Roger Dicken Dies: Oscar-Nominated ‘Alien’ & ‘When Dinosaurs Ruled The Earth’ VFX Artist Was 84

British special effects artist Roger Dicken, best known for his work on Ridley Scott’s Alien and the 1970s sci-fi thriller When Dinosaurs Ruled The Earth has died. He was 84.

Dicken died on February 18 at his home in North Wales. His career began in the mid-60s when he accepted a freelance effects role on a sprawling sci-fi feature helmed by an ambitious American filmmaker named Stanley Kubrick. The project would end up being the seminal 2001: A Space Odyssey. Dicken created miniature moon terrains for the pic. His work would ultimately go uncredited.

More from Deadline

Following his sojourn in space with Kubrick, Dicken found work on the Michael Reeves feature Witchfinder General before lending his hand to When Dinosaurs Ruled The Earth by Val Guest. Dicken and Jim Danforth shared a Best Special Visual Effects Oscar nomination for their work on the film.

Dicken went on to work on Ridley Scott’s Alien. He created and controlled the extra-terrestrial figure that bursts through John Hurt in the film’s explosive chest-buster scene.

Speaking about the scene in a 1992 interview with indie publication Monster Zone, Dicken said: “I got underneath the set with my activated hand-operated alien and it was this, of course, that ended up appearing revoltingly through his body and pausing momentarily to twitch and breath, etc, before zipping off the table.”

He added: “The monster’s exit was accomplished by pulling me along under the table, laying on a trolley with my arm holding the puppet, working it through a slot as it knocked off strategically placed utensils in the process of disappearing.”

Dicken’s other credits include The Hunger (1983), White God (1982), Warlords Of The Deep (1978), The Land The Time Forgot (1974), and Scars Of Dracula (1970). 

Best of Deadline

Sign up for Deadline's Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.