files/pictures/picture-35.jpgHarry Redmond Jr., a trailblazer in special effects from the dawn of talking films, died at his Hollywood Hills home on May 23, writes The Hollywood Reporter
. He was 101.
Redmond Jr. followed his father Harry Redmond Sr., the head of Metropolitan Studios, into the film business when the company moved from Long Island to California in 1926.
He started his career in First National Pictures' prop department, moving from there to RKO Radio Pictures where he started his special effects career. He worked on such RKO films as KING KONG (1933), THE LAST DAYS OF POMPEII (1935), SHE (1935) and TOP HAT (1935). After RKO, as an independent special effects artist, he worked on Frank Capra’s LOST HORIZON (1937), Howard Hawks’ ONLY ANGELS HAVE WINGS (1939), Howard Hughes’ THE OUTLAW (1943), Fritz Lang’s THE WOMAN IN THE WINDOW (1944) and Orson Welles’ THE STRANGER (1946).
On David O. Selznick's THE PRISONER OF ZENDA (1937), he met production illustrator Dorothea Holt. The couple later married in 1940.
During WWII, he operated a studio in Fort Monmouth, New Jersey for the Army Film Training Lab.
Following the war, he worked on such Hollywood films as the Marx Brothers’ A NIGHT IN CASABLANCA (1946), ANGEL ON MY SHOULDER (1946), THE BISHOP’S WIFE (1947), THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY (1947) and A SONG IS BORN (1948).
In the 1950s, he teamed up with writer-producer Ivan Tors on sci-fi films and television projects such as films like THE MAGNETIC MONSTER (1953) and GOG (1954) and TV shows like SCIENCE FICTION THEATER, SEA HUNT and DAKTARI. He later served as associate producer on Tors-produced projects such as FLIPPER (1963), CLARENCE, THE CROSS-EYED LION (1965) and ZEBRA IN THE KITCHEN (1965).
By the late 1960s, his daughter Lynne Jackson told THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER that he had been discouraged by increasing "above the line" costs on productions and retired from the business. His final works came on TV with the series THE OUTER LIMITS and movie THE UNKNOWN.
His wife died in 2009. She was 98. In her career, she was part of the design of the Seattle Space Needle, the restaurant at LAX and Disneyland's Main Street.
Daughter Jackson, son Lee Redmond, three granddaughters and three great-grandsons survive him. The family will have a memorial service at Forest Lawn Glendale on June 21 at 1:30 pm.