British filmmaker Michael Winner, the director responsible for the popular "Death Wish" franchise starring Charles Bronson, died today at his home at the age of 77, after being informed last summer of heart and liver problems that gave him less than two years to live.
Winner's career as a filmmaker spanned 40 years and included many espionage thrillers and action movies both in England and the United States throughout the '60s, '70s and '80s. His first American movie Lawman in 1971 starred Burt Lancaster and a young Robert Duvall, but Winner will probably best be remembered for his work with Charles Bronson, directing the three Death Wish movies as well as The Mechanic, which inspired the recent Jason Statham remake. The influence of Winner's films on action filmmakers during the '80s and '90s is hard to judge, but the revenge thriller genre would not be the same without those movies.
Winner's last film as director and producer was 1998's Parting Shots and in recent years, he has worked as a restaurant critic for the Sunday Times. He's survived by his wife Geraldine who reported the news saying "A light has gone out in my life."