You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Helmer Michael Winner dies at 77

British filmmaker directed 'Death Wish'


British helmer Michael Winner, best-known for his “Death Wish” franchise starring Charles Bronson, died Monday at his home in Kensington, London. He was 77.

Winner revealed last summer that specialists had given him 18 months to live due to heart and liver problems.

Winner, who also produced, scripted and edited many of his films, will be best remembered for helming the controversial 1974 revenge thriller “Death Wish” and the first two of its sequels in 1982 and 1985. In a 2012 interview with street newspaper The Big Issue the director admitted, “When I die, it’s going to be ‘Death Wish director dies.’ I don’t mind though. ‘Death Wish’ was an epoch-making film.”

The series reteamed Winner with Bronson, who had worked with him on “Chato’s Land” and “The Mechanic” (both 1972) and “The Stone Killer” (1973).

The prolific filmmaker, who made 30 of his 33 films in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, worked with film legends including Burt Lancaster, Orson Welles, James Coburn, Sophia Loren, Marlon Brando, Ava Gardner, Robert Mitchum and James Stewart.

Born in London to George and Helen Winner, who were Russian and Polish respectivel, Winner knew that he wanted to work in film from an early age.

Starting out in television Winner helmed his first feature in 1960 with “Shoot to Kill,” about a showbiz reporter caught up in political intrigue, which he also scripted.

In 1964 he worked with Oliver Reed on “The System,” the first of six collaborations with the actor including 1969 satire “Hannibal Brooks,” which brought him Hollywood attention.

Winner’s last film was crime comedy “Parting Shots” in 1998.

A bon vivant and raconteur, he subsequently became better known in Blighty for his long-running restaurant column in the Sunday Times, which he wrote until Dec. 2, and for his frequent TV appearances including in adverts for insurance company esure which he also directed.

He is survived by his wife, Geraldine.

More Scene

  • Naomi Scott Talks Rebooting Princess Jasmine

    'Aladdin': Naomi Scott on Why Her Princess Jasmine Needed Nasim Pedrad's New Character

    Call Naomi Scott the queen of the reboot – or at least, the princess. The 26-year-old actress is taking on the role of Princess Jasmine in Disney’s live-action remake of “Aladdin,” but it’s not her first time jumping into a role that’s already been well-established. Audiences may recognize Scott from 2017’s “Power Rangers” update, where [...]

  • Inside amfAR's Cannes Gala

    Inside amfAR's Cannes Gala: Mariah Carey, Kendall Jenner and Tiffany Trump

    Kendall Jenner caused a commotion when she arrived. Tiffany Trump went unrecognized until a member of the press pointed her out as she made her way down the carpet. And Mariah Carey flew in to perform a couple of songs. Welcome to this year’s AmfAR Gala Cannes, the AIDS organization’s annual — and largest — [...]

  • Lauren Ash44th Annual Gracie Awards, Show,

    Politics and New Abortion Ban Laws Dominate 2019 Gracie Awards

    Female empowerment was in the air Tuesday night as showrunners, writers and performers gathered at the 44th annual Gracie Awards to celebrate women breaking barriers and shattering glass ceilings within the entertainment industry. Sandra Oh, Patricia Arquette, Rachel Maddow and Connie Britton were among the honorees at the ceremony, which took place at the Beverly [...]

  • Sacha Baron Cohen

    Why Sacha Baron Cohen Credits Donald Trump for ‘Who Is America?’

    Over the course of history, comedians have shared their take on current events with biting commentary on everything from class and gender to fashion and politics, and the current presidential administration is definitely no exception — with President Donald Trump regularly lampooned on shows like “Saturday Night Live” and by late-night TV hosts. But when [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content