You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Thomas ‘Glen’ Robinson

Special effects pioneer

Thomas “Glen” Robinson, award-winning special effects pioneer whose career dated back to MGM in the 1930s, died March 27 of natural causes at the Motion Picture and Television Fund Hospital in Woodland Hills, Calif. He was 87.

He received a Technical Achievement Academy Award in 1951 for developing a new cable cutter and in 1959 for development of a multiple-cable remote winch system. He also received special Oscars for “The Hindenburg” in 1975 and 1976’s “Logan’s Run.”

Idaho native’s family moved to Los Angeles when he was 12. He graduated from Venice High School in 1932 and four years later went to work on the MGM lot, where he became the studio’s top special effects coordinator.

During the early 1970s, he left MGM and worked on Universal’s “Earthquake” and “The Hindenburg.” He moved over to Paramount Pictures in 1975 and worked on “King Kong” before returning to the MGM production of “Logan’s Run.”

Additional feature credits include “Meteor” (1979), “Flash Gordon” (1980), “Pennies From Heaven” (1981), and “Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid” and “Amityville II: The Possession” (both 1982). He retired in 1983.

In addition to his special effects film work, he was an engineer of roller coaster and double Ferris wheel attractions at amusement parks including Magic Mountain (Golden, Colorado; Valencia, Calif.), Wakefield Park (Massachusetts) and Space City (Huntsville, Ala.).

He is survived by two sons, three daughters, 14 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.

More Scene

  • 'Schitt's Creek' Stars Reveal Dream Guest

    'Schitt's Creek' Cast Reveals Dream Guest Stars: Oprah, Beyonce and ...

    “Schitt’s Creek” has big dreams. Dan Levy, who stars as David on the series, says his wish list of guest stars includes Oprah, Beyonce, Mariah Carey and Gwyneth Paltrow. “All for different reasons, none of whom we’ll get,” he cracked at the Critics’ Choice Awards. For those who haven’t caught on to the “Schitt’s Creek” [...]

  • Barbra Streisand and Gisele Bundchen

    Barbra Streisand and Gisele Bündchen to Be Honored at UCLA Science Gala

    Science can be very glamorous. It certainly will be during Oscar week on Feb. 21 when the UCLA Institute of the Environment & Sustainability (IoES) honors Barbra Streisand and Gisele Bündchen for environmental activism at its annual Hollywood for Science Gala. “When I moved to LA, the air was unbreathable. Rivers were catching fire in [...]

  • Don Cheadle and Andrew Rannells Black

    Don Cheadle, Andrew Rannells Talk Snorting 'Coke' on 'Black Monday'

    “Black Monday” show creators David Caspe and Jordan Cahen divulged an intriguing detail to come later in the first season of the new Showtime comedy at its world premiere, held at the Theatre at Ace Hotel on Monday night in Los Angeles. “The fourth or fifth episode opens with a sexual harassment seminar, which very well [...]

  • Alfonso Cuaron attends the 44th Annual

    Alfonso Cuarón to LAFCA: 'Thanks to Your Help We Can Break Down Walls'

    Inclusion was the big winner at the L.A. Film Critics Association Awards, which was held Saturday night at the InterContinental in Century City. “This year’s winners are the most diverse in LAFCA’s 43-year history,” announced its president, Claudia Puig, adding that 14 out of their 18 awards were won by women and people of color. [...]

  • Mandatory Credit: Photo by Max Malandrino/REX/Shutterstock

    Hollywood Power Players Assemble to Save Iconic Deli Nate 'n Al

    A group of Hollywood executives and celebrities have banded together with the intent to save Beverly Hills deli and star haunt Nate ‘n Al, a stone’s throw from tourist destination Rodeo Drive. A consortium of investors including music kingpin Irving Azoff and wife Shelli, Universal Filmed Entertainment Group chairman Jeff Shell, and Rande Gerber and [...]

  • Charlie Collier, FOX Chief Executive Officer

    'The Passage' Team Talks Diversifying Races, Genders and Ages of Book Characters

    “The Passage” star Saniyya Sidney was unaware that the book version of her character was originally white until her father, a fan of Justin Cronin’s apocalyptic trilogy, informed her during the audition process. “I was like, ‘Oh, she is?'” Sidney told Variety at Thursday’s series premiere in Santa Monica, Calif. “And when I got it, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content