Roger Servick, his spouse and business partner of 40 years, told Deadline that Mead had been in failing health due to lymphoma cancer and he was undergoing treatment at City of Hope in Duarte, CA.
Servick, who was by Mead’s side when he died, said his last words were: “I’m done here. They’re coming to take me back.”
Mead’s art department credits include Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Aliens, Timecop, Mission: Impossible III, Elysium and Tomorrowland. He also appeared in numerous documentaries over the years.
Last month he was named the recipient of the William Cameron Menzies Award from the Art Directors Guild (ADG, IATSE Local 800), for his innovative neo-futuristic concept artwork on numerous legendary movies. The ADG had planned to give him the award in February at a gala in Los Angeles.
Born on July 18, 1933, in Minneapolis, Mead did a stint in the Army former landing work as a designer for the likes of Ford Motor Co and Philips Electronics and later as a “futurist” for companies including Chrysler and Sony.
But he is most famous for his work as a concept artist on some of history’s most visually impressive films.
After working with Robert Wise as a production illustrator on Star Trek: The Motion Picture in 1978, Mead teamed up with Ridley Scott on Blade Runner, with Steven Lisberger on his designs for the light cycles in Tron, and with James Cameron on his creative concepts for the U.S.S. Sulaco in Aliens. His work was featured in such films as 2010: The Year We Make Contact, Short Circuit and Mission to Mars. He also supplied designs for the Japanese anime films Yamato 2520 and Turn A.
He received the 2016 Visionary Award from the Visual Effects Society and the 2018 Art Directors Guild Award for fantasy film for Blade Runner 2049. He also was nominated in that ADG Awards category for Neill Blomkamp’s Elysium in 2013.
In 2018, Mead published his autobiography, A Future Remembered.
Along with Servick, Mead is survived by a sister, Peggy Lee, and several nieces and nephews. Arrangements are pending for a private “Celebration of Life” service at Forest Lawn in Glendale.
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.