Oscar-Winning Effects Wiz Stan Winston Dead at 62

A rep confirmed this afternoon hour that Stan Winston, whose special-effects efforts on Terminator 2, Aliens and Jurassic Park won Oscars and established benchmarks in their field, died Sunday night at his home in Los Angeles. He was 62 and had suffered from multiple myeloma for seven years, staying on the job all the while, contributing effects and make-up work to the likes of AI: Artificial Intelligence, Big Fish, Iron Man and overseeing the effects department on the currently filming Terminator 4.

Winston was particularly adept at practical effects, earning his first Academy Award nomination in 1981 for the otherwise unwatchable Andy Kaufman robot comedy Heartbeeps before joining James Cameron in 1984 for their first groundbreaking collaboration on The Terminator. More pioneering work followed with Aliens and Predator, with a few forgotten directorial efforts (Pumpkinhead, A Gnome Named Gnorm) added in as well; he later directed Michael Jackson in Ghosts, a long-form 1997 music video attempting (and not quite managing) to reclaim the luster of the star's Thriller period.

Returning to special effects that same year, Winston nabbed the 13th of his 14 career Oscar nods for The Lost World; his earned his last in 2001 for AI. He was one of the best — another good guy taken away in a cruel month for class acts — and he'll be missed.