In The News

Film director and restaurant critic Michael Winner passes away

Film director and restaurant critic Michael Winner passes away

THE film director and restaurant critic Michael Winner has passed away. He was 77.

He will be best remembered for his Death Wish series of films. They starred Charles Bronson in the role of vigilante Paul Kersey who dispenses his own form of violent justice to street criminals.

Mr. Winner and Charles Bronson had worked together in other films including The Mechanic (1972) and The Stone Killer (1973).

 After university, Mr. Winner had set out to work in the film industry, first as a writer and then, at 25, as a director.

But while his later work was to become known for its violence, his early films in England featured a number of comedies including The Jokers (1967) which starred Oliver Reed and Michael Crawford. The movie was nominated for a Golden Globe as Best Comedy of the Year. 

It was another of his films starring Oliver Reed, Hannibal Brooks (1969), which was to bring the young director to the attention of Hollywood.

His final film credit was Parting Shots (1998) which starred Chris Rea, Felicity Kendal and John Cleese.

In recent years he reinvented himself as a food writer and restaurant critic with his articles appearing in the Sunday Times.

He was also a strong supporter of the Police, having founded the charity The Police Memorial Trust in the early 1980s. The aim of the Trust is to pay tribute to officers who die in the line of duty, by placing memorials where they fell. The first such memorial was placed at the spot with WPC Yvonne Fletcher was gunned down outside the Libyan Embassy in London in 1984.

He held strong views on law and order and on the state of society in general and was often invited to have his say on such TV shows as Any Questions and on news programmes (see below).

News of Mr. Winner’s death was given by his wife Geraldine. The previous Summer he had revealed that liver experts had given him 18 months to live.

To view part of an interview which Mr. Winner gave to Sky News in 2007, click here.

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