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Michael Winner, 'Death Wish' Director, Dies at 77

By Kate Ward, Hollywood.com Staff

Michael Winner, the director most well-known for his 1974 movie Death Wish, passed away Monday in London, according to the Associated Press. The director was 77 years old.

Winner, who helmed 30 films, enjoyed a long career working with some of Hollywood's biggest stars, including Faye Dunaway (in 1983's The Wicked Lady), Marlon Brando (in 1971's The Nightcomers), and Death Wish star Charles Bronson. Carving a niche for himself as the director of high-octane action films, Winner saw himself facing controversy following Death Wish's release, with many criticizing the movie's vigilante plotline. Years after its release, however, critics grew to appreciate the film's commentary on violence, and its contribution to the ongoing debate surrounding violent media.

Despite facing off against critics as a director, Winner took up a career as one later in life. Winners penned a restaurant column, ""Winners Dinners,"" in The Sunday Times, contributing regularly as a restaurant critic. He continued to write the column up until December, when he told readers his health problems would not hold him back. ""Who knows, after Christmas, I might make a comeback,"" he wrote. ""How many times did Sinatra do it?""

[Image Credit: Wenn]