Irwin Winkler
Born (1931-05-28) May 28, 1931 (age 92)
EducationB.A. New York University
Occupation(s)Film director, producer
Spouse
(after 1959)
ChildrenCharles Winkler
David Winkler
Adam Winkler
Parent(s)Sol Winkler
Anna Winkler
Websitewinklerfilms.com

Irwin Winkler (born May 28, 1931) is an American film producer and director. He is the producer or director of over 58 motion pictures, dating back to 1967's Double Trouble, starring Elvis Presley. The fourth film he produced, They Shoot Horses, Don't They? (1969), starring Jane Fonda, was nominated for nine Academy Awards. He won an Oscar for Best Picture for 1976's Rocky. As a producer, he has been nominated for Best Picture for five films: Rocky (1976), Raging Bull (1980), The Right Stuff (1983), Goodfellas (1990), and The Irishman (2019).

Early life and education

Winkler was born to a Jewish family[1][2] in New York City, to Sol and Anna Winkler. Growing up in Coney Island, one of his first jobs was on a bumper ride on the boardwalk.[3] Winkler graduated early from high school and got into New York University, but felt out of place among the older and more mature students, many of whom were former World War II soldiers that had entered university under the G.I. Bill. At the outbreak of the Korean War, he volunteered to join the Army and was stationed in Louisiana for two years.[3] After completing his service, Winkler returned to New York University and went on to receive a degree in American Literature in 1955.[4]

Early career

Winkler's first job after graduating university was at the William Morris Agency (WMA). Among his first clients as an agent were comedians Sammy Shore and Jackie Vernon, though Winkler says of himself he was a "mediocre" agent.[5]

After meeting Robert Chartoff, who managed several comedians, including Jackie Mason, the two set up their own talent management company.[6] One of the "unsuccessful clients"[3] the William Morris Agency allowed him to take with him at the time that he had options on, was the actress Julie Christie, whose screentest for Doctor Zhivago they arranged.[7] Through another of their clients, Winkler and Chartoff brokered the John Schlesinger film Darling to film producer Joseph E. Levine. This deal led them from talent management to film production.[5]

Career as film producer and director

Forming the production company Winkler-Chartoff Productions, Winkler began producing films with his partner Robert Chartoff in the late 1960s. Their first effort (along with Judd Bernard), was Double Trouble (1967) starring Elvis Presley . Their next film was John Boorman's thriller Point Blank (1967) starring Lee Marvin, which is now regarded as a classic. Adding Sydney Pollack to their production team for one project, they garnered critical acclaim for They Shoot Horses, Don't They? (1969). Their next film, The Strawberry Statement (1970), won the Jury Prize at Cannes. Chartoff and Winkler achieved their greatest success yet with Rocky (1976), which earned the Academy Award as Best Picture. Subsequently, the producing duo picked up Best Picture Oscar nominations for Raging Bull (1980) and The Right Stuff (1983), their last project together before Chartoff-Winkler Productions dissolved in 1985.[7]

Winkler produced such noteworthy features as The Right Stuff (1983) which received eight Academy Award nominations with four wins, Round Midnight (1986) which garnered two Academy Award nominations. He then produced back-to-back Costa-Gavras films, Betrayed (1988) and Music Box (1989), which was nominated and won the Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival, before receiving another Best Picture Oscar nomination for Goodfellas (1990). He also produced Rocky II (1978), Rocky III (1982), Rocky IV (1985) and Rocky V (1990).

Winkler moved into the director's chair, debuting with Guilty by Suspicion (1991), a drama (which he also scripted) about the Hollywood blacklist that starred Robert De Niro, which was nominated for the Palme d'Or at the 1991 Cannes Film Festival. His second feature, the Night and the City (1992 film) remake of ''Night and the City'', also starred De Niro and was chosen as the closing feature for the 1992 New York Film Festival. Winkler fared excellently at the box office as the writer-director of the Sandra Bullock vehicle The Net (1995), which spawned a series of the same name debuting on the USA Network in 1998.

