Stanley "Stan" Winston (April 7, 1946 – June 15, 2008) was an American television and film special effects supervisor, wakeup artist and director who designed the Predator creature for the 1987 film Predator. His initial design has since been adapted, modified and re-envisioned by others (and himself) for the subsequent movies, video games and other media of the Alien and Alien vs. Predator franchise.
As well as designing the Predator, Winston's effects studio provided the costume and animatronic effects for Predator, as well as the 1986 film Aliens and the 1990 film Predator 2. Other notable films Winston worked on include The Terminator (1984), Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991), Batman Returns (1992), Jurassic Park (1993) and Iron Man (2008).
Winston won four Academy Awards (Best Visual Effects for Aliens, Terminator 2: Judgement Day and Jurassic Park, Best Makeup for Terminator 2: Judgement Day) and was nominated for a further six. He also won three BAFTAs and two Emmys. For his work on Aliens, he won an Academy Award, a BAFTA and a Saturn Award, and for his work on Predator he was nominated for an Academy Award and a Saturn Award. His work on Predator 2 earned him a further Saturn Award nomination. Winston and his effects studio have been credited with creating some of the most iconic animatronic creatures and villains ever to appear in feature films, including the Terminator endoskeletons from the Terminator franchise, the dinosaurs from the Jurassic Park franchise, the Alien Queen from Aliens and the Predators from the Predator franchise. Winston shared a close relationship with Aliens director James Cameron, working on no less than four of his movies (The Terminator, Aliens, Terminator 2: Judgement Day and Avatar).
Winston passed away in 2008 after a length battle with cancer. Following his death, numerous stars and celebrities paid tribute to Winston, including Arnold Schwarzenegger, who made a public speech regarding Winston's passing, and director Jon Favreau, who dedicated his Spike TV Scream Award to Winston upon receiving the award for Best Sci-Fi Movie for Iron Man. Terminator Salvation begins and ends its credits with a dedication to Winston. After his death, his four supervisors (Shane Mahan, John Rosengrant, Alan Scott and Lindsay Macgowan) founded and built their own effects studio, Legacy Effects, aptly named to honor Winston's memory.
Winston is often cited as one of the greatest practical special effects artists in history, and contributed to several iconic blockbuster effects films, including the first four Terminator films (although the last, Terminator Salvation, was completed after his death) and the Universal Studios attraction T2 3-D: Battle Across Time, Batman Returns and the first three Jurassic Park films. His most notable creations include the Terminator endoskeleton and cyborg prosthetic effects for star Arnold Schwarzenegger in The Terminator, the full-size Queen animatronic in Aliens, the Jungle Hunter in Predator and the City Hunter in Predator 2, the liquid metal prosthetics used in Terminator 2: Judgement Day and the animatronic dinosaurs in the Jurassic Park series, including the full-size Tyrannosaurs Rex.
Winston also worked on many other notable effects movies, including John Carpenter's The Thing (where Winston was called in to assist the film's effects designer Rob Botin, who found himself unable to meet the film's demanding effects requirements), The Monster Squad (where Winston's studio designed updated versions of classic Hammer Horror monsters), Edward Scissorhands, Congo, The Relic, Small Soldiers, Lake Placid, A.I. Artificial Intelligence, Stephen Spielberg's War of the Worlds and Iron Man.