Date: 9th April, 2014
After a protracted battle with cancer, pinball artist and designer Python Anghelo today lost the fight and passed away.
A larger-than-life character and perpetual showman, Python was creating new game designs to the very end, and had recently announced his plans to put his Pinball Circus game into production along with two new designs he had created.
His career in pinball was characterised by multiple flashes of creative genius combined with an often maddening insistence on living by his own rules and on his own terms.
His work at Williams began with his first collaboration with game designer Barry Oursler on the game Comet. The pair went on to create the two rollercoaster sequels Cyclone and Hurricane.
Python and Williams finally parted company after production of Python's design of the vertical pinball game, Pinball Circus, was shelved. Python often bitterly rejected the claims by Williams management that the bill of materials and earning reports made it uneconomic to manufacture.
So convinced was he that the game would be both economic to build and operate he had been working with a team of well-known pinball people to remake Pinball Circus along with two new designs which incorporated a large number of innovative mechanisms.
After his split with Williams he worked for Capcom where his creative talents were given an outlet through the company's Flipper Football game, but once again his visions were often at odds with those of the management.
Python's appearances at Pinball Expo were the highlights for many visitors, and he never failed to be both entertaining, dramatic and controversial. He was also not above parodying his anarchic madcap reputation.
Python had been ill for several years, diagnosed with cancer which initially seemed to be responding to treatment, but ultimately spread through his body. A recent appeal for financial assistance for his medical treatment through the GoFundMe website raised more than $19,000.
Recent reports suggested the cancer had spread and Python did not have too many days left. Unfortunately those reports proved to be correct, and he passed away at his home earlier today.
But Python will be remembered for his rambunctious personality which created blinding sparks of creativity and controversy in equal measure wherever he went.
Always passionate, always entertaining, always creative, Python Anghelo will be sorely missed.
You can also listen to his famous TOPcast interview with Clay Harrell, watch Python at the Northwest Pinball Show in 2013, see a TV documentary about Python, and watch him at his Pinball Expo 2012 seminar in this seven-part series: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7.
© Pinball News 2014