Results 1 to 12 of 12

Thread: Director Michael Winner dead at age 77

  1. #1
    Elite Member HWBL's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    18,173

    Default Director Michael Winner dead at age 77

    Source: Daily Mail

    BREAKING NEWS: Film director, national treasure (and no mean restaurant critic) Michael Winner dies aged 77

    Film director and national treasure Michael Winner has died aged 77, it was revealed today.

    His wife Geraldine confirmed that he had passed away at his home in Kensington, west London, after a long battle with liver disease.

    He made more than 30 films over a career which spanned seven decades, including the blockbuster Death Wish series.

    As well as his films, he was known for his witty restaurant reviews and larger-than-life personality.

    Most recently Winner appeared in adverts for insurance company Esure. The adverts spawned the catchphrase, 'Calm Down dear, it's only a commercial'.

    Winner revealed in the summer that he was researching the possibility of assisted suicide after doctors told him he had less than two years to live.

    His health scares in the past included a bacterial infection he got from eating oyster in Barbados, and food poisoning brought on by eating steak tartare four days in a row.

    Paying tribute to her husband Mrs Winner, a former dancer, said in a statement: 'Michael was a wonderful man, brilliant, funny and generous. A light has gone out in my life.'

    The couple first met in 1957, when he was 21 and she was 16, but married only in 2011 after a decades-long relationship.

    In a film career which spanned more than 50 years, he worked with some of the biggest stars in Hollywood, including Marlon Brando, Robert Mitchum and Faye Dunaway.

    He later reinvented himself as a restaurant critic, writing about food in his typically flamboyant style in his Winner's Dinners column for the Sunday Times, which he gave up only last month.

    Winner, whose appearance in adverts for motor insurance coined the catchphrase 'Calm down dear, it's only a commercial', also founded and funded the Police Memorial Trust following the murder of WPC Yvonne Fletcher outside the Libyan embassy in London in 1984.

    More than 50 officers have been honoured by the trust at sites across the country.

    The initiative led to a National Police Memorial being erected in the Mall in central London.

    Steve Lloyd, trust manager and vice-chairman of the Police Roll of Honour Trust, said: 'Michael had been ill for some time, but this is still a sad loss.

    'Michael was a keen supporter of police charities and in particular was the founder of the project that let to the National Police Memorial being placed in the Mall in London.

    'There is no doubt that Michael's work will be continued and we at the Trust pass on our sympathies to his family at this sad time.

    'The work he did on behalf of the policing family brought a lot of comfort to those he recognised.'

    Hundreds of stars and other well-wishers took to Twitter within minutes to pay tribute to the man who has been hailed as a national treasure.

    'Sorry to hear of Michael Winner's passing. A true character,' Trainspotting author Irvine Welsh wrote. 'Sheperton will be duller place to visit without prospect of running into him.'

    Fellow restaurant critic Jay Rayner added: 'RIP Michael Winner. He could be absurd and made some lousy films. But he could also be a rather lovely man. Winner made life more interesting.'

    Actor Jack Dee wrote: 'Interviewed Winner once. Lived next door to Jimmy Page. Told me he often sees Page coming back from Waitrose, That ruined it for me.'

    Martin Kemp, an actor who starred in EastEnders, wrote: 'RIP Michael Winner... I will never forget our meetings... Loss of a great character!'

    Television presenter and former tennis ace, Andrew Castle said: 'I am very sorry to hear of the death of Michael Winner. He had charisma and a wicked wit. Sadly missed by most.'

    'Oh - am sad about Michael Winner- I worked with him a few times and he always made me laugh - he reminded me of my Dad', wrote comedian and actor Jenny Eclair.

    And Samuel West wrote: 'Michael Winner's first film was a travelogue called "This is Belgium". The budget was so tight that much of it was shot in East Grinstead.'

    MICHAEL WINNER: BON VIVEUR WHO COULDN'T BE IGNORED

    Michael Winner was a flamboyant, larger-than-life character who could never be accused of being a shrinking violet.

