Stan Winston Dies At 62

Hollywood legend Stan Winston, the Oscar-winning special-effects maestro responsible for bringing the dinosaurs of Jurrasic Park and other iconic movie creatures to life, has died. He was 62. 

According to a representative from Stan Winston Studio, Winston died at his home in Malibu surrounded by family on Sunday evening after a seven-year struggle with multiple myeloma.

Working with such directors as Steven Spielberg, James Cameron and Tim Burton in a career spanning four decades, Winston is responsible for some of Tinseltown’s most famous creatures and effects including The Terminator and the Aliens. He also came up with the design of the Predator and worked on films like Edward Scissorhands and Iron Man and was a pioneer in merging real-world effects with computer imaging.

Winner of four Academy Awards, Winston was a pioneer in the field constantly pushing the envelope of movie magic to new heights. Whether it be exemplary creature effects, prosthetics work or helping to pave the way for the melding of physical and computer trickery Winston was there, leading the pack. Highly thought of in the industry, his mark of excellence was only exceeded by his gracious spirit and love for the craft.

“The entertainment industry has lost a genius, and I lost one of my best friends with the death Sunday night of Stan Winston,” Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said in a statement. “Stan’s work and four Oscars speak for themselves and will live on forever. What will live forever in my heart is the way that Stan loved everyone and treated each of his friends like they were family.”

Winston won visual effects Oscars for 1986’s Aliens, 1992’s Terminator 2: Judgment Day and 1993’s Jurassic Park. He also won a makeup Oscar for 1992’s Batman Returns.

Winston was nominated for his work on Heartbeeps, Predator, Edward Scissorhands, Batman ReturnsThe Lost World: Jurassic Park and A.I.

He last worked with director Jon Favreau on Iron Man.

“He was experienced and helped guide me while never losing his childlike enthusiasm,” Favreau said in a statement. “He was the king of integrating practical effects with CGI, never losing his relevance in an ever changing industry. I am proud to have worked with him and we were looking forward to future collaborations. I knew that he was struggling, but I had no idea that he would be gone so soon. Hollywood has lost a shining star.”

At the time of his death, Winston was in the process of transforming his physical makeup and effects studio into the new Winston Effects Group with a team of senior effects supervisors. Winton’s most recent projects included Terminator Salvation: The Future Begins, G.I. Joe, Shutter Island and Cameron’s Avatar.

“He ran at full throttle, in both work and play, and was a man of kindness, wisdom and great humor,” Cameron said in an e-mail to The Associated Press. “He was a kid that never grew up, whose dreams were writ large on the screens of the world. I am proud to have been his friend, and I will miss him very deeply.”

As a child growing up in Virginia, Winston enjoyed drawing, puppetry and classic horror films. After graduating from the University of Virginia, Charlottesville in 1968, Winston moved to Southern California to become an actor but instead worked behind the scenes and completed a three-year makeup apprenticeship program at Walt Disney Studios in 1972.

Winston passed away at his home on Sunday evening. Winston is survived by his wife, Karen; a son, daughter, brother and four grandchildren.






New Releases For The Week Of June 16, 2008

Friday, June 20

Get Smart: PG-13. When the headquarters of the super secret U.S. spy agency Control is attacked and the identities of its agents compromised, the Chief, played by Alan Arkin (Little Miss Sunshine), has no choice but to promote his over-eager analyst Maxwell Smart, played by Steve Carell (The 40 Year Old Virgin), who has always dreamt of working in the field alongside Agent 23, played by Dwayne (formerly “The Rock”) Johnson (The Game Plan). Smart is instead partnered with the lovely and lethal Agent 99, played by Anne Hathaway (The Devil Wears Prada) as the two seek to thwart the plans of the evil organization KAOS and its diabolical head Siegfried, played by Terance Stamp (Elektra, Smallville)Warner Bros Pictures

The Love Guru: PG-13. Mike Myers (Austin Powers) stars as Pitka, a self-help guru who devotes his life to unknotting the romantic entanglements of troubled couples. As a young child, Pitka is abandoned at the gates of an ashram in India and taken in by kindly gurus. An American by birth, Pitka absorbs the lessons taught to him by his teachers and later returns to the United States to become a leading authority on spirituality and self-help. While Pitka’s methods are decidedly unorthodox, Toronto Maple Leafs team owner Jane Bullard, played by Jessica Alba (The Eye)and Coach Cherkov, played by Verne Troyer, hope to enlist his aid of he may be the only means of ensuring that the Toronto Maple Leafs win the coveted Stanley Cup. The Maple Leaf’s star Darren Roanoke’s, played by Romany Malco (Baby Mama, Weeds), estranged wife has recently begun dating L.A. Kings star Jacques Grande, played by Justin Timberlake (Black Snake Moan) in an effort to send her husband’s career into a tailspin. When Roanoke starts to falter on the ice, the whole team starts to suffer and its up to Pitka to save the day. Paramount Pictures

Kit Kittredge: An American Girl: G. Academy Award nominee Abigail Breslin (Little Miss Sunshine) stars as Kit Kittredge, a clever and resourceful a nine-year-old girl growing up in 1934 during America’s Great Depression. Based on the popular American Girl series of books. Picturehouse

Brick Lane: PG-13. At 17 Nazneen, played by Tannishtha Chatterjee, is forced into an arranged marriage with an older man. She exchanges her Bangladeshi village home for a block of flats in London’s East End. Pining for her home and her sister, she struggles to make sense of her existence and to do her duty to her husband, a man of inflated ideas who sorely tests her compliance. Told from birth that she must not fight her fate, Nazneen submits, devoting her life to raising her family and slapping down her demons of discontent. Until the day that Karim, a hot-headed local man, bursts into her life. Against a background of escalating racial tension, they embark on an affair that finally forces Nazneen to take control of her life. Sony Pictures Classics

The Escapist: Unrated. Frank Perry, played by Brian Cox (The Water Horse: Legend Of The Deep), is an institutionalized convict twelve years into a life sentence without parole. When his estranged daughter falls ill, he is determined he make peace with her before it’s too late. He develops an ingenious escape plan, and recruits a dysfunctional band of escapists – misfits with a mutual dislike for one other but united by their desire to escape their hell hole of an existence. Much of the action takes place within the tunnels, sewers and underground rivers of subterranean London. THINKFilm

Movie Web