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Stan Winston

Stan Winston has revolutionized the use of makeup effects and live-action robotics for the big screen. The Stan Winston Studio in Los Angeles has led the way in animatronics, makeup design, and creature effects, since it was established in 1983.

Winston moved to Los Angeles more than three decades ago to make his mark as an actor. Recognizing makeup as a powerful tool for creating characterizations, the Virginia native joined the Disney Studios makeup department as an apprentice. Three years later, he collected his first Emmy Award for his creature creations in the telefilm Gargoyles. The next year, Winston won his second Emmy for the makeup application that took actress Cicely Tyson to age 110 in The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman. Between 1973 and 1979, he received four more Emmy nominations for projects including Roots. He then tackled one of his first big screen assignments, The Wiz, designing all the special makeup for The Scarecrow, The Tin Man and The Cowardly Lion.

In 1981, Winston earned his first Oscar nomination for the robotic makeups applied to Andy Kaufman and Bernadette Peters in Heartbeeps. Since then, he has won four Academy Awards and nine total nominations. His Oscar-winning effects range from the extra-terrestrial monstrosities in James Cameron's Aliens to Cameron's futuristic cyborgs in Terminator 2: Judgment Day (two statues, for Best Makeup and Best Visual Effects) to the lifelike prehistoric beasts in Steven Spielberg's Jurassic Park.

Winston also collected Oscar nominations for his dinosaurs in The Lost World: Jurassic Park, his special effects designs for Tim Burton's fanciful characters in Batman Returns and Edward Scissorhands and for the bloodthirsty alien creature in John McTiernan's Predator. Winston and his team have won British Academy Awards for Aliens, Terminator 2: Judgment Day and Jurassic Park.

Other credits include the upcoming Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, What Lies Beneath, Galaxy Quest, Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo, End of Days, The Sixth Sense, Inspector Gadget, Lake Placid, Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, Small Soldiers, Paulie: A Parrot's Tale, Mouse Hunt, The Relic, The Ghost and the Darkness, The Island of Dr. Moreau, Congo, Interview With A Vampire, Predator 2, Alien Nation, Invaders from Mars, Starman, The Thing, The Terminator and W.C. and Me. Winston recently worked on Spielberg's A.I. as well as the recent remake of the H.G. Wells classic The Time Machine.

Winston made his directorial debut on the 1986 psychological drama Pumpkinhead, for which he was named Best First Time Director at the Paris Film Festival, and he received a Saturn Award nomination from the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films. He also directed The Adventures of a Gnome Named Gnorm, helmed the second unit on Cameron's The Terminator and directed Michael Jackson in the short film Ghosts, set to the music of Jackson's song Too Bad.

Winston also creates special visuals for TV commercials and music videos. He partnered with Cameron and ILM principal Scott Ross in the creation of Digital Domain, a computer effects company which provides CGI technology to the entertainment business. He collaborated again with Cameron on the design for the T2:3D attraction at Universal Studios Florida.

Note: This profile was written in or before 2003.

Stan Winston Facts

OccupationProducer, Director
BirthdayApril 7, 1946
BirthplaceRichmond, Virginia, USA
Date of deathJune 15, 2008 (age 62)

Selected Filmography

How to Make a Mold
Going To Pieces: The Rise and Fall of The Slasher Film
Cable Mechanism Basics
Pheonix Saga Part 2: The Dark Shroud
How to Design Creatures
Lionsgate Panel: SDCC 2006
How to Make a Monster Puppet
Stan Winston Studio: Behind the Scenes Vol. 1
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