- June 18, 2008 - 8:46 PM
Stan Winston, 62, a visual effects master who won four Academy Awards for breathing life into some of the most fearsome and fantastic creatures ever seen in films, died June 15 at his home in Malibu, Calif. He had multiple myeloma. A pioneer in modern screen makeup as well as cutting-edge animation, Winston was accomplished in embellishing the appearance of live actors and in constructing and operating mechanical devices so skillfully that they seemed to be alive.
Among Winston's creations was the Tyrannosaurus rex of "Jurassic Park" (1993) and many of its terrifying companions. With foam rubber, electronics and powerful motors filling in for flesh, blood and bone, these creations helped Winston win one of his Oscars. Others were for "Aliens" (1986) and "Terminator 2: Judgment Day" (1991). He won two Oscars for "Terminator 2," for visual effects and makeup.
In addition to the Oscars he won, Winston had been nominated six other times for films including "Predator" (1987), "Edward Scissorhands" (1990) and "Artificial Intelligence: AI" (2001).
Gunther S. Stent, a University of California, Berkeley, molecular biologist who was a member of the key post-war group of scientists who solved the basic mysteries of the gene and how DNA functions, died June 12 at a retirement home in Haverford, Pa. He was 84 and died of a massive staph infection that he had been fighting for several months.
Stent was a member of the so-called phage group, a cluster of notable scientists at the California Institute of Technology that also included James Watson and Francis Crick. At Caltech, he worked alongside Watson before the latter's move to Cambridge University, where he and Crick deciphered the structure of DNA. Stent had no major scientific breakthrough of his own, but his work helped prove the structure deduced by the Cambridge pair.
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