A Hollywood artist and model maker known for his work in eight Star Trek films and Close Encounters of the Third Kind is dead at the age of 76.
His family confirmed Wednesday he died of cardiac arrest back in May. He earned Oscar nominations for Steven Spielberg films, Close Encounter of the Third Kind and 1941.
He also received Emmy nominations for his work on Deep Space Nine and the HBO mini-series Angels in America.
“Greg had a wry sense of humor and was endlessly inventive,” wrote Star Trek graphic designer Michael Okuda, reported Comicbook.com. “He always seemed to find a way to provide us with spaceships, even when only a tiny budget was available. He genuinely loved Star Trek and was always generous with his expertise and his experience, giving many top modelers their start in the business. Greg had been ill for some time, but his passing is nevertheless a gut punch.”
Jein is survived by cousins Eleanor, Cheryl, Jerry, Vivian, Laura and Janice and their families.
Jein mentored many in Hollywood who would go onto work on the Star Wars franchise for Industrial Light and Magic, reports Giant Freakin Robot. Among his mentees were Lisa Morton, Don Pennington, and Bill George.
“Some of us had heard inklings earlier but the news is now out. Greg Jein has passed, and the film and miniature world is a better place for his having lived in it and contributed so much,” said illustrator Rick Sternbach, according to Heavy. I first got to meet Greg in the late 70s, and followed his exploits up to and beyond the times he and his colleagues brought some of my ‘Star Trek’ ship designs to life. Thank you for your friendship, and your amazing talent.”
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