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I’m sorry to report that Stan Winston died of myeloma at the young age of 62, and you will be too when you learn he’s the “creature creator” behind the aliens of Aliens, the terminators of the Terminator, the predator of The Predator, and the dinosaurs of Jurassic Park (still better-looking than comparable beasts 15 years later). Winston was the second special-effects artist to be honored with a star on the Hollywood walk of fame, and won a total of four Academy Awards for his work.

Of late Winston contributed to summer blockbusters Iron Man and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, and also to James Cameron’s upcoming 3-D feature, Avatar. According to, Winston was to be visual-effects coordinator for the fourth installment of Jurassic Park, rumored to begin shooting next year.

Winston began as an actor, but when no work came his way, he began to study in Walt Disney’s makeup department. Though he is generally credited for special effects, Winston said, “I don’t do special effects. I do characters. I do creatures.”

See the next generation of innovators at this weekend’s San Antonio Film Festival, June 19-22. Get the scuttlebutt at XO.