In a pop culture world bursting with science fiction and fantasy, there was perhaps no special effects makeup artist more respected, admired or sought after than Rick Baker. From humble beginnings cooking up monster masks in his mother's kitchen, Baker's talent and sheer enthusiasm catapulted him from his first Hollywood job as a makeup assistant on "The Exorcist" (1973) to supervising the creation of a bevy of cantina aliens in "Star Wars" (1977) and crafting arguably the scariest post-modern wolfman in "An American Werewolf in London" (1981). Thanks in part to his work on Michael Jackson's 1983 music video "Thriller," in which he turned the pop star and his backup performers into a troupe of the dancing undead, the phrase "Rick Baker, Monster Maker" became a household name. He soon found himself crafting creatures for "Harry and the Hendersons" (1987), "Men in Black" (1997) and Tim Burton's "Planet of the Apes" (2001). An unabashed horror movie buff, Baker's career went into a decidedly comedic direction with his collaboration with comedian Eddie Murphy, whom he transformed into a bevy of characters, including the portly Sherman Klump in "The Nutty Professor," (1996) and its sequel. Despite advances in computer technology, and a new generation of effects artists likely inspired to join the business by the artist himself, Baker - with his graying hair pulled back into his ever-present ponytail - promised to remain a vibrant and irreplaceable force on fantastical film sets for years to come.