Artist, game designer and pinball machine designer Python Vladimir Anghelo, known for his work on games such as Joust, Bubbles, Pin*Bot, Cyclone and Taxi, has died after a battle with cancer.
Anghelo passed away peacefully at his home in Chicago on April 9, according to a friend. He was born in Transylvania, Romania, in 1954 and moved to the United States at age 17. He studied art both in Romania and the United States, and later worked as an animator for Disney. In 1979, he made the move to Williams Electronics, where he worked on the art for arcade game Joust. While at Williams — and later Midway Games — Vanghelo worked on more than a dozen pinball tables, including The Machine: Bride of Pin*Bot, High Speed and Fish Tales. After Williams, he worked briefly at Capcom's pinball division.
Earlier this year, Pins and Vids host Paul Kiefert, a friend of Anghelo's, began raising funds for the game designer through GoFundMe to help with the artist's rising bills.
"Due to his chemo and radiation treatments over the last couple years he has been very limited in his ability to do his creative work," Kiefert wrote at the campaign's start. "As you can imagine, this has put a severe strain on Python's finances."
Over the course of about a month, 165 people raised more than $19,000; the final goal was $20,000. According to Kiefert's post today, any remaining money raised will likely be used to pay final bills and final arrangements requested by Anghelo.
"I can say with 100 percent certainty that with the help of this great pinball community we were able deliver great joy and happiness during his final time on this earth and that the legend most people knew will continue to be honored for generations to come," Kiefert wrote. "It's because of you that Python was able to have considerable joy these past several months and there are no words that can describe how thankful I am that all of us could do this for him."