Special visual effects and make-up visionary Stan Winston died on Sunday in his home in Malibu, California, surrounded by his family.
Winston had been suffering a seven-year-long struggle with multiple myeloma. He was 62.
Winston had a tremendously successful life and influential impact on the film industry, in a career that spanned roughly four decades. He brought to life some of the most iconic movie monsters and creatures, most notably for those featured in Jurassic Park, Aliens, and Terminator 2. He also collaborated with Tim Burton, on Edward Scissorhands, Batman Returns, and Big Fish. Burton spoke very highly of Winston.
Richard Corliss of Time Magazine wrote about Winston. In the recent article, he included some comments on his collaborations with Mr. Burton, and thus offering a sense of Stan Winston's work as a whole:
"Yet he wasn't out simply to scare the audience; he wanted to create complex, often sympathetic figures— to enlighten us about the dark side. "I don't do special effects," he once said. "I do characters." His Edward Scissorhands character, elaborated on from director Tim Burton's sketches, puts the poignancy right in that white, sweet, baleful, soulful face. The Penguin, played by Danny DeVito in Burton's Batman Returns, is an ugly, beaky thing that no kid could mistake for having happy feet; yet beneath his comic rage there's an abandoned child's ache, palpable and, thanks to Winston, visible."
You can read the rest of the article here.
Stan Winston may have passed on too soon, but his impact on the film industry will certainly not fade away any time in the near future. Winston reportedly always had a vibrant enthusiasm for his work. That artistic passion certainly shows in his iconic, unforgettable creations.
Rest in peace, Stan.
A couple of Mr. Winston's familiar creations:
Danny DeVito as The Penguin in Batman Returns (1992)