Joe Utichi contributes to Deadline’s UK coverage

British filmmaker Michael Winner died today after a long battle with illness. He was 77. Winner directed the 1974 Charles Bronson vehicle Death Wish, as well as two of its five sequels in 1982 and 1985. His career in the U.S. began in 1971 when he directed Lawman, starring Burt Lancaster and Robert Duvall. In the 1980s, Winner had an association with Cannon Films and had recently agreed to take part in a documentary about the company. During his career, he also worked with Marlon Brando (The Nightcomers), Sophia Loren (Firepower) and Faye Dunaway (The Wicked Lady) and returned to Britain in the 1990s where his last feature was 1999′s Parting Shots. A prominent figure in Britain known for his gregarious personality, Winner starred in a string of popular commercials for an online insurance company in the early 2000s and was also famous for his food criticism, writing a column for Britain’s Sunday Times newspaper for 15 years until this past December. His wife Geraldine said today: “Michael was a wonderful man, brilliant, funny and generous. A light has gone out in my life.”

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