StarTrek.com is saddened to report the passing of Howard A. Anderson Jr., the Oscar-nominated visual effects artist whose company -- The Howard Anderson Company -- worked on Star Trek: The Original Series. Anderson succumbed to cardiac dysrhythmia on September 27 in Ventura, California, though his son only passed the news on to The Hollywood Reporter this past weekend.
The Howard Anderson company was founded by Anderson's father in the late 1920s. The younger Anderson and his brother, Darrell A. Anderson, were running the company by the 1960s, and it made as its home base the Desilu lot, which would eventually become Paramount Pictures. At one point, Anderson paired up with Desi Arnaz to create the opening sequence for I Love Lucy, with special emphasis paid to getting the shape of the heart just right. I Love Lucy, of course, was a Desilu production, and that successful collaboration paved the wav for The Anderson Company to work on an upcoming Desilu production, a Gene Roddenberry show called Star Trek.
Anderson teamed with Roddenberry in 1964 to create the transporter beam effect and other VFX for the first Trek pilot, "The Cage" and also "Where No Man Has Gone Before." The company's additional contributions included shots of phasers firing and exterior shots of the Enterprise warping through the stars.
The Howard Anderson Company also created the opening titles for dozens of television shows, among them The Addams Family, The Andy Griffith Show, Get Smart, The Mod Squad, The Twilight Zone, Mission: Impossible, The Brady Bunch and Cheers. He shared an Oscar nomination for his work on Tobruk, a 1967 war film directed by Arthur Hiller and starring Rock Hudson. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Anderson Jr. received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 59th Primetime Emmy Awards in 2007 and was given the President’s Award from the American Society of Cinematographers in 2004.
Please join StarTrek.com in offering our condolences to Anderson's family, friends and colleagues.