As Chud and many other sites have already reported, Stan Winston, a true giant of the special effects industry and film making in general, passed away last night at age 62 (like Tim Russert last week, this was much, much too soon).  As the L.A. Times has begun to report (via their blogger Sheigh Crabtree) Winston lost his years long battle with multiple myeloma.

As these things tend to come in threes (celebrity deaths, famous deaths, etc.), we can only guess who’s next… but frankly, I’m not willing to play the dead pool on it… From my point of view, Death can either take a holiday and lay off, or find some people much more deserving of shuffling off this mortal coil than folks like Winston and Russert.  Cinema still needs Winston, a guy who was a true innovator and by all accounts a heckuva nice guy… while the political world still needs Russert, someone with the verve, style and common sense to guide us through this next general election.

This is truly the showbiz industry equivalent of someone like Ray Harryhausen passing (please, don’t Ray… stay around a while longer).  It’s a shock for cinemaphiles and those who love special effects, and his loss will be felt for years to come, though those he’s trained, inspired and motivated will saunter onward… some utilizing his techniques, but never quite his style.