Famed British director Michael Winner has passed away at the age of 77. According to Winner’s wife, Geraldine, Michael died in his London home after battling an illness.
Winner has directed 30 movies in his professional career, including three Death Wish films that starred the late Charles Bronson. Winner also worked with some of the biggest names in Hollywood during their prime, including Marlon Brando, Burt Lancaster, Robert Mitchum and Faye Dunaway. Winner first gained national recognition with his Some Like It Cool film in 1962, a movie about nudists. He went on to make thrillers and action movies, including “The Mechanic,” “Scorpio” and the bloody “Death Wish” series.
Winner never took criticism seriously either. He once famously said “If you want art, don’t mess about with movies. Buy a Picasso.”
Winner was born in London in 1935 and started writing a column for a local newspaper by the time he was 14, and as a student edited the Cambridge University newspaper, Varsity. He was a film critic for a short while before he started his film career, beginning with shorts and documentaries before moving on to full length films. A lover of the high life who collected antiques and rare first editions, Winner had a second career as restaurant critic with the long-running “Winner’s Dinners” column in the Sunday Times newspaper.
Winner began having health problems in 2007 after getting a bacterial infection from bad oysters. He wrote his final column in December of that year, but refused to say goodbye forever.