He was 86 when he died Friday in his hometown of Lamezia Terme, ANSA reported.
No specific cause of death was disclosed.
Rambaldi studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Bologna and went on to develop special effects for 32 pictures. Among his credits were collaborations with some of Italy's top directors, including Federico Fellini, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Mario Monicelli and Dario Argento, and the Hollywood blockbusters "King Kong," "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" and "Dune."
"With Rambaldi's passing, we lose a special-effects wizard. He was a true genius," Mario Caligiuri, the Calabria region's cultural affairs officer, told ANSA.