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Douglas Trumbull, VFX legend behind “2001,” “Blade Runner,” and Berkshire County resident, dies at 79

Douglas Trumbull in 2012.
Julian Herzog
Douglas Trumbull in 2012.

Visual effects legend and Berkshire County resident Douglas Trumbull is being celebrated for his contribution to major movies after dying at age 79.

According to a social media post from his daughter, Douglas Trumbull died Monday night “after a major two year battle with cancer, a brain tumor and a stroke.”

His effects work in films like “2001: A Space Odyssey,” “Star Trek: The Motion Picture,” and “Blade Runner” made him a titan in the field. Diane Pearlman is the executive director of the Berkshire Film and Media Collaborative, where Trumbull was a board member.

“He was relentless," she told WAMC. "Like, if he had an idea, he just kept going on it until it came to fruition. And I think that drive and that sense of wanting to create what was next really influenced a lot of people who are still in the Berkshires creating film, and many who are now doing other types of work in the movie industry or even in the gaming industry.”

Trumbull, who also directed sci-fi classic “Silent Running,” moved to the Berkshires in 1987 and worked out of a studio in New Marlborough.

Josh Landes has been WAMC's Berkshire Bureau Chief since February 2018, following stints at WBGO Newark and WFMU East Orange. A passionate advocate for Western Massachusetts, Landes was raised in Pittsfield and attended Hampshire College in Amherst, receiving his bachelor's in Ethnomusicology and Radio Production. His free time is spent with his cat Harry, experimental electronic music, and exploring the woods.
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