Winner died on Monday at his London home
January 23, 2013 – Death Wish director Michael Winner has died at 77. The flamboyant British director of many films was best known for the series of Death Wish movies he directed during the ’70 and ‘80s. Winner died on Monday at his London home. Geraldine, his wife, announced that Winner had died in a prepared statement the family released to the media.
Recently Winner reinvented himself into a restaurant critic for the Sunday Times in London. Last summer it was revealed that Winner was suffering from liver and heart problems and he was given 18 months to live by his doctors.
Winner worked in the movie industry for 40 years and directed over 30 feature films, which included the very successful Charles Bronson Death Wish movies. Bronson starred as a vigilante who avenged the murders of his family.
Winner also worked with some of Hollywood’s biggest stars including Robert Mitchum, Marlon Brando, and the ever-popular Faye Dunaway. However, the success he earned was overshadowed by a divisive image he carried in his homeland as being a bon viveur, who never worried about hiding his wealth.
In his obituary in one London daily, he was described as flamboyant, yet boorish and his own worst enemy. Winner was born in 1935 in London and at 14 was writing an entertainment column. He studied at Cambridge and in 1956 entered the movie world full time starting with short films and documentaries.
Winner focused during the 1960s on comedies and worked with Oliver Reed in two successful ones. In the ‘70s, he moved to crime movies with The Mechanic and the Death Wish series.
The original Death Wish movie proved to be controversial because of the urban violence it portrayed, but Winner defended it anyway since he knew that movie is what he would be remembered for.