced the initial lineup of presenters and honorees who will celebrate the song and songwriter at its 15th annual Songs of Hope event. Among the music and entertainment industry VIPs in attendance will be veteran executive and producer Clive Davis, producer Boi-1da (Drake, Kendrick Lamar), award-winning [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content