Life as a House (2001) made its world debut at the 2001 Toronto Film Festival [1] and told the tale of a depressed dying man (Kevin Kline) who funnels his energies into rebuilding the dilapidated beach shack he inherited from his abusive father and, in the process, building bridges between himself and his disaffected son (Hayden Christensen). After this film received critical praise, Winkler re-teamed with Kline for the follow-up De-Lovely (2004), casting the actor as the lead in his biographical film about American composer Cole Porter, which centered on his unique relationship with his wife and muse (Ashley Judd) and was chosen as the closing night film at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival [2].

While his directorial career would last through 2006, Winkler continued to produce his share of films, including The Shipping News (2001), Enough (2002), the 2014 remake of The Gambler—he'd also produced James Toback's 1974 original—and his further return to the Rocky franchise with Rocky Balboa (2006) and the spin-offs-sequels Creed (2015) which was nominated for multiple awards including 6 NAACP Image Awards, winning 4 [3] and Creed II (2018). His work with Scorsese continued on with The Wolf of Wall Street (2013) and Silence (2016), and The Irishman (2019) which was Winkler's first collaboration with Netflix.[3]

In 2019, Winkler published his autobiography, A Life In Movies: Stories from 50 years in Hollywood.[8] The New York Times wrote: "Winkler looks back fondly on a career producing some of the most successful films of the 20th century."[citation needed]

Personal life

Winkler married his wife Margo Winkler in 1959 while still working at WMA in New York. They moved to Los Angeles in 1966. Margo was originally from California and her parents, Irma and Charlie Melson, were former Vaudeville performers.[3] The couple have three sons, Charles Winkler, David Winkler, and Adam Winkler. Winkler's youngest son Adam is a professor of constitutional law at the UCLA School of Law and a published author.

Filmography

Director

Year Title Director Producer Writer
1991 Guilty by Suspicion Yes No Yes
1992 Night and the City Yes Yes No
1995 The Net Yes Yes No
1999 At First Sight Yes Yes No
2001 Life as a House Yes Yes No
2004 De-Lovely Yes Yes No
2006 Home of the Brave Yes Yes Yes

Producer

Executive producer

As an actor
Year Film Role
1998 Welcome to Hollywood Himself
Thanks
Year Film Role
1998 Welcome to Hollywood Special thanks

Accolades

Year Award Category Film Result Ref.
1976 Academy Awards Best Picture Rocky Won [9]
1980 Raging Bull Nominated [10]
1983 The Right Stuff Nominated [11]
1990 Goodfellas Nominated [12]
2003 American Society of Cinematographers Awards Board of Governors Award Won [13]
2001 Aspen Filmfest Audience Favorite Feature Award Life as a House Won
2016 Awards Circuit Community Awards Best Motion Picture Silence Nominated
2015 Black Reel Awards Outstanding Film Creed Won [14]
1990 British Academy Film Awards Best Film Goodfellas Won [15]
1991 Cannes Film Festival Palme d'Or Guilty by Suspicion Nominated [16]
2019 Chicago Indie Critics Awards Best Studio Film The Irishman Nominated [17]
1989 Chicago International Film Festival Lifetime Achievement Award Won
2015 Christopher Awards Best Feature Film Creed Won
1995 Deauville American Film Festival Lifetime Achievement Award Won
2016 Gold Derby Awards Best Motion Picture Silence Nominated [18]
1976 Golden Globe Awards Best Motion Picture – Drama Rocky Won [19]
1980 Raging Bull Nominated
1983 The Right Stuff Nominated
1990 Goodfellas Nominated
1985 Golden Raspberry Awards Worst Picture Revolution Nominated [20]
Rocky IV Nominated
1990 Rocky V Nominated [21]
1999 Hollywood Film Awards Outstanding Achievement in Producing Won
2008 Israel Film Festival Lifetime Achievement Award Won
1999 Joseph Plateau Awards Joseph Plateau Honorary Award Won [22]
2006 National Board of Review Awards Career Achievement Award in Producing Won [23]
2019 Online Film & Television Association Awards Best Picture The Irishman Nominated [24]
2002 Palm Springs International Film Festival Lifetime Achievement Award Won
2016 Producers Guild of America Awards David O. Selznick Achievement Award Won [25]
1985 Stinkers Bad Movie Awards Worst Picture Revolution Won [26]
2003 Swiss Film Fund Helvetian Award for Extraordinary Artistic Achievement Won

Honors

For his contribution to the motion picture industry, Winkler has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6801 Hollywood Boulevard. He was also the recipient of the 2017 Producers Guild of America's David O. Selznick Achievement Award for his work in motion pictures and was awarded the Commandeur des Arts et Lettres by France.

