By all accounts, Winner lived up to his last name during the course of his storied life. Indeed, he exercised a keen wit while making his way through any trials and tribulations that came his way. He often did so by creating controversy in the process.
He also created plenty of art, mostly the kind that appears on celluloid. Still, Winner didn't necessarily believe that this was something to admire for too long or for too much money. In fact, one of Michael Winner's best known quotes was when he uttered, "If you want art, don't mess about with movies. Buy a Picasso."
Although his specialty was to direct action films as well as thrillers, he was a true bon vivant who continued to live the good life as a respected restaurant critic for London's Sunday Times after leaving his movie career.
But while he was Hollywood bound, this Londoner became linked to a number of Tinseltown legends, including Charles Bronson and Marlon Brando, the latter of whom he considered a true friend.
Winner's wit was often expressed during controversial moments that often made for very quotable quotes.
For instance, when allegedly offered the chance receive an OBE (known formally as Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire and given to those who show extreme chivalry as first determined by King George V in 1917), the well-spoken luminary who could definitely turn a phrase stated,
"An OBE is what you get if you clean the toilets well at King's Cross station [in London]. I really don't care if I get anything or not. I'm very glad that they recognize my considerable skills as a toilet cleaner."
"...when you look at the rubbish...getting these awards and the absolute non-service they have given to [the United Kingdom] other than financing or working for political parties, you say, 'What company am I in?'
Winner polished off this particular rant by saying, "At least if you go straight to the House of Lords you can wear fancy dress and have a giggle."
That long quote definitely defines the essence of the British film director who also once quipped that he didn't "want to live in a tolerant society." Instead, Winner declared, "I want to live in a very intolerant society."
Perhaps Michael Winner got his wish as he was definitely a man with a mission. Sadly, this very same man died on Monday at the age of 77. He will be missed by film aficionados and foodies alike.