Skip to main content

Michael Winner has died aged 77

Michael Winner has died aged 77, it has been reported.

The British director, best known to movie buffs for wielding the megaphone on the Death Wish movies, is survived by his wife Geraldine.

Born in London, in 1935, Winner made a name for himself as a journalist and critic, before moving into TV work. He worked as an assistant director at the BBC, before making his feature debut with Shoot To Kill , which he also wrote.

After that, he worked prolifically on both risqué sex comedies and more serious dramas, working with some notable names including Oliver Reed, Michael Crawford and Denholm Elliot, before Hollywood beckoned.

He made his American film debut with Lawman (1971), starring Burt Lancaster and Robert Duvall, before directing raunchy ghost-story prequel The Nightcomers (with Marlon Brando), and beginning a fruitful working partnership with Charles Bronson in 1975’s The Mechanic (later remade as a Jason Statham vehicle).

Bronson would go on to star in Winner’s controversial revenge thriller Death Wish and its two sequels.

After the ‘70s, Winner’s output slowed, although he was never far from the public eye (as famous for his restaurant criticism and his larger-than-life personality as his was for his filmmaking).

He made his last film as director, Parting Shots , in 1998, and though it was far from a hit with critics, Winner still attracted a top-drawer cast including Ben Kingsley and Bob Hoskins.

His final film credit was for a cameo appearance in 2010’s Burke And Hare .

I'm the Deputy Editor at Total Film magazine, looking after the long-form features there, and generally obsessing over all things Nolan, Kubrick and Pixar. Over the past decade I've worked in various roles for TF online and in print, including at GamesRadar+, and you can often hear me nattering on the Inside Total Film podcast. Bucket-list-ticking career highlights have included reporting from the set of Tenet and Avengers: Infinity War, as well as covering Comic-Con, TIFF and the Sundance Film Festival.