    He was a multi-millionaire, totally unashamed of his wealth, and a man who revelled in expensive holidays - only too happy to be photographed romping on tropical beaches with bikini-clad ladies less than half his age.

    Winner was a cigar-chomping bon viveur, who occasionally delighted in pricking the pompous with a few acerbic comments.

    He developed into an argumentative and often infuriating newspaper columnist, as well as an uncompromising restaurant critic.

    Nor was he a man who could be ignored - Winner made sure of that himself.

    He also took a strong line on law and order. Winner founded the Police Memorial Trust following the murder of WPc Yvonne Fletcher outside the Libyan embassy in London in 1984.

    His very flamboyance often tended to disguise his skill as a film director. His films were usually violent and invariably controversial and sometimes said to be in bad taste, particularly his most famous offerings, the Death Wish series.

    The films were usually attacked by the critics but, far more importantly for him, they attracted filmgoers in their thousands.

    Michael Robert Winner was born on October 30 1935, the only child of a couple of Russian emigre stock.

    His father was a millionaire property developer and his mother, as colourful a character as himself, was an inveterate gambler who lost millions in the casinos in Cannes.

    At the age of 13, the young Winner was already showing an entrepreneurial streak.

    He started to write a showbusiness column called Michael Winner's Show Talk, syndicated to 35 local papers.

    He attended St Christopher's School, Letchworth, and was asked to leave because he was paying another boy to clean his room.

    He avoided National Service by pretending to be homosexual, and was immediately classed as 'unfit for military service'.

    Winner went to Downing College, Cambridge, where he read economics and law, and joined the BBC during a college vacation with the job of knocking on stars' doors to tell them the director was waiting.

    He later said of that period: 'Fortunately the BBC turned me down for the producers' course, otherwise I'd still be there making art films about socialists in Woking.'

    Whatever his abilities as a film director, Winner's great skill was as a publicity manipulator - he was always able to make headlines.

    Indeed, just before he went into hospital for triple heart bypass surgery in 1993, he was making headlines because of his involvement with the opposite sex.

    Former girlfriends Catherine Neilson and Jenny Seagrove were more than two decades his junior.

    Winner was accused of engineering the split with Seagrove to achieve maximum publicity for his latest film.

    However true that was, there was no doubt he knew how to hold media attention - and his romantic liaisons did have a habit of hitting the headlines just as a new film was released.

    When Appointment With Death came out in 1988, he admitted he had found love on the set with his then leading lady, Seagrove.

    He serenaded her on her 30th birthday with a 10-piece band playing Happy Birthday, he revealed coyly.

    For A Chorus Of Disapproval the following year, 'private' pictures of her dressed in skimpy underwear for her role as a nymphomaniac mysteriously vanished from his home and appeared in newspapers.

    There were no complaints from Winner.

    He also made headlines when Bullseye came out in 1990 (this was an unusual Winner film because it was a comedy rather than a vigilante piece, starring Michael Caine and Roger Moore).

    Winner made news once again when he spotted two old ladies being mugged while out jogging and gave chase. Mysteriously, the muggers got away.

    But he was best known for his Death Wish films. When he offered Charles Bronson the lead role about a hero who kills citizens, Bronson said: 'Oh, I'd like to do that.'

    'Play the role?' asked Winner. 'No, shoot muggers,' said Bronson.

    He insisted on casting Julie Christie in West 11, a thriller set in bedsitterland with Diana Dors in 1963, against the producer's advice. It won her an Oscar.

    He also worked with Orson Welles and Oliver Reed on I'll Never Forget What's 'is Name and again with Reed on Hannibal Brooks. In all, he made more than 30 films, becoming one of the most successful British directors of his generation.

    The films were not exactly art - but they made Winner a fortune and helped him collect paintings. His hobbies included art collection (he had a Canaletto), antiques and book illustrations.

    He prided himself on his knack with women, and despite his six-year relationship with Seagrove, he confessed he had been unfaithful during their affair with Grange Hill actress Simone Hyams.

    But Winner knew how to handle women. It involved 'a certain amount of effort', he admitted.

