Acclaimed Hollywood film effects artist dead

Mon Jun 16, 2008 8:52pm EDT
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By Steve Gorman

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Pioneering special effects and makeup artist Stan Winston, a four-time Oscar winner who transformed Arnold Schwarzenegger into "The Terminator" and brought dinosaurs to life in the "Jurassic Park" films, has died at age 62, his studio said on Monday.

Winston, whose studio's work was on display in the high-tech armored suits worn by Robert Downey Jr. in the current superhero blockbuster "Iron Man," died at home in Malibu, California, on Sunday surrounded by family.

He had fought a seven-year struggle with multiple myeloma, a cancer of blood plasma cells, a spokeswoman for the Stan Winston Studio said.

Winston, a collaborator with such filmmaking giants as Steven Spielberg, James Cameron and Tim Burton, was best known for his landmark physical effects and animatronics, and later for blending them seamlessly with computer-graphics imagery.

Winston crafted some of modern cinema's most breathtaking creatures, including the terrifying monsters of "Aliens" and the killer cyborgs of "The Terminator" and its sequel for Cameron.

In the makeup department, Winston worked with Burton to create the bizarre, shear-fingered looks of Johnny Depp in "Edward Scissorhands" and Danny DeVito's grotesque Penguin guise in "Batman Returns."

But Winston's most celebrated creations were the prehistoric reptiles he brought to life in Spielberg's "Jurassic Park" and "The Lost World: Jurassic Park."

The design and construction of the life-size, robotic dinosaurs, including a two-story-tall tyrannosaurus rex in "Jurassic Park," were heralded as a pioneering technical feat in movie magic.   Continued...

<p>Special effects creator Stan Winston displays his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in this February 23, 2001 file photograph. The Stan Winston Studio told the Los Angeles Times on June 16, 2008 that Winston, 62, an Oscar-winning visual effects artist died at his Los Angeles home on June 15, 2008 after a seven-year struggle with multiple myeloma. REUTERS/Frederick Brown/Files</p>