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SFF artist Kelly Freas dies

02/01/2005. Contributed by Jessica Martin

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Renowned science fiction and fantasy illustrator passes away.

Space artist Dave Hardy kindly dropped this very sad news into the 'Nest today.

Kelly Freas, SFF artist and all-round good egg passed away in his sleep on the 2nd January at 4:45am PST.

Kelly was a ten-time Hugo Award-winning illustrator of book and magazine cover and interior art for science fiction, fantasy, NASA space program, record albums, advertising, and MAD Magazine.

Recognized as one of the most prolific and popular Science Fiction artists, Frank Kelly Freas illustrated stories by some of Science Fiction's greatest writers: Isaac Asimov, Robert Heinlein, Arthur C. Clarke, A. E. Van Vogt, Poul Anderson, and Frederik Pohl, to name a few. Nominated an unprecedented twenty times, Freas was the first to receive ten Hugo Awards (World Science Fiction "Oscars") for achievement in the field as Best Professional Artist.

Kelly had been active in the Science Fiction field since 1950. In the course of his career, his endeavors have covered many areas including MAD Magazine covers from 1955 to 1962. An official NASA mission artist, his space posters hang in the Smithsonian. He was commissioned by the Skylab I astronauts to design their crew patch.

You can find his art on record and CD albums (for instance his cover for Queen's first two million sale: News of the World, or on the cover of DC Comics' 1992 STAR TREK ANNUAL. He painted beautiful women on the noses of World War II bombers, as well as portraits of five hundred saints for the Franciscans.

Goodbye Kelly, you'll be missed.

You can see some of his work over at

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