Stanley "Stan" Winston (April 7, 1946 – June 15, 2008) was an Academy Award-winning American television and film special effects supervisor, makeup 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 Predator and Alien vs. Predator franchise.

As well as designing the original 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).

For his work on Aliens, Winston won an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects (shared with Robert Skotak, John Richardson and Suzanne M. Benson), a BAFTA and a Saturn Award. For his work on Predator, he was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects and a Saturn Award, while his work on Predator 2 earned him another two Saturn Award nominations. In addition to these accolades, he won a further three Academy Awards (Best Visual Effects and Best Makeup Effects for Terminator 2: Judgement Day, Best Visual Effects for Jurassic Park), three BAFTAs, two Emmys and seven Saturn Awards, and was nominated for a further six Academy Awards. 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 lengthy battle with cancer. Following his death, numerous stars and celebrities paid tribute to him and his work, 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 lead 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.

Notable Works[]

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 principle 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.

Awards and Nominations[]

Year Film Notes
1986 Aliens Academy Awards for Best Visual Effects
BAFTA for Best Special Visual Effects
Saturn Award for Best Special Effects
1987 Predator Nominated — Academy Award for Best Visual Effects
Nominated — Saturn Award for Best Special Effects
1990 Predator 2 Nominated — Saturn Award for Best Make-Up
Nominated — Saturn Award for Best Special Effects


Year Title Functioned as Notes
Director Effects artist
1974 The Bat People RedCross GreenTick
1975 The Man in the Glass Booth RedCross GreenTick
1976 Dr. Black, Mr. Hyde RedCross GreenTick
W. C. Fields and Me RedCross GreenTick
The Terror of Dr. Chaney RedCross GreenTick
1978 The Wiz RedCross GreenTick
Zoltan, Hound of Dracula RedCross GreenTick
1980 The Island RedCross GreenTick Uncredited
The Exterminator RedCross GreenTick
1981 The Hand RedCross GreenTick
Dead and Buried RedCross GreenTick
Heartbeeps RedCross GreenTick
1982 Parasite RedCross GreenTick
White Dog RedCross GreenTick
The Thing RedCross GreenTick Uncredited
The Entity RedCross GreenTick With William H. Burton, Jr.
Friday the 13th Part III RedCross GreenTick Uncredited
1983 Something Wicked This Way Comes RedCross GreenTick Uncredited
1984 Starman RedCross GreenTick
The Terminator RedCross GreenTick With Michael Biehn, Lance Henriksen, Bill Paxton and Arnold Schwarzenegger, directed by James Cameron
1986 The Vidicator RedCross GreenTick
Invaders from Mars RedCross GreenTick
Aliens RedCross GreenTick
1987 Predator RedCross GreenTick
The Monster Squad RedCross GreenTick With Tom Woodruff, Jr.
1988 Pumpkinhead GreenTick GreenTick With Lance Henriksen and Tom Woodruff, Jr.
1989 Leviathan RedCross GreenTick
1990 Upworld GreenTick GreenTick
Edward Scissorhands RedCross GreenTick With Winona Ryder
Predator 2 RedCross GreenTick
1991 Terminator 2: Judgement Day RedCross GreenTick With Michael Biehn,[1] Jenette Goldstein, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sven-Ole Thorsen, directed by James Cameron
1992 Batman Returns RedCross GreenTick With Henry Kingi
1993 Jurassic Park RedCross GreenTick With Christopher John Fields
Shock to the System RedCross GreenTick
1994 Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles RedCross GreenTick With Nick Gillard
1995 Tank Girl RedCross GreenTick
Congo RedCross GreenTick
1996 T2 3-D: Battle Across Time GreenTick GreenTick With Arnold Schwarzenegger, co-directed by James Cameron
The Island of Dr. Moreau RedCross GreenTick With Ron Perlman
The Ghost and the Darkness RedCross GreenTick
1997 The Relic RedCross GreenTick With Brian Steele
The Lost World: Jurassic Park RedCross GreenTick With Henry Kingi, Pete Postlethwaite, Thomas Rosales, Jr. and David St. James
Mousehunt RedCross GreenTick
1998 Small Soldiers RedCross GreenTick With Archie Hahn
1999 Lake Placid RedCross GreenTick
Galaxy Quest RedCross GreenTick With Sigourney Weaver
Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me RedCross GreenTick
Instinct RedCross GreenTick
Inspector Gadget RedCross GreenTick With Michael Papajohn
End of Days RedCross GreenTick With William H. Burton, Jr., Henry Kingi, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sven-Ole Thorsen
2001 Pearl Harbor RedCross GreenTick With Ewen Bremner, Leland Orser and Eddie Yansick
Jurassic Park III RedCross GreenTick
A.I. Artificial Intelligence RedCross GreenTick With R. David Smith
2003 Darkness Falls RedCross GreenTick
Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines RedCross GreenTick With Simon Crane and Arnold Schwarzenegger
Big Fish RedCross GreenTick
2005 Constantine RedCross GreenTick With Henry Kingi and Brad Martin
Tideland RedCross GreenTick
2006 The Benchwarmers RedCross GreenTick
2008 Iron Man RedCross GreenTick With Thomas Rosales, Jr.
2009 Terminator Salvation RedCross GreenTick With Michael Papajohn and Brian Steele
G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra RedCross GreenTick
Avatar RedCross GreenTick Uncredited; with Sigourney Weaver, directed by James Cameron
2010 Shutter Island RedCross GreenTick Uncredited

Documentary Appearances[]


Stan Winston's creations[]