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Famous Like Me > Director > W > Michael Winner

Profile of Michael Winner on Famous Like Me

Name: Michael Winner  
Also Know As:
Date of Birth: 30th October 1935
Place of Birth: London, England, UK
Profession: Director
From Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia

Michael Winner (born October 30, 1935 in London, England) is a British film director and producer.

Early Life

He was born into a rich Jewish family - his father was in property, his mother, a compulsive gambler who lost an estimated £8m - and was educated at a Quaker school and Downing College, Cambridge, where he edited the student magazine Varsity.


He learnt his cinematographic skills during early work for the BBC and B-movie features. However he soon shot to prominence as a "hip, young" director in the 1960s best known for his direction of movies such as The System (1964) and I'll Never Forget What's 'Isname (1967), depicting Swinging London. In the 70s, he took on American projects such as the Westerns Lawman (1971) and Chato's Land (1972), and Charles Bronson crime dramas The Mechanic (1972), The Stone Killer (1973) and Death Wish (1974), the latter causing a storm of controversy over its depiction of vigilante justice but was hugely successful at the box-office. Winner has unashamedly pursued commercial projects and as a result, his later films are usually greeted with critical scorn. Perhaps the critics are reminded that in I'll Never Forget What's 'Isname Winner's alter ego in the film (an advertising executive played by Oliver Reed) questions the idea of pursuing commerce in art, and the film stands as the director's most personal work. Winner may also be remembered for directing Marlon Brando in The Nightcomers (1972), a reworking of Henry James's The Turn of the Screw. His 1978 remake of The Big Sleep, starring Robert Mitchum as Philip Marlowe, is also interesting for following Howard Hawks's original cut of the movie rather than the released version, before the original cut became better known. Winner has worked repeatedly with some of the cinema's best-known actors, among them Michael Crawford, Roger Moore and Charles Bronson.

Winner has also written and produced (or co-produced) the majority of his films, and has also (as "Arnold J. Crust") edited them. This has given Winner a greater degree of control over his work, and also a higher financial return on his more successful films.

Love life

Winner is renowned for his many relationships, enjoying the company of some of the world's most beautiful women, including Joan Collins and Sophia Loren; he also had a six-and-half-year relationship with the actress Jenny Seagrove, who ended the relationship after catching him with another woman. He is, as of June 2005, dating Paula Lombard who is 30 years his junior.

Later life

For some years his work has been seen to be in decline. However, he remains prominent in British public life, well-known for his work as a restaurant critic for UK newspapers and his regular appearances on television shows and advertisements, in particular a series of advertisements for insurance company, Esure, which he directed and starred in (often in multiple roles). He now seems to have been replaced with a cartoon mouse with a New York accent, who lives inside a computer mouse.


  • "When I tell people I've slept with more than 130 women, they are appalled but, you know, I've been doing it for 55 years so I don't think that's bad going!"
  • "Calm down dear, it's only a commercial" - the catchphrase of his Esure adverts.
  • "Do you know who I am?" at restaurants - allegedly.



(Selected films)

  • 1962 - The Cool Mikado
  • 1964 - The System
  • 1965 - You Must Be Joking!
  • 1966 - The Jokers
  • 1967 - I'll Never Forget What's 'Isname
  • 1969 - Hannibal Brooks
  • 1971 - Lawman
  • 1972 - Chato's Land, The Nightcomers, The Mechanic
  • 1973 - Scorpio, The Stone Killer
  • 1974 - Death Wish
  • 1976 - Won Ton Ton-The Dog Who Saved Hollywood
  • 1977 - The Sentinel
  • 1978 - The Big Sleep
  • 1979 - Firepower
  • 1983 - The Wicked Lady (remake)
  • 1988 - Appointment with Death
  • 1989 - A Chorus of Disapproval
  • 1990 - Bullseye!
  • 1993 - Dirty Weekend
  • 1999 - Parting Shots


  • 1967 - I'll Never Forget What's 'Isname

External link

  • IMDB Profile

This content from Wikipedia is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Michael Winner