The Ray and Diana Harryhausen Foundation

What is the Foundation and what is its aim?

The Ray & Diana Harryhausen Foundation is a charitable Trust set up by Ray on the 10th April 1986. It is the primary aim of the Foundation to protect Ray’s name and body of work as well as archiving, preserving and restoring Ray’s extensive collection.

In addition the Foundation is firmly committed to show and exhibit, for educational and enjoyment purposes, all of Ray’s unique collection and the short films as well and his feature productions.

Since Ray's death on the 7th May 2013, and the acquisition of all of Ray's entire Collection by the Foundation, the Trustees are committed to continuing Ray's hopes for the future and protecting and conserving Ray's name and his unique reputation and contribution to world film history.

It is estimated that there are in excess of 50,000 items in the collection, including original armatured models, hard rubber stand-in models, armatures, original moulds, original artwork, original miniatures, stills, negatives, original equipment, paperwork, screenplays, various test and dailies footage, books and many influences, such as paintings and lithographs by Gustav Dore, John Martin and Willis O’Brien. During Ray’s almost 93 years, it is remarkable and fortunate that he rarely threw anything away, which is why the collection is near complete and contains so much original material.

With such a vast wealth of archive materials it is a difficult, complex and ongoing task to catalogue and preserve as much of it as possible.  However, with our new Collection Manager, Phil Boot, the task of cataloguing the archive is well in hand with a schedule of 5 years.

In August 2008 the Foundation recovered a huge cache of items from a garage at Ray’s house in Los Angeles. Ray always insisted that if there was anything in the garage then it would be 'crap' because he felt it would be unimportant, but what seemed unimportant to Ray, is film history to the rest of us.  Discovered there were items from his earliest experiments including a triceratops used in Evolution of the World, which still retained its complete latex covering, which is in remarkably good condition.  Also recovered were armatures of the tyrannosaurus rex and the brontosaurus also seen in Evolution, both of which still retain their resin heads and feet.  Along side these were armatures for the large tentacles featured in It Came From Beneath the Sea still retaining a small amount of cotton and latex covering, string marionettes and items from the Fairy tale series of short films.  These items along with 14 boxes of other materials have now been integrated into the main collection in London.

A programme of preservation has also begun.  Some models are in rapid deterioration, for example Talos and Kali, but most are in reasonably good condition and are made available to exhibitions around the world.   

In November 2010 it was announced that the Foundation was to work with the National Media Museum in Bradford, England, in cataloguing and storing the collection.  This association has now begun and it is the aim of the Foundation to eventually allow access to students and film makers who wish to study original items in the collection and in the foreseeable future build a dedicated exhibition gallery to Ray and his unique work.

Aside from the books written and compiled by Ray and Tony, the Foundation has been working with Frentic Arts in Paris to produce a definitive documentary about Ray's life and work.  This has now been completed and is called Ray Harryhausen: Special Effects Titan.  

The work of the Foundation continues and it is hoped, with the help of friends and film makers that the world of Ray Harryhausen will not be lost and will retain intact for future generations.

Visit the official foundation website here 


The Memorial Service for Ray, held at St Paul's Church , Covent Garden , London on 12 September 2013 was a fitting celebration of Ray's life and work attended by friends and colleagues from around the world. View More Here.

The  service was arranged by the Foundation's Curator and Archivist , and Ray's official biographer , Tony Dalton ,and Ray's family and the Foundation Trustees are immensely grateful to him for all the hard work which went into the service and the reception which followed it at the London Film Museum.  The Trustees and family are, however, saddened to hear of allegations and comments which have been made about Mr Dalton's role both during Ray's lifetime and since his death.  The family and trustees want to make it very clear that Mr. Dalton enjoys their unqualified support and confidence in his role as the Foundation's Curator and Archivist during an important period of work in securing Ray's legacy through his collection.

The Ray and Diana Harryhausen Foundation is a Scottish Charity No SC001419 and recognised by the US Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) as a Tax Exemption Organisation and listed in IRS Publication 78.  The registered office of the Foundation is Princes Exchange, 1 Earl Grey Street, Edinburgh EH3 9EE, UK.



It is with the deepest sadness that we announce Ray’s death in London on the 7th May 2013.  Thankfully his passing was quick and painless, but it has of course left a very large void in the lives of Vanessa and everyone at the Foundation.  It really is the end of an era and a very bright, irreplaceable light has gone from our lives. 

Ray_400.jpgSince first making the announcement we have been overwhelmed by the number of tributes and messages of sympathy from everyone.  We feel very humbled by your kind words and would like to extend our most heartfelt thanks to you all.   

Needless to say the tributes will continue to come in, and we know you will all understand that we cannot respond to your messages personally.  

It goes without saying that the house already feels very quiet without Ray, but thankfully we are surrounded by his creations and so his presence is never far away. 

Our sincerest thanks and best wishes to you all, 

Diana, Vanessa, Tony, and the Foundation 



On Sunday 6th October at 11.35 am Diana Harryhausen passed away very peacefully.  Diana Livingstone Bruce Harryhausen had been very ill for some years but her passing will be felt by Vanessa and all who worked with Ray and the family.  She was a dear lady and always supported Ray in his unique art and accompanied him on his many travels. 










The Foundation welcomes any donations from fans and friends. If you wish to make a donation under £1,500 to this charity then please do so via PayPal using our account name to do so. For any amounts over £1,500 please contact us at either or write to the contact address given in the Contact section.  You can nominate a model that you wish the money to go to but we cannot guarantee this although we will attempt to comply with any individuals wish.

The Official Ray Harryhausen Website