Stan Winston, the Oscar-winning special-effects artist who created the animatronic dinosaurs in “Jurassic Park,” the slimy 14-foot alien queen in “Aliens” and the liquid-metal assassin in “Terminator 2,” died Sunday at his home in Malibu, Calif. He was 62.
The cause was multiple bone-marrow tumors, said a spokesman for Stan Winston Studio.
Although he created some of the most famous special effects in movie history, Winston insisted that he cared less about technical wizardry than about storytelling. “It's not about technology,” he once said. “It's about writers writing wonderful stories with fantastic characters and me being able to create a visual image that's beyond what you would expect.”
Courtesy of Winston, the unexpected leapt from the screen in dozens of films. He created the extraterrestrial assassin who hunts Arnold Schwarzenegger in “Predator,” the hands of “Edward Scissorhands” and the Penguin (from the neck up) in “Batman Returns.”
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Winston won four Oscars for his film work and, in 2001, became the first special-effects artist to receive a star on Hollywood Boulevard.
As a child, Winston was fascinated with puppets, monster movies and special effects. He got an art degree at the University of Virginia, then set out for Hollywood.
After seeing “Planet of the Apes,” he entered a Disney apprenticeship program and became a makeup artist in 1972. His work on the television movie “Gargoyles” won him an Emmy Award, as did his makeup effects for “The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman,” in which the title character ages from 19 to 110.
In the early 1980s, Winston entered into a collaboration with James Cameron, the director of the “Terminator” films and “Aliens.” His creepy exoskeleton effect for the villain in the first “Terminator” film inspired a host of imitations.
His second collaboration with Cameron, on “Aliens,” earned him his first Academy Award, in 1986. He would receive three more: two for “Terminator 2: Judgment Day and one for “Jurassic Park.”
More recently, he contributed to “Iron Man” and “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.”