Greek American George Barris, born George Salapatas on November 20, 1925, died early Thursday morning in LA. Barris is best-known for his creation of cars in movies, for TV and celebrities since the Forties and is the creator of the original Batmobile.
The man rubbed shoulders with Hollywood’s elite as he created cars for Batman, Jurassic Park, Knight Rider, The Beverly Hillbillies, the Flinstones, Starsky and Hutch, The Dukes of Hazzard and many more!
He made a name for himself as the foremost custom car designer in the world, creating specialized vehicles for the likes of Marvin Gaye, Farrah Fawcett and Dean Martin amongst others. He even designed a giant custom golf cart for Bob Hope witht he body of the vehicle modeled after Hope’s face.
The beginnings of the car designer were humble as George and his brother were both immigrant chidren who came to the United States alone without even a basic knowlege of English in the late Twenties. They were eventually taken in by a Sacramento family.
Later, as a budding car designer he met his wife while driving the Batmobile – viewed as a chic magnet – and they celebrated their 48th wedding anniversary this year.
The 89-year-old became ill on Sunday and died within days on Thursday morning, aged 89, just days before his 90th birthday.