Normally we don’t cover this sort of thing at Bloody-Disgusting, we’re not an award-centric bunch. But this is Rick Baker we’re talking about. Even if you’re not familiar with his name I guarantee that, as a BD reader, he has touched your life in some way. Proof? Okay… An American Werewolf In London, Star Wars, Videodrome, Starman, Silver Bullet, Captain EO, Michael Jackson’s Thriller, Harry And The Hendersons, Gremlins 2, Ed Wood, Wolf, The Frighteners, Escape From L.A., Men In Black, The Devil’s Advocate, The Ring, Hellboy 2, The Wolfman Remake… the list goes on.
Baker is at least partially responsible, and in most cases almost 100% responsible, for the outstanding special effects makeup and creature designs in those projects. He’s also won 7 Oscars for best makeup, first winning for AWIL in 1981 (the year the category itself started), and has been nominated for an additional 5 Academy Awards. He’s also won a sh*tload of Saturn Awards.
Which is why it makes sense that a throng of people (including yours truly) gathered, in what amounts to torrential rain by LA standards, to see him receive his star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame this morning. Though the event was in part to celebrate today’s release of the better-than-expected Men In Black 3 on DVD/Blu-ray, it was really about paying homage to his entire body of work. Directors Guillermo Del Toro (whom Baker most recently worked with on Hellboy 2) and Barry Sonnenfeld (Baker worked on all three Men In Black films) were onhand to pay tribute to their colleague. Sonnenfeld characterized Baker as writer as well as a designer, breathing stories and verisimilitude into his work. Del Toro, meanwhile, praised Baker as an “actor” in his own right – his creations being a performance of their own. Near the end of the ceremony, a representative for the Guiness Book Of World records who presented him with plaques for “Most Oscar Wins” and “Most Oscar Nominations” for a makeup artist.
Head inside for a few photos from the event! Also, what’s your favorite Rick Baker creature?
Photo credit: Eric Charbonneau