Gary Hutzel, VFX Maestro on 'Deep Space Nine,' Dies at 60

Screengrab/SyFy
Gary Hutzel

The four-time Emmy winner and 20-time nominee died of an apparent heart attack in Vancouver while at work on the new Freeform series 'Beyond.'

Gary Hutzel, the four-time Emmy winner whose visual effects artistry was seen on such shows as Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Battlestar Galactica and Caprica, has died. He was 60.

Hutzel died Thursday of an apparent heart attack in Vancouver while in production on the upcoming Freeform supernatural TV drama Beyond, his CG supervisor, Doug Drexler, told The Hollywood Reporter.

Hutzel, who received 20 Emmy nominations during his admired career, worked on the first five seasons of Next Generation, then transitioned to Deep Space Nine in 2003, supervising that series’ effects during its seven-season run. The website 1701news.com noted that at DSN, he was “responsible for some of the most spectacular space battles put together on television during the show's Dominion war arc.”

The site also said that Hutzel worked with James Martin and Herman Zimmerman to create the USS Defiant, the battleship used in DS9 that also was featured in the 1996 TNG film Star Trek: First Contact.



Hutzel later was hired by executive producer Ronald D. Moore to work on the rebooted Battlestar Galactica and its Caprica spinoff. He recently served as visual effects supervisor on the Syfy series Defiance.

“We are reeling in shock at the sudden death of our friend and colleague,” visual effects artists Michael and Denise Okuda wrote on their Facebook page. “His creativity, dedication and unfailing good humor helped make him a major contributor to the worlds of Star Trek: TNG and DS9 as well as Battlestar Galactica and numerous other projects that were fortunate to benefit from his genius.”

A native of Ann Arbor, Mich., Hutzel came to Southern California in the 1980s and was a second assistant cameraman on Teen Wolf (1985), starring Michael J. Fox.

Survivors include his wife Cathy, sons William and Andrew and daughter Frances.

 

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