- (Photo: Reuters/Toby Melville)
Michael Winner, who helmed the successful "Death Wish" series, died at age 77 on Monday.
After specializing in action and thriller movies, Winner went on to become an author and a food critic.
His wife Geraldine said the English director was long battling an illness when he died at his London home, reported The Los Angeles Times.
Winner directed a few dozen films, but he was best known for his work on the three "Death Wish" films, which starred Charles Bronson as a prominent architect turned vigilante.
The director also worked with Marlon Brando on 1972's "The Nightcomers," and later directed Sophia Loren in 1979's "Firepower," among other notable films.
Winner's autobiography, "Winner Takes All: A Life of Sorts," was published in 2006, with his dieting book, "The Fat Pig Diet Book," following.
It was in Dec. 2, 2012 that Winner announced he would no longer contribute to The Sunday Times with his weekly column, "Winner's Dinners," due to his failing health.
On Twitter, many of Winner's fans are mourning his death on Tuesday.
"Luv Always to Michael Winner," wrote Jinx. "He was always funny."
U.K.'s restaurant Papaya Tree posted to the social media site: "RIP Michael winner. our sincere condolences goes out to his family at this difficult time. he wrote a very kind review of papaya tree."
"Ahh that's sad news," wrote James. "Just heard Michael Winner had died. #rip"
Edward added, "Sorry to read Michael Winner has passed away… Love or loathe him, a real character. RIP."
Winner leaves behind his wife Geraldine, who he married in 2011 after dating on-and-off again for over 50 years.
When he finally proposed to his wife, he did not drop to one knee, according to the U.K.'s Daily Mail.
"If I had, I doubt I would have been able to get back up," Winner told the publication in a past interview.