September 5, 2003 by

Kevin Oakley


Categories: Extraordinary People, Hollywood

koakley.jpgKevin Oakley died a hero. The animator and special effects artist drowned off the coast of Maui on Aug. 18 while trying to save his 7-year-old son, Austin, from strong currents. He was 41.
Oakley and Austin were climbing down a path next to the Pools of ‘Ohe’o when the boy lost one of his flip-flops in the water. He stooped down to retrieve it and fell in.
Oakley dove in after him, and kept the child’s head out of the water as the current sent them through a series of pools and waterfalls. Dean Miller, a vacationing EMT from California, managed to rescue the child, but Oakley was swept out to sea. The weight of his backpack and exhaustion eventually led to his death. His body was later found by a Maui Fire Department rescue helicopter.
Oakley always dreamed of becoming a digital effects animator. When he was younger, he spent his days building airplanes at McDonnell Douglas and his nights studying computer graphics at UCLA. Oakley eventually landed jobs with top studios, where he worked on many Hollywood movies, including “Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas,” “The Iron Giant” and “Space Jam.”
IMDb Filmography

6 Responses to Kevin Oakley

  1. Deb B

    Just watched the “Short” Squirrelman. Thanks, Kevin, for living life in such an inspiring way. I wish for Austin that same kind of soulful passion. What an example of love!!

  2. shelly and steven klay

    Kevins heroism will never be forgotten! His act of heroism has been a source of conversation and inspiration several times in our lives! We miss you Kevin.
    Steve and Kevin were friends while attending the LA Church of Christ.
    Steve now resides in Normal IL

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