Charge and Battle
Performer: Sir William Walton
Film director, Restaurant critic, Columnist
Sue Lawley's castaway this week is the film director Michael Winner. Michael Winner is a film-maker, restaurant critic and columnist who has been called Britain's 'Jester Laureate'. He has enjoyed a career spanning 30 years as a director, working with Orson Welles, Marlon Brando and Faye Dunaway as well as being the man behind the controversial Death Wish films starring Charles Bronson. Born in October 1935, the only son of Helen and George Winner, Michael was a shy and sometimes lonely child. Even as a very young boy he knew he wanted to be connected to the movie industry - projecting shadow pictures and devising his own commentary when he was only five years old. At the age of 14 he was given his own showbusiness column in his local paper - which was syndicated across more than two dozen titles. It gave Michael access to some of the biggest stars of the time, including Nat King Cole, Bob Hope, the Marx Brothers.
His first film, This is Belgium, was notable for being largely shot in East Grinstead. He says that while he admires directors who tackle social issues, he always wanted to be part of the glamour of Hollywood, making films that weren't to be taken too seriously and that were just a bit of fun.
[Taken from the original programme material for this archive edition of Desert Island Discs]
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