Roger Kastel, the American artist behind two of the most iconic film posters in history with “Jaws” and “The Empire Strikes Back,” has died. He was 92.
Kastel passed away from kidney and heart failure at a hospice facility in Massachusetts according to his wife of 66 years, Grace.
Kastel originally painted the instantly recognisable image of a swimmer and a great white shark lurking below her for the cover of Peter Benchley’s 1974 novel.
Universal Studios was so impressed by the work the bought the rights to use this image as the film’s poster – said image becoming a merchandising product in and of itself.
Kastel also did the “Gone With the Wind”-inspired poster for “The Empire Strikes Back” which is still considered one of the most influential movie posters every produced.
Other film posters he worked on included the adaptation of Michael Crichton’s “The Great Train Robbery” in 1978, and “Doctor Faustus” in 1967.
He also did the cover of the first issue of the comic book “The Man of Bronze: Doc Savage” and his paintings were used on numerous book covers ranging from John Steinbeck’s “East of Eden” to Jackie Collins’ “Hollywood Wives”.