is saddened to report the passing of Oscar-winning special effects artist Joe Viskocil, who succumbed to complications of liver and kidney failure on August 11. Viskocil, who was 61, visited the Star Trek universe only briefly, working as the lead pyro technician on Star Trek Nemesis. His many other credits included The Terminator, Terminator 2, Critters, Ghostbusters, Killer Klowns from Outer Space, They Abyss, Independence Day, Interview with the Vampire, Armageddon, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Journey to the Center of the Earth, Source Code and his final project, The Prey, due out next month.

Most famously, Viskocil lent his talents to Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back, creating the Death Star explosion for the first space adventure. He won his Oscar as part of the team that brought to life the visual effects in Independence Day, and more specifically he oversaw the spectacular White House destruction sequence. offers our condolences to Viskocil's family, friends, colleagues and fans.

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