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Pinball Legend Python Anghelo Dies At 61

by Staff Reporter
Posted On: 4/14/2014

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TAGS: coin-op news, pinball machine, pinball history, Python Anghelo obituary, Python Vladimir Anghelo, Transylvania, Williams Electronics, Taxi pinball, Jokerz, Pin*Bot, video game designer, Joust, Sinistar, Madonna, Steven Meisel, The Pinball Circus, Capcom

CHICAGO -- Graphic artist and noted pinball designer Python Vladimir Anghelo died on April 9 after a three-year battle with cancer. He was 61.

Born in Transylvania, Romania, where he studied art and animation, Anghelo immigrated to the U.S. while a teen, eventually landing a job at Disney Studios. He left Disney, taking a significant pay cut in 1979, to work for Williams Electronics.

During his 15-year career at Williams, Anghelo worked on some of the company's best-known and beloved pins, including Taxi, Jokerz and Pin*Bot, as well as videogames like Joust and Sinistar. He was reportedly thrilled in 1992 when Madonna provocatively posed for photographer Steven Meisel atop his Taxi pin for her book Sex.

Leaving Williams in the mid-1990s over creative differences surrounding his proposed pin The Pinball Circus, Anghelo briefly joined Capcom, where he developed Flipper Football, until that firm's eventual closing. He would later go on to work for Bay Tek, a redemption game maker.