Jan 21 2013, 9:39am CST | by Luigi Lugmayr
Michael Winner has died.
The film director, producer and food critic has passed away aged 77 after a long battle with liver disease.
He is survived by his wife, Geraldine Lynton-Edwards, who he married in 2011 - 55 years after first dating her.
Paying tribute to her husband, Geraldine, a former dancer, said: "Michael was a wonderful man, brilliant, funny and generous. A light has gone out in my life."
The director made over 30 films between 1960 and 1999 and is best known for 1974s 'Death Wish', which featured Charles Bronson as a vigilante and proved to be one of the most controversial and highest grossing films in its year of release.
Winner also directed Marlon Brando in 1972s 'The Nightcomers' and a 1978 remake of 'The Big Sleep'.
Hollywood had followed earlier success as a filmmaker in England where Winner was best known for his long working relationship with Oliver Reed which started in the 60s with 'The System' and lasted for another five films, including 'The Jokers' and 'I'll Never Forget What's'isname'.
In 2007, Winner was stricken by the bacterial infection, Vibrio vulnificus from an oyster meal in Barbados. He was on the brink of death a number of times, almost had to have leg amputated and underwent 19 operations. He did recover, but was then infected with the superbug MRSA.
In September 2011, Winner was admitted to hospital with food poisoning after eating steak tartare - which is made from raw beef - for four days in a row even though he was told by doctors he should not consume it because of his weakened immune system.
Winner revealed last year he had been given between 18 months and two years to live by liver specialists.
He had previously looked into ending his life through assisted suicide at the Dignitas clinic in Switzerland, but ultimately decided against it.
However, he had stated he remained unafraid of death, saying: "Why should people elongate life when it's no good for them?
"People should have the right to terminate their own life. I'm very happy to snuff it. I've had enough time on Earth. I'd be happy if someone gave me the plug to pull."
Source: Bang Showbiz
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