Horror film The Sentinel (1977) and Firepower (1979) were both box office failures, so Winner repeated the Death Wish idea with a sequel
In 2006, Winner controversially turned down the
Death Wish 2 (1982). It has an almost identical storyline and an amazing shootout scene in San Pedro park.
Winner has recently been seen in a series of TV adverts for the insurance firm 'esure', and has found a new catchphrase in "Calm down dear, it's a commercial".
Winner's remaining films were nothing special, although A Chorus of Disapproval (1988) was written by Alan Ayckbourn
The third film of the series, Death Wish 3 came in 1985 with the action ratched up a few notches with machine guns and rocket launchers making for an extremely violent production.
During the mid-1970s, Michael Winner had much success directing the vigilante film Death Wish (1974) which was a box-office success. Charles Bronson plays the lead character Paul Kersey, a New York architect whose life is changed when his wife and daughter are attacked in their apartment. Kersey spends time away in Arizona, acquires a gun and learns how to use it, then returns to New York as a killing vigilante in search of justice, as he sees it.
Another successful film for Winner, The Games (1970), tells the story of four marathon runners
It was at this time that Michael Winner was making some of his best films - the comedy thriller The Jokers (1967) and Hannibal Brooks (1969) with Oliver Reed in the title role as a British prisoner of war
Winner was a somewhat rebellious director of 'B movies' like Some Like It Cool (1961) and Out Of The Shadow (1961). By 1963, he was becoming better known in mainstream cinema, directing films like The System (1964) which starred Oliver Reed, who was to be in three of Winner's next four films.
After university, Winner went into BBC television as a assistant director, having already written deveral screenplays. His first film credit as a director was in a story he wrote himself Shoot To Kill (1960).
Michael Winner was born in London in 1935, into a very wealthy Jewish family. His father was into property dealing and his mother did her best to gamble away much of the family's money! He went to a Quaker boarding school, St Christopher's School in Letchworth, before
His autobiography Winner Takes All was published in 2006. He has also written a diet book called FAT Pig Diet, published in 2007, after he was ordered by doctors to lose a lot of weight in order to save his life.
Michael Winner's colourful personal life is well known. He lives in a grandiose Victorian house in Melbury Road, Kensington, which was once owned by the artist Sir Luke Fildes. He expects to leave the house to the nation as a museum.
He has a reputation for 'partnering' many women including actresses Joan Collins, Sophia Loren and Jenny Seagrove who walked out on him after six years. He was recently engaged to Geraldine Lynton-Edwards having known her for over 40 years.
He had shown his writing ability as a fourteen year old, with a regular column in the 'Kensington Post', Michael Winner's Showbiz Gossip. This newspaper job allowed him to meet, and interview, a number of the leading film personalities of the day, including James Stewart and Marlene Dietrich.
going to Downing College, Cambridge where he studied law and economics. He also edited the student newspaper 'The Varsity'.
escaping the Nazis, with
preparing for the Olympic Games, and starred Ryan O'Neal and Sam Elliott.
an elephant in tow!
and had a star-studded cast that included Anthony Hopkins,
Jeremy Irons and Richard Briers.
Michael Winner as a young director
He also signed my copy of his autobiography. When he had written his name, he asked me if I wanted him to draw a head. I wasn't really sure what he meant but I said "Yes, please," and you can see the result below!
Michael Winner's house in Kensington
I met the film director Michael Winner at Autographica in London in June 2006. He signed two photographs, one dedicated to me of him in his director's chair, and another one of him with Charles Bronson during the making of Death Wish 3.
Charles Bronson during the making of Death Wish 3
Michael Winner in two of his 'esure' commercials
Michael Winner signed this photo for me
Michael Winner signed this photo for me. It shows him with
Michael Winner at his house in Kensington
Michael Winner in his 'film' room
Michael Winner with his book
Fat Pig Diet
Michael Winner with his autobiography
Winner Takes All
Winner Takes All
Michael Winner signed my copy of his autobiography
Be sure to read the interviews with Paul Sutton and Catherine Deveney (see the two 'links' below) - they give a good insight into what this man is like!!
Michael Winner (1935 - 2013)
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OBE (intended for his work in setting up the Police Memorial Fund after WPC Yvonne Fletcher was murdered in 1984) saying that "an OBE is what you get if you clean the toilets well at Kings Cross Station".
Michael Winner on BBC1's Celebrity Mastermind (January 2010)
Michael Winner died on 21st January 2013.