Visual-effects artist Grant McCune (above, with R2-D2), whose most notable effort was probably George Lucass' Star Wars (1977), died of pancreatic cancer at his home in Hidden Hills, 30 miles northwest of Los Angeles. McCune was 67.
McCune won an Oscar for Star Wars, which he shared with visual-effects specialists John Stears, John Dykstra, Richard Edlund and Robert Blalack. Two years later, McCune was nominated for another Oscar for Robert Wise's Star Trek: The Motion Picture.
Other efforts include Die Hard, Speed, Batman Forever, and Spider-Man.
About his work with miniatures, McCune told Popular Mechanics in 2008: "I've always told people to get a good background in photography first. The most important thing is what you see with your eye. ... All the best people who ever worked for me were first good with the eye."
Source: The Hollywood Reporter