With Max Steiner at his home in Hollywood - 1966


With Merian Cooper in Santa Monica Ca. - 1966


With Ray Harryhausen and John Landis in LA - 1997


With Peter Jackson on the “Lovely Bones” set - 2007
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In 1951, when Jack Polito was 8-years-old, his father took him to see the re-release of the original, 1933 King Kong. And, like many other King Kong lovers, both before and after him, Jack was never quite the same. King Kong changed Jack Polito’s life and led him into a long and rewarding career as an animator, director, and special effects artist in the motion picture industry. From the time of his first encounter with King Kong, Jack had a very strong desire to meet the people who brought King Kong to life; and in 1966 that dream came true when he moved to Hollywood and, while working in the special effects department at 20th Century Fox, under L.B. Abbott, he met King Kong creator Merian C. Cooper, Max Steiner, Ralf Hammeras and Linwood Dunn. Jack established a particularly strong relationship with Merian C. Cooper, and remained close to both Cooper and Steiner until their deaths in the 1970s. During that time, Jack maintained an ongoing correspondence with Cooper, and these letters have become collectors’ items, giving many rare insights into the making of King Kong and the now-famous lost spider pit scene. (Copies of these letters are available through this website, along with other rare King Kong related items.) In the mid-1960’s Jack Polito and a close associate were also responsible for locating and restoring the renowned censored footage from King Kong, which was cut from the film back in the 1930’s, and re-inserted into prints during the mid 70’s. Over the years, Jack acquired a collection of numerous King Kong related items, including over 350 movie stills photos, some very rare and seldom seen. Because of Jack’s life-long passion and close relationship with Merian C. Cooper and other King Kong creators, he is often sought for radio and TV interviews, and has supplied exclusive movie stills material for several books and other publications about King Kong and Merian C. Cooper, most recently Mark Catta Vaz’s biography of Cooper entitled Living Dangerously, as well as a three-part article on the lost spider pit scene for FilmFax magazine. In 2001, Jack Polito supplied director Peter Jackson with various rare King Kong movie stills while he was researching his remake of King Kong. Jack continues to make himself available to authors, filmmakers, and regular fans, who seek his input and wish to draw from his personal experience with the makers of the greatest fantasy film of all time.