Robert Michael Winner was a British filmmaker, writer, and media personality.
54 Facts About Michael Winner
Michael Winner is known for directing numerous action, thriller, and black comedy films in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, including several collaborations with actors Oliver Reed and Charles Bronson.
Michael Winner was known as a media personality in the United Kingdom, appearing regularly on television talk programmes and publishing a restaurant review column for The Sunday Times.
Michael Winner was a founder of the Police Memorial Trust.
Michael Winner was born at 40, Belsize Grove, Belsize Park, Hampstead, London, England, only child of Jewish parents George Joseph Michael Winner, of Russian-Jewish origin, and Helen, of Polish-Jewish parentage.
George Michael Winner was a businessman and company director responsible for running a branch of the Michael Winner's clothing chain founded by his father, who became a naturalized British citizen in 1910.
Michael Winner was educated at St Christopher School, Letchworth, and Downing College, Cambridge, where he read law and economics.
Michael Winner edited the university's student newspaper, Varsity, and was the youngest ever editor up to that time, both in age and in terms of his university career.
Michael Winner directed his first travelogue, This is Belgium, which was largely shot on location in East Grinstead.
Michael Winner went on to direct the shorts Danger, Women at Work and Watch the Birdie, and was Associate Producer on Floating Fortress, produced by Harold Baim.
Michael Winner followed this with Climb Up the Wall, which was essentially a series of music acts presented by Jack Jackson, but which Winner nonetheless wrote and directed.
Michael Winner directed the shorts Haunted England, It's Magic, and Behave Yourself, the latter of which was based on Emily Post's Book of Manners, and whose cast included Jackson and Dennis Price.
Michael Winner went on to update Gilbert and Sullivan, writing the screenplay and directing a version of The Mikado titled The Cool Mikado, starring Frankie Howerd and Stubby Kaye and which was produced by Harold Baim.
Michael Winner did some uncredited directing on A Little of What You Fancy, a documentary about the history of the British music hall.
Hannibal Brooks drew notice in Hollywood, and Michael Winner soon received an opportunity to direct his first American film, for United Artists; this was Lawman, a Western starring Burt Lancaster and Robert Duvall, and for which Gerald Wilson was the writer.
Back in England, Michael Winner directed Marlon Brando in The Nightcomers, a prequel to The Turn of the Screw by Henry James, the first of many films for which Michael Winner was credited as editor using the pseudonym 'Arnold Crust'.
Michael Winner edited, produced and directed Chato's Land, recounting a mixed race native American fighting with white people.
Michael Winner produced and directed a third film with Bronson, The Stone Killer, for Columbia and in collaboration with producer Dino De Laurentiis.
Michael Winner tried to break out of action films with Won Ton Ton, the Dog Who Saved Hollywood, an animal comedy Michael Winner produced and directed, starring Bruce Dern, Madeline Kahn, Art Carney, and Milton Berle.
Michael Winner then wrote, produced and directed the remake of Raymond Chandler's novel The Big Sleep, starring Robert Mitchum as Philip Marlowe with a strong support cast including John Mills, Sarah Miles, Richard Boone and Candy Clarke.
Also for ITC, Michael Winner produced, edited and directed the organized crime thriller Firepower.
The success of Death Wish II enabled Michael Winner to raise money from Cannon for a dream project: a 1983 remake of 1945's The Wicked Lady, this time starring Faye Dunaway and which Michael Winner wrote, produced and directed.
For Miracle Films, Michael Winner produced and directed the thriller Scream for Help.
Michael Winner produced the film Claudia, doing some uncredited directing and editing.
Michael Winner was attached to direct Cannon's 1990 film Captain America, from a script by James Silke, which he would revise with Stan Hey, and then Stan Lee and Lawrence Block.
Michael Winner produced, edited and directed; but despite a strong support cast including Lauren Bacall and Carrie Fisher, the film flopped.
Michael Winner produced and directed an adaptation of the Alan Ayckbourn musical play A Chorus of Disapproval with Anthony Hopkins, and wrote the script with Ayckbourn.
Michael Winner was a regular panellist on BBC Radio 4's Any Questions, and later appeared on television programmes including BBC1's Question Time and BBC2's Have I Got News for You.
Michael Winner was an occasional columnist for the Daily Mail throughout the 2000s, and an honorary member of BAFTA and of the Directors Guild of Great Britain.
Michael Winner wrote a dieting book, The Fat Pig Diet Book.
Michael Winner was the subject of This Is Your Life in 2001 when he was surprised by Michael Aspel while dining with friends at a central London restaurant.
Michael Winner appeared in the first series of The Apprentice UK.
Michael Winner agreed to participate in a charity auction, offering dinner for four and two bottles of house wine at "London's most difficult restaurant to get in," The Ivy.
Michael Winner lived in the former home of painter Luke Fildes in Holland Park, Woodland House, designed for Fildes by Richard Norman Shaw.
On 1 January 2007, Michael Winner acquired the bacterial infection Vibrio vulnificus from eating an oyster in Barbados.
Michael Winner almost had a leg amputated, and verged on the brink of death several times.
The dish is not recommended for those with a weak immune system, and in retrospect Michael Winner regarded his decision to eat it as 'stupid'.
Michael Winner was an active proponent of law enforcement issues, and established the Police Memorial Trust after WPC Yvonne Fletcher was murdered in 1984.
In 2006, it was revealed that Michael Winner had been offered but declined an OBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours for his part in campaigning for the Police Memorial Trust.
Michael Winner remarked: 'An OBE is what you get if you clean the toilets well at King's Cross station.
Michael Winner remained prominent in British life for other reasons, including his outspoken restaurant reviews.
Michael Winner wrote his column, "Michael Winner's Dinners", in The Sunday Times for more than twenty years.
Michael Winner was a member of the Conservative Party and supporter of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.
Michael Winner was praised for having liberal views on gay rights, in particular during an episode of Richard Littlejohn Live and Uncut, where he attacked the presenter for his stance on same-sex marriage and parenting, going so far as to say to him 'The lesbians have come over with considerable dignity whereas you have come over as an arsehole.
Michael Winner was an art collector, and a connoisseur of British illustration.
Michael Winner spent his free time gardening or with a string of girlfriends, notably the actress Jenny Seagrove.
Michael Winner claimed that his life had not altered in the past 40 years: 'I do essentially the same things I did as an 18-year-old,' he said.
Michael Winner said he had researched assisted suicide offered at the Dignitas clinic in Switzerland, but found the bureaucracy of the process off-putting.
Michael Winner died at his home, Woodland House in Holland Park, on 21 January 2013, aged 77.
Michael Winner was buried following a traditional Jewish funeral at Willesden Jewish Cemetery.
Several stunt men allege Michael Winner was an abusive and dangerous director on film sets to his crew.
In one instance, on the production of Death Wish 3, Rocky Taylor alleges Michael Winner created a dangerous and deceptive work environment that led to him being severely injured during a stunt.
However, Taylor says Michael Winner turned up height of the flames while cameras rolled without consulting him.
Michael Winner reveals she has been assaulted during her career.