Blade Runner and Star Trek Artist Syd Mead Dies at 86
Visual artist Syd Mead, who worked on genre-defining films like Blade Runner, Tron, Alien and Star Trek: The Motion Picture,died on Monday, Dec. 30, 2019, of complications from lymphoma in Pasadena, Calif. He was 86 years old.
Before transitioning to film, Mead bounced around the design divisions of Ford Motor Co., Sony, U.S. Steel and Phillips Electronics. His first film role was a production illustrator for Star Trek: The Motion Picture. In 1982, he served as a visual futurist on Blade Runner and worked as a concept artist on Tron. He also designed the Leonov spaceship from the 2001: A Space Odyssey sequel, 2010.
More recently, Mead worked on Mission: Impossible III, Elysium, Tomorrowland and Blade Runner 2049.
Mead was set to receive the Art Directors Guild’s William Cameron Menzies Award during the Guild’s 24th Annual awards in February for his work on Aliens, Blade Runner and Star Trek: The Motion Picture.
“I am so saddened to hear of the passing of visionary illustrator and concept artist Syd Mead," said Art Directors Guild president Nelson Coates. "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.”