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Richard Miller, ILM Sculptor Who Created Princess Leia’s Gold Bikini, Dies at 80

Richard Miller, the famed sculptor whose decades of memorable work at Industrial Light and Magic included creating Princess Leia’s golden bikini for return of the jedi and Davy Jones’s tentacled beard for two pirates of the Caribbean movies, he’s dead. She was 80 years old.

Miller died peacefully in his sleep Thursday, two days after his birthday, at his home in Northern California, an ILM spokesman said. the hollywood reporter. He was a cancer survivor and died after an extended stay in hospice care.

A beloved member of the extended ILM family, Miller was the head sculptor and key staff member at the ILM Creature Shop and later the ILM Model Shop for nearly 30 years. He contributed to 55 feature films and many other projects dating back to 1981, when he joined the company for work in 1983. jedithe last installment in the original Star Wars trilogy.

His long list of studio credits also included the Star Wars prequels; multiple star trek movies including generations (1994) and First contact (nineteen ninety six); the first three pirates of the Caribbean Movie (s; and the last two Return to the future features.

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also contributed to Ghostbusters (1984), howard the duck (1986), Interior space (1987), who killed roger rabbit (1988), Willow (1988), Indiana Jones and the last crusade (1989), the rocket man (1991), Hook (1991), The mask (1994), jumanji (1995) and Planet of the Apes (2001).

In jedi, Jabba the Hutt forces Carrie Fisher’s Princess Leia into a skimpy gold bikini after he captures her at his headquarters on the desert planet Tatooine. She is also held captive with a chain, which she uses to kill the alien.

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“I had to sit very upright because I couldn’t have lines on the sides, like little folds,” Fisher recalled in her 2016 memoir, the diarist princess. “There were no wrinkles allowed, so I had to sit very, very stiff and straight.

“The redeeming thing is that I can kill him, which was a lot of fun. …I cut his throat with that chain I killed him with. I really enjoyed that because I hated wearing that outfit and sitting stiff, and I couldn’t wait to kill it.”

Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia in a gold bikini

Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia in her iconic gold bikini in ‘Star Wars: Return of the Jedi’

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Courtesy of the Everett Collection

Miller’s octopus beard for Bill Nighy’s Davy Jones, seen in the pirates of the Caribbean Films Dead Man’s Chest (2006) and at the end of the world (2007), it had to function like a living thing, so the company employed controls that allowed the animators to move the tentacles in specific ways. (Dead Man’s Chest won the Oscar for best visual effects).

For the past two decades, Miller has also taught at ILM, teaching enrichment classes in the art of sculpting.

“With his artistic ability on display, personable demeanor and wry sense of humor, Richard was the perfect fit from the start and became a fixture at ILM,” a company spokesperson said in a statement. “Richard will be greatly missed by the entire ILM family, but his artistic contribution lives on in each of the films he contributed to and in the fond memories of all who knew him.”


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