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Veteran VFX Artist Roger Dicken Passes at 84

The British special effects artist, sculptor, and model maker known for his work on ‘Alien’ and ‘When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth’ passed away in his North Wales home on February 18.

Roger Dicken, the British special effects artist, sculptor, and model maker passed away in his North Wales home on February 18. He was 84.

Known for his work on the Alien chest burster and the stop-motion film When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth, which earned him an Oscar-nomination for Best Visual Effects, Dicken made his big break on the effects team of 2001: A Space Odyssey in 1968.

“I got underneath the set with my activated hand-operated alien, and it was this, of course, that ended up appearing revoltingly through his body and pausing momentarily to twitch and breath, etc., before zipping off the table,” Dicken recalled in a 1992 interview about his time on Alien.

“Two assistants, holding simple squeeze bubbles fixed to plastic tubes, made the small sacs in the body pulsate, etc.,” Dicken added. “The monster’s exit was accomplished by pulling me along under the table, laying on a trolley with my arm holding the puppet, working it through a slot as it knocked off strategically placed utensils in the process of disappearing.”

Born on April 15, 1939 in England, a meeting with VFX veteran Ray Harryhausen inspired Dicken to try his hand in the entertainment business. Starting his illustrious career as a model maker on the TV series Thunderbirds, Dicken then went freelance to join the team on 2001.

Dicken is survived by his wife Wendy.

  

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Journalist, antique shop owner, aspiring gemologist—Laurén brings a diverse perspective to animation, where every frame reflects her varied passions.