Ralph McQuarrie... RIP


Sr Member
Ralph had been quite close for a few weeks, things had not been well. Sad to say he passed away earlier today.

I still recall my first visit to his house, can't believe I learned so much in a single day. And to boot: being made a meatloaf sandwich and handed a beer while we talked all over the map about art, illustration, model building, his experiences, what was next for both of us.

When I pulled out my sketchbook and we talked I'd been feeling pretty good about my chances in film design, then it was his turn to go through some of his drawings, paintings, etc... he opened with his color 'sketch' of the opening matte from Star Wars. I was floored. Everything about the painting... it was incredible.

And so was he. Quiet, unassuming, striving. Hardly an ounce to his ego, the Oscar collected dust, and he seemed usually to be thinking about what could be next after so many experiences, opportunities. Examples in many parts of life, and a great self-deprecating but observant wit.

Good-bye Ralph, thanks my friend.


Master Member
Community Staff
RIP Ralph McQuarrie, you and your art will continue to be awe inspiring for generations and ahead.


Sr Member
Echoing all of the above, and thank you to all who read this thread and comment. I am shamelessly stealing this from the front page of his website (will get an okay from Stan or John after... maybe ;-)) Every word is true:

It is with the deepest sadness that we announce the passing of Ralph McQuarrie.

People say you should never meet your heroes. Ralph was the exception to that rule. We were all fans of his amazing art long before we were blessed with his friendship. But once you got to know Ralph it was impossible not to become a fan of Ralph the man.

Ralph was a very special person for many more reasons than his undeniable brilliance with a brush. He was an especially kind, sensitive, deep, modest, funny and fascinating gentleman. And as fine a role model as any one could have wished for.

His influence on design will be felt forever. There's no doubt in our hearts that centuries from now amazing spaceships will soar, future cities will rise and someone, somewhere will say...

"that looks like something Ralph McQuarrie painted."

Michael Bergeron

Legendary Member
I knew he wasn't doing well but this one hits me below the belt. :(

RIP Ralph, you left the world a better place than it was.


Active Member
It was the art of Ralph McQuarrie that inspired my imagination more than any other artist. Farewell.