Howard A. Anderson Jr., an Oscar-nominated visual effects artist whose company did VFX work for the original Star Trek series, has died. He was 95.
Anderson died on Sept. 27 of cardiac dysrhythmia in Ventura, Calif., his son, Howard A. Anderson III, told The Hollywood Reporter.
Anderson and Albert Whitlock shared an Oscar nom for their efforts on Arthur Hiller’s Tobruk (1967), a war drama that starred Rock Hudson and George Peppard.
In the 1960s, Anderson and his brother, Darrell A. Anderson, were running The Howard Anderson Co., an influential special effects outfit based on the Desilu lot. The firm had worked on I Love Lucy — Anderson Jr. had teamed with Desi Arnaz to get the shape of the heart just right for the show’s opening — and NBC’s Star Trek was produced by Desilu.
The firm signed a deal to work on the 1964 Star Trek pilot episodes “The Cage” and “Where No Man Has Gone Before,” and its contributions to the series included exterior shots of the USS Enterprise speeding through the stars and the effects associated with the phaser-beam weapons and the ship’s transporter.
The company was launched by their father, Howard A. Anderson, who did special effects for such movies as White Zombie (1932) and The Man in the Iron Mask (1939). It went on to create the opening titles for scores of memorable shows, including The Addams Family, The Andy Griffith Show, Get Smart, The Mod Squad, The Twilight Zone, Mission: Impossible, The Brady Bunch and Cheers.
Howard A. Anderson III eventually took over the operation; it closed in November 2004.
Anderson Jr. received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 59th Primetime Emmy Awards in 2007 and was given the President’s Award from the American Society of Cinematographers in 2004.
A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. on Nov. 20 at Eternal Valley Memorial Park in Newhall, Calif.