Richard Miller, ILM Sculptor That Designed Davy Jones & Star Wars Models, Dies

Richard Miller, a talented sculptor that worked at Lucasfilm's Industrial Light and Magic for over three decades, has passed away. The Hollywood Reporter brings word of his death with an ILM spokesperson confirming Miller died on Thursday, December 8th, just two days after his birthday. "With his artistic skill in evidence, an agreeable demeanor and a wry sense of humor, Richard fit right in from the start and became a fixture at ILM," a statement from ILM on his passing reads. "Richard will be dearly missed by the entire ILM family, but his artistic contribution lives on in each of the films he contributed to and in the fond memories of all who knew him."

Though some fans may not know Miller's name, they certainly now his work. Two of his biggest claims to fame have been seen in movies around the globe, including the villainous Davy Jones from Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest and Princess Leis' iconic gold bikini from Star Wars – Episode VI: Return of the Jedi. Miller's initial bust for Jones in the Pirates sequel became the blueprint from which digital animator would make the antagonists' tentacle'd beard squirm and move throughout the movie, the visual effects for the movie would go on to win the Academy Award.

"It was a slave costume, it was supposed to be skimpy," Miller said in an interview about the famous Star Wars outfit he designed. "The reason it was a costume like that is George said 'We want to show that Princess Leia is growing up.' The three episodes spanned a certain amount of time; so she got more mature, and that's why the slave costume was introduced. And the fans were also getting more mature, supposedly, and fifteen, twenty years later a lot of people will come up to me and say 'You made the Princess Leia costume? That was the best thing I ever saw as a kid."

Among his other credits Miller worked on Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Indiana Jones and the lASt Crusade, Back to the Future Part II and Part III, The Rocketeer, The Flintstones, The Mask, Congo, Jumanji, Mission: Impossible, Flubber, Sleepy Hollow, The Mummy Returns, and Hulk. He would also work as a model maker for the practical effects miniatures on all three Star Wars prequel films. Our thoughts go out to his friends and family during this time.