    Back in 1970 he said: 'Ideally, the average woman needs 25 hours attention a day and if she could get a bit more she'd try for that. It kills her if she hears a derogatory remark about her dress or hair.'

    Winner finally gave up his bachelorhood when he became engaged to Geraldine Lynton-Edwards in 2007.

    They had known each other since 1957 when she was a 16-year-old ballet dancer and actress.

    He said at the time: 'I have told Geraldine that it took me 72 years to get engaged so she's not to hold her breath for the marriage.'

    But they did finally get married, in September 2011, with Michael Caine and his wife Shakira as witnesses.

    Winner said: 'I've had 130 lovers so I've had a good run. Geraldine makes up for all of them.'

    He once said: 'I'm not scared about dying, that's fairly speedy. But I do fear remaining alive, crippled.'

    He was told to shed four stone from his 15-stone frame but he found it difficult, especially as he did restaurant reviews for the Sunday Times.

    He was never slow to complain in that role and became the scourge of restaurateurs, although he did give credit where he thought it was due.

    'An OBE is what you get if you clean the toilets well at King's Cross station'

    - Winner declining the offer of an OBE in 2006


    Other roles included narrating a True Crimes series, a job close to his heart because he had robust views on law and order, as is shown by his founding of the Police Memorial Trust which honours policemen killed in the line of duty.

    When, in 1999, the then foreign secretary, Robin Cook, announced that the United Kingdom was restoring full diplmatic links with Libya, 15 years after the murder of WPc Fletcher, Winner described that decision as 'a joke'.

    He said of the agreement of the Libyans to pay substantial cooperation to the Fletcher family and to cooperate in the investigation to find her killer: 'The Libyans know exactly who killed her. They have known that from the very second she was shot.

    'Mr Cook is taking an extraordinary position on this. He seems to be saying that if you pay some money for murdering a British citizen, then you are allowed back into society to be seen as a normal person.'

    In 2006, it emerged that Winner had been offered an OBE in the Queen's 80th Birthday Honours List for his part in campaigning for the Police Memorial Trust.

    Winner declined the honour, remarking: 'An OBE is what you get if you clean the toilets well at King's Cross station.'

    Winner suffered another health scare in February 2003. He spent two nights in the Cromwell Hospital, London, as the result of a heart condition.

    In 2006, he was to embark on a diet which substantially reduced his corpulent figure.

    Ultimately, he wrote a book entitled The Fat Pig Diet in which he claimed to have reduced from nearly 16 stone to 12 stone on caviar, chocolate cake and Doritos.

    The simple message he was putting across was: 'Eat what you like - but eat less of it.'

    Winner also did TV commercials for the insurance company Esure, coining the slogan: 'Calm down, it's only a commercial.'

    Early in 2007 he was taken seriously ill during his annual holiday in Barbados.

    A medication to which he was allergic brought up huge blood blisters on his left leg. He was flown home by air ambulance, amid threats that the leg might have to be amputated.

    Winner said he would rather die than have that happen. But he recovered. Home was a 46-room mansion in Kensington likened to 'the home of a country bishop who's won the pools'.

    It was a home as flamboyant as its occupant.
    Warren Beatty: actor, director, writer, producer.

    ***** celeb

  2. #2
    Elite Member MohandasKGanja's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Wherever my kids are
    Posts
    25,723

    Default

    He directed one of the most disturbing, cool horror movies of all time: "The Sentinel". And for a low-budget-looking horror movie, it had a ton of good actors - Burgess Meredith, Chris Sarandon, Christopher Walken, Eli Wallach, Sylvia Miles, Beverly D'Angelo, Jose Ferrer, Jerry Orbach, Martin Balsam.

  3. #3
    Elite Member yanna's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    9,774

    Default

    OMG the Death Wish series!!! Those Charles Bronson revenge movies practically defined my childhood I loved them to bits! Getting some serious nostalgia now, might look them up and rewatch.

    He sounds like quite a character. Good for him for living his life to the fullest.

    Bonus commercial:

    I love his face on 0:34
    What if Superman is psychotic and everyone can see that he's Clark Kent but they just play along not to set him off?

