British director Michael Winner, best known for making the popular Death Wish movies with star Charles Bronson, passed away earlier today at the age of 77. The filmmaker had been given 18 months to live last summer, due to heart and liver complications.

Born in London in 1935, Michael Winner's first foray into the entertainment business was a weekly entertainment column he wrote at the tender age of 14, which was published in over 30 local newspapers. After attending Cambridge, where he studied law and economics, Michael Winner began making documentaries and short films in the late 1950s.

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He became best known in the United States for directing Death Wish in 1974, starring Charles Bronson. He also directed the sequels Death Wish II in 1982 and Death Wish 3 in 1985. The filmmaker also directed Charles Bronson in The Mechanic, which was remade in the 2011 action-thriller The Mechanic starring Jason Statham.

Later in life, Michael Winner became an outspoken restaurant critic for the Sunday Times in London. He is survived by his wife, Geraldine.