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'Alien' artist H.R. Giger dies at 74

By The Associated Press

This article was published May 13, 2014 at 7:57 a.m.

BERLIN — Swiss artist H.R. Giger, who designed the creature in Ridley Scott's sci-fi horror classic Alien, has died at age 74 from injuries suffered in a fall, his museum said Tuesday.

Sandra Mivelaz, administrator of the H.R. Giger museum in Gruyeres, western Switzerland, said Giger died in a hospital Monday.

Giger's works, often showing macabre scenes of humans and machines fused into hellish hybrids, influenced a generation of movie directors and inspired an enduring fashion for "biomechanical" tattoos.

Born Hans Ruedi Giger on Feb. 5, 1940, in the southeastern Swiss town of Chur, he trained as an industrial designer because his father insisted that he learn a proper trade.

Giger's vision of a human skull encased in a machine appeared on the cover of Brain Salad Surgery, a 1973 album by the rock band Emerson, Lake and Palmer. Along with his design for Debbie Harry's solo album, Koo Koo (1981), it featured in a 1991 Rolling Stone magazine list of the top 100 album covers of all time.

Giger went on to work as a set designer for Hollywood, contributing to Species, Poltergeist II, Dune and most famously Alien, for which he received a 1979 Academy Award for special effects. Frequently frustrated by the Hollywood production process, Giger eventually disowned much of the work that was attributed to him on screen.

In 1998, Giger acquired the Chateau St. Germain in Gruyeres and established the H.R. Giger Museum.

Details on survivors and funeral plans were not immediately available.

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