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Roger Kastel, ‘Jaws’ Poster Artist, Dies at 92

The success of “Jaws” led to more commissions for Mr. Kastel, including one from Lucasfilm Ltd. to design what would become another famous film poster, for the first “Star Wars” sequel, “The Empire Strikes Back” (1980). It shows Harrison Ford’s Han Solo embracing Carrie Fisher’s Princess Leia in a manner that recalls the famous poster for the classic 1939 film “Gone With the Wind.”

“I had never done sci-fi before, so I don’t know why they contacted me,” Mr. Kastel told Connecticut Insider in 2010. “The director loved the film ‘Gone With the Wind,’ and since there was a romance in ‘Empire,’ he wanted some romance in the poster..”

Roger Karl Kastel was born on June 11, 1931, in White Plains, N.Y., to Karl Kastel, a jewelry designer, and Anna Kastel. Both of his parents painted as a hobby, and he developed an interest in drawing at a young age. One of his earliest influences was Tom Hickey, a cartoonist, comic book artist and illustrator of pulp magazine covers who was a neighbor in White Plains.

When Mr. Kastel was a teenager, he attended the Art Students League, a nonprofit school in Manhattan that counts the Georgia O’Keeffe and Winslow Homer among its alumni. His first published work was a pamphlet he designed at Mr. Hickey’s request “showing employees how to use equipment properly,” Mr. Kastel later recalled to Connecticut Insider.

“I was always drawing whatever I could,” He said.

He joined the Navy during the Korean War and served in Hawaii and California, where he met Grace Trowbridge, whom he married after he left the Navy, and the couple returned to New York. She survives him, as do their children, Beth Kastel Krebs and Matthew Kastel; four grandchildren and a great-grandson.

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