Page last updated at 10:01 GMT, Tuesday, 17 June 2008 11:01 UK

Film special effects pioneer dies

Stan Winston
Stan Winston breathed life into Jurassic Park's dinosaurs

Oscar-winning special effects expert Stan Winston, who created the creatures in films including Aliens and Jurassic Park, has died at the age of 62.

Winston, who also made the robots in Terminator, died at home in California surrounded by family on Sunday.

The film veteran had been battling multiple myeloma, a plasma cell cancer, for seven years, a representative of the Stan Winston Studio said.

He had worked with Steven Spielberg, James Cameron and Tim Burton.

During his 40-year career, he became a pioneer of merging real-world effects with computer imaging.

California governor and former Terminator star Arnold Schwarzenegger said: "The entertainment industry has lost a genius, and I lost one of my best friends.

Stan Winston creating a Jurassic Park dinosaur
Best visual effects: Jurassic Park (1994)
Best visual effects: Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1993)
Best make-up: Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1993)
Best visual effects: Aliens (1986)

"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 Oscars for his work on Aliens, Terminator 2: Judgment Day and Jurassic Park.

He also received Oscar nominations for Batman Returns, Edward Scissorhands, The Lost World: Jurassic Park, AI, Predator and Heartbeeps.

Winston had recently worked on director Jon Favreau's box office success Iron Man, starring Robert Downey Jr and Gwyneth Paltrow.

Favreau said: "He was experienced and helped guide me while never losing his childlike enthusiasm.

"He was the king of integrating practical effects with CGI, never losing his relevance in an ever-changing industry."

The director added that he was proud to have worked with Winston and had been 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."

Robert Downey Jr in Iron Man
Hollywood has lost a shining star
Iron Man director John Favreau

Winston's most recent film projects included Terminator Salvation: The Future Begins, GI Joe, Shutter Island and the futuristic Avatar, for which he reunited with Aliens director James Cameron.

Cameron paid tribute, saying: "He ran at full throttle, in both work and play, and was a man of kindness, wisdom and great humour.

"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."

Winston grew up in Virginia, where he enjoyed classic horror films, drawing and puppetry.

He graduated from the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, in 1968 and tried his hand as an actor before gravitating towards working behind the scenes.

He completed a three-year make-up apprenticeship at Walt Disney Studios in 1972.

Winston is survived by his wife Karen, a son, daughter, brother and four grandchildren.

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