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Tom Savini

Stunt Performer, Film Director, Actor, Makeup Artist, Photographer, Author, Special Effects Artist,
© Stefan Borggraefe
Wikimedia / CC BY-SA 3.0 ]
Thomas Vincent "Tom" Savini (born November 3, 1946) is an American actor, stuntman, director, and award-winning special effects and makeup artist. He is known for his makeup and special effects work on many films directed by George A. Romero, including Martin, Dawn of the Dead, Day of the Dead, Creepshow and Monkey Shines; he also created the special effects and makeup for many cult classics like Friday the 13th (parts I and IV), Maniac, The Burning, The Prowler and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2. Savini directed Night of the Living Dead, the 1990 remake of Romero's 1968 Night of the Living Dead; his other directing work include three episodes of the TV show Tales from the Darkside and one segment in The Theatre Bizarre. As an actor and stuntman, he has appeared in films such as Martin, Dawn of the Dead, Knightriders, From Dusk till Dawn, Grindhouse (Planet Terror), Machete, and The Simpsons (as himself). --- Savini was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and is of Italian descent. He was raised in the Catholic religion and graduated from Central Catholic High School. As a boy, his inspiration was actor Lon Chaney, Sr., and Savini attributes his earliest desires to create makeup effects to Chaney and the film Man of a Thousand Faces. Experimenting with whatever medium he could find, the young Savini practiced creating makeup effects on himself, later convincing his friends to let him practice his craft on them. He also discovered another passion, acting. Combining his makeup applications and homemade costumes, he especially enjoyed scaring his friends. Savini attended Point Park University for three years, before enlisiting in the United States Army. He appeared in stage productions throughout college and continued on stage after his tour of duty in Vietnam. Savini served as a combat photographer during the Vietnam War. He continued to practice with makeup in Vietnam, often frightening indigenous peasants by appearing to suddenly transform into a "monster". Using the lens of his camera, Savini separated himself from the real life horrors of war; however, all the images still haunted his mind. Savini said his wartime experiences influenced his eventual style of gory effects: "I hated that when I watched a war movie and someone dies. Some people die with one eye open and one eye half-closed, sometimes people die with smiles on their faces because the jaw is always slack. I incorporated the feeling of the stuff I saw in Vietnam into my work." In 1970, while on guard duty, a flare was triggered in the jungle area Savini was watching. Against military protocol, Savini fired into the bush without informing his superiors. Other soldiers likewise began firing until a duck wandered from the bush completely unharmed. Due to his failure to follow orders, Savini was taken off guard duty from his bunker on the following evening. That same evening, the bunker came under attack and several soldiers were wounded or killed. As a result of this incident, Savini earned the nickname "Duck Slayer" and to this day will not eat duck. After his tour in Vietnam, he attended Carnegie-Mellon University, as the first undergraduate to be awarded a full fellowship in the acting and directing program. Among the many talents Savini achieved as a young man was the art of fencing. Much of his stunt work and some of his characters reflect these graceful abilities; however, he is also accomplished with a bull whip and many of his characters have been bikers or madmen who are hardened and eerily evil. --- Savini is primarily known for his groundbreaking work in the field of special makeup effects. His signature realism livens otherwise plodding genre films. Early in Savini's career, Dick Smith became an inspiration and a guide, later becoming an associate at Savini's Special Make-up Effects Program. Among other projects, Smith is known for his groundbreaking work in The Exorcist. Savini got his breakthrough working with Pittsburgh filmmaker George A. Romero, providing a convincing wrist slashing effect in the opening scenes of Martin (1977). The following year, working with an larger budget on Dawn of the Dead, Savini created his signature palette of severed limbs and bite-marks. In the 1980 slasher film Friday the 13th, Savini expanded his repertoire of blood and gore. He continued to perfect those techniques in another film that year, Maniac. Along with the 1981 films The Burning and The Prowler, Savini earned the nickname "The Sultan of Splatter". In 1982, he created more traditional horror effects in the film Creepshow directed by George A. Romero and written by Stephen King. In 1984, he agreed to work on Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter, where he killed his creation Jason Voorhees. Returning to the zombie genre in 1985, Savini was nominated and won the 1985 Saturn Award for Best Makeup Effects for his work on the Romero's Day of the Dead. --- As an actor, Savini has appeared in many of the same films he was creating effects for. His first appearance was a relatively straight, innocuous character in Martin in 1977; however, he played a menacing biker called Blades in his next film Dawn of the Dead (1978), a role he reprised in zombie form with a cameo appearance in the 2005 continuation of the series, Land of the Dead. In the 1980 film Maniac, his brief role in the film found him facing the maniac's shotgun and having his head blown off in a spectacular display. Savini had a much more prominent role as biker and antagonist Morgan, the Black Knight, in George A. Romero's Knightriders (1981).

Wikipedia ]

Born
Thomas Vincent "Tom" Savini
November 03, 1946 (age 77)
Profession
Stunt Performer, Film Director, Actor, Makeup Artist, Photographer, Author, Special Effects Artist,
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