I've posted the following in a few other Harryhausen threads I've encountered, so if the text seems familiar, it probably is.
It’s a tad uncanny that the Sony Movie Channel just wrapped up a month long tribute to Harryhausen, airing a majority of his films as well as a 90 minute retrospective (made just last year, 2012) containing recent interviews with Ray (who still seemed sharp as ever) and several of the filmmakers he inspired like Spielberg, Cameron, Peter Jackson, and others.
At least he was recognized while he was still alive and coherent enough to appreciate the honors. Plus, people like director Peter Jackson (at personal expense, I believe) and others helped to preserve his legacy, his models, his test footage, molds, castings, etc. before they were lost, damaged or destroyed. Jackson even used the resources of WETA to have items like his rubber coated figures digitally scanned before they decompose. How many creative people have died in obscurity, forgotten? Or, if they are remembered, it’s years after they’ve passed when the acknowledgments do them little good. In that respect Harryhausen was very fortunate.
His films certainly influenced my childhood. And should senility ever strike me (Mogg forbid), I suspect my memories of his fabulous creatures will be some of the few I retain.