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Syd Mead, the visual artist behind ‘Blade Runner’ dies at 86

Syd Mead, the visionary artist who helped shape the look of “Blade Runner” and “Blade Runner 2049,” has died at 86.

His manager and partner Roger Servick told Deadline that Mead had been suffering from lymphoma and had been undergoing treatment at the City of Hope center in Duarte, California.

“I am so saddened to hear of the passing of visionary illustrator and concept artist Syd Mead. His pivotal role in shaping cinema was unique, with a singular ability to visualize the future. As one of the most influential conceptual artists of our time, his visions and illustrations of future technological worlds will remain as a testament to his vast imagination,” Art Directors Guild President Nelson Coates said in a statement.

Mead started his design career in the auto industry working for the Ford Motor Co. and later ended up in film, designing the Leonov spaceship for the “2001: A Space Odyssey” sequel “2010.”

He also designed the robot in “Short Circuit,” and completed designs for “Mission: Impossible III.”

In 2018, he published his autobiography, “A Future Remembered,” filled with writings and illustrations of his life.

Mead and his work were honored by the Visual Effects Society in 2015. He was set to receive the William Cameron Menzies Award at a gala in February.

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