  4. #4
    Elite Member Sarzy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    England
    Posts
    14,400

    Default

    He was quite a character! RIP.

  5. #5
    Elite Member MohandasKGanja's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Wherever my kids are
    Posts
    25,723

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by yanna View Post
    OMG the Death Wish series!!! Those Charles Bronson revenge movies practically defined my childhood I loved them to bits! Getting some serious nostalgia now, might look them up and rewatch.

    He sounds like quite a character. Good for him for living his life to the fullest.

    Bonus commercial:

    I love his face on 0:34
    Do you remember that Jeff Goldblum was one of the murderous thugs in the first Death Wish movie?

    Also, just checked in and saw that Denzel Washington was an uncredited mugger in that movie, too.

  6. #6
    Elite Member Air Quotes's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Seattle, Washington
    Posts
    14,066

    Default

    Death Wish 3 is one of my all time favorite cheese classics! RIP Winner.
    "A true whore just loves her life." - Sluce

  7. #7
    Elite Member yanna's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    9,774

    Default

    I had no clue, Mohandas! Will twist the bf's arm to watch it tonight in honour of Winner!
    What if Superman is psychotic and everyone can see that he's Clark Kent but they just play along not to set him off?

  8. #8
    Elite Member MohandasKGanja's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Wherever my kids are
    Posts
    25,723

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by yanna View Post
    I had no clue, Mohandas! Will twist the bf's arm to watch it tonight in honour of Winner!
    Hoping I'm not spoiling anything, Yanna, but here is Denzel Washington:


    Jeff Goldblum:


    Lawrence Hilton ("Boom Boom Washington" from Welcom Back Kotter) Jacobs:


    Christopher "Nigel Tufnel" Guest:

  9. #9
    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Acerbia
    Posts
    33,487

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MohandasKGanja View Post
    He directed one of the most disturbing, cool horror movies of all time: "The Sentinel". And for a low-budget-looking horror movie, it had a ton of good actors - Burgess Meredith, Chris Sarandon, Christopher Walken, Eli Wallach, Sylvia Miles, Beverly D'Angelo, Jose Ferrer, Jerry Orbach, Martin Balsam.
    that's a great little horror flick. the building is on montague street, every time i pass that way i look for it
    It's no longer a dog whistle, it's a fucking trombone


    All of God's children are not beautiful. Most of God's children are, in fact, barely presentable.


    If I wanted the government in my womb I'd fuck a Senator

  10. #10
    Elite Member MohandasKGanja's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Wherever my kids are
    Posts
    25,723

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by witchcurlgirl View Post
    that's a great little horror flick. the building is on montague street, every time i pass that way i look for it
    i figured you might know something about it.

    Before today, I always figured that Michael Winner was an American director who lived in New York - pretty much based on Death Wish and the Sentinel. To me, the films (especially, the Sentinel) seemed to make more use of NY-based actors than other films.

  11. #11
    Elite Member gas_chick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    37,880

    Default

    Love the Death Wish series! RIP!
    I am going to come and burn the fucking house down... but you will blow me first."

  12. #12
    Elite Member yanna's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    9,774

    Default

    Not spoiling anything at all, Mohandas. Might have drooled over young Jeff Goldblum a bit though I find him hot at any age. And that afro on Denzel is just too funny!
    What if Superman is psychotic and everyone can see that he's Clark Kent but they just play along not to set him off?

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Great film director, Sidney Lumet, dead at 86
    By Chalet in forum Latest Gossip
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: April 12th, 2011, 04:04 PM
  2. 13 Going on 30 Director Dead at 49
    By fgg in forum Latest Gossip
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: February 28th, 2011, 07:31 PM
  3. Arthur Penn, director, dead at 88
    By HWBL in forum Television and Movies
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: September 30th, 2010, 03:10 AM
  4. Michael Cimino, director of The Deer Hunter
    By Chalet in forum Plastic Surgery
    Replies: 26
    Last Post: January 23rd, 2009, 03:34 PM
  5. Replies: 7
    Last Post: October 25th, 2007, 10:58 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •