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‘Exorcist’ sound effects wizard dies

Gonzalo Gavira was credited with creating the
/ Source: Reuters

Gonzalo Gavira, a Mexican wizard with sound effects who worked on films like “The Exorcist,” “The Towering Inferno” and “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly,” has died aged 79, a colleague said Tuesday.

Gavira died Sunday in Mexico City from blood circulation problems, Mario Aguinaga, the director of Mexico’s largest film studio, Estudios Churubusco, told Reuters.

“Gavira was a character in the film industry for his extraordinary inventiveness in creating sound effects,” Aguinaga said.

“It was a real show to see him work in a studio creating sounds, he used to use garbage and other objects to create incidental sounds.”

Gavira was part of a team that won an Oscar for best sound in the 1973 film “The Exorcist,” directed by William Friedkin.

Gavira was credited with creating the sound of the demonically possessed 12-year-old girl Regan’s head revolving completely on her body — an excruciating effect the Mexican achieved by twisting a leather purse with credit cards inside.

He worked in at least five dozen films in Mexico and abroad, according to the Mexican Academy of Film and Arts.