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Ralph McQuarrie
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    (June 13, 1929-March 3, 2012)
    Born in Gary, Indiana
    Illustrator and conceptual artist for 'Star Wars' (1977), 'Close Encounters of the Third Kind' (1977), 'Battlestar Galactica' (1978-79), 'The Empire Strikes Back' (1980), 'E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial' (1982), 'Return of the Jedi' (1983), 'Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home' (1986) and 'Jurassic Park' (1993)
    Won an Oscar for Best Visual Effects for 'Cocoon' (1985)
    Before his filmwork, he was an illustrator for a dental business, drawing teeth and dentists' tools.
    He said about 'Star Wars,' 'I didn't think the film would ever get made. My impression was it was too expensive. There wouldn't be enough of an audience.'
    When he had a cameo in 'The Empire Strikes Back' as a rebel general, the character was given the first name 'Pharl' (an anagram of 'Ralph').
    He survived a bullet to the head during the Korean War.
    He provided animated sequences for CBS's coverage of the Apollo missions.
    His paintings helped convince 20th Century Fox to fund 'Star Wars' after two other studios had rejected it based on the script.
    George Lucas said, 'When words could not convey my ideas, I could always point to one of Ralph's fabulous illustrations and say, 'do it like this.' '

Credit: C. Fishel

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