Farewell, Stan Winston

by Tippi Blevins June 17, 2008 12:47 pm
Farewell, Stan Winston Academy Award-winning special effects and makeup artist Stan Winston died Sunday at his Malibu home after a seven-year battle with multiple myeloma. He was 62. Winston managed to be a creative force despite his illness, overseeing the creation of the physical suit for the Iron Man pic and serving as special effects supervisor for the upcoming Terminator Salvation: The Future Begins in cahoots with his employees at Stan Winston Studio.

His projects over the course of his long career were wide-ranging. His visual effects work for Jurassic Park, Terminator 2, and Aliens won him Oscars, and he earned nominations for his contributions to a slew of other films. His special effects for 1987's Predator still hold up remarkably well, and unlike the big-budget films of more recent times, the effects don't overwhelm. Rather than demanding attention and drawing focus away from other elements of the film, they served as a symbiotic and integral part of the whole package. Still, he was something of a household name. Even casual moviegoers know his work by name; how many other special effects gurus have that claim to fame?

So, farewell, Mr. Winston. Thanks for helping us skeptics buy Tom Cruise as one of the blood-sucking undead in the literal sense, for helping many a teenage boy score second base while horrifically fertile aliens scared the crap out of his date, and for generally increasing the profit margins for night-light manufacturers the world over. Much appreciated. You will be remembered.

Winston's family requests that instead of sending flowers, fellow mourners make donations to the Institute for Myeloma & Bone Cancer Research, Free Arts for Abused Children and UNICEF.




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