References

  1. ^ Erens, Patricia (1998). The Jew in American Cinema. Indiana University Press. p. 392. ISBN 978-0-253-20493-6.
  2. ^ J Weekly: "Celebrity Jews" by Nate Bloom. May 28, 2004
  3. ^ a b c d e "WTF with Marc Maron, Episode 1015: Irwin Winkler". wtfpod.com. May 2, 2019. Retrieved May 3, 2019.
  4. ^ King, Susan (July 7, 2010). "Hollywood Star Walk: Irwin Winkler". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 3, 2019.
  5. ^ a b Champlin, Charles (January 11, 1986). "Irwin Winkler's 'Rocky' Road to Glory". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 3, 2019.
  6. ^ Chawkins, Steve (June 11, 2015). "Robert Chartoff dies at 81; Producer of 'Rocky,' 'Raging Bull'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 3, 2019.
  7. ^ a b Barnes, Mike (June 10, 2015). "Robert Chartoff, Producer of 'Rocky' and 'Raging Bull,' Dies at 81". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved May 3, 2019.
  8. ^ Winkler, Irwin (2019). A Life in Movies: Stories from Fifty Years in Hollywood (1st ed.). New York: Abrams Press. ISBN 978-1-4197-3452-6 – via Google Books.
  9. ^ "The 49th Academy Awards (1977) Nominees and Winners". oscars.org. Archived from the original on January 11, 2015. Retrieved October 3, 2011.
  10. ^ "The 53rd Academy Awards (1981) Nominees and Winners". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Archived from the original on November 10, 2014. Retrieved October 7, 2011.
  11. ^ "The 56th Academy Awards (1984) Nominees and Winners". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Archived from the original on November 11, 2014. Retrieved October 9, 2011.
  12. ^ "The 63rd Academy Awards (1991) Nominees and Winners". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Archived from the original on October 20, 2014. Retrieved October 20, 2011.
  13. ^ "The ASC Awards for Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography". American Society of Cinematographers. Archived from the original on August 2, 2011.
  14. ^ "Black Reel Awards – Winners". Black Reel Awards. Retrieved December 18, 2021.
  15. ^ "BAFTA Awards: Film in 1991". BAFTA. 1991. Retrieved September 16, 2016.
  16. ^ "Official Selection 1991: All the Selection". festival-cannes.fr. Archived from the original on 14 December 2013.
  17. ^ "2019 Awards – Chicago Indie Critics". Chicago Indie Critics Awards. December 29, 2019. Retrieved December 29, 2019.
  18. ^ "Gold Derby Film Awards 2017: 'La La Land' sweeps with 9 wins including Best Picture". Gold Derby. February 21, 2017. Retrieved February 21, 2017.
  19. ^ "Irwin Winkler – Golden Globes". HFPA. Retrieved January 23, 2023.
  20. ^ "6th Annual RAZZIE Awards – 1985 Archive". March 23, 1986. Archived from the original on October 13, 2014. Retrieved January 2, 2002.
  21. ^ "11th Annual RAZZIE Awards – 1990 Archive". March 24, 1991. Archived from the original on February 21, 2006. Retrieved January 23, 2023.
  22. ^ "The Joseph Plateau Honorary Award". Joseph Plateau Award. Retrieved January 23, 2023.
  23. ^ "2006 Award Winners". National Board of Review. Retrieved July 5, 2021.
  24. ^ "24th Annual Film Awards (2019)". Online Film & Television Association. Retrieved May 15, 2021.
  25. ^ "PGA Awards: The Complete Winners List". The Hollywood Reporter. January 28, 2017. Retrieved January 29, 2017.
  26. ^ "Awards". Archived from the original on August 16, 2007.

Sources

  • Winkler, Irwin. A Life in Movies: Stories from 50 years in Hollywood. New York, Abrams Press, 2019