'Blade Runner' artist Syd Mead dies at 86

Los Angeles (AFP) –


Syd Mead, the visual artist behind "Blade Runner" credited with shaping the sci-fi landscape with his futuristic movie designs, has died in California aged 86.

Mead, who worked on films including "Aliens", "Tron" and "Star Trek: The Motion Picture", died Monday following a battle with lymphoma cancer, his partner Roger Servick told multiple outlets.

A post on Mead's Facebook page confirmed the news, with the words "Syd Mead 1933-2019."

Mead had started his career in industrial design for the car and electronics industries, working for Ford, Chrysler, Sony and Philips, before switching to film.

His concept art for a dystopian future Los Angeles in Ridley Scott's 1982 neo-noir classic "Blade Runner", starring Harrison Ford, won widespread acclaim.

He retired in September.

News of his death was mourned by leading figures across the automotive and entertainment sectors.

"Rest in peace Syd Mead. Your art will endure," tweeted Tesla founder Elon Musk.

"He was one of the greatest designers and futurists of our time," wrote John McElroy, publisher of the website Autoline, who first broke the news.

Art Directors Guild president Nelson Coates last month called Mead "one of the most influential concept artists and industrial designers of our time."

Mead's recent movie art credits included "Mission: Impossible III", "Elysium" and acclaimed 2017 sequel "Blade Runner 2049".