|Born||May 28, 1931|
New York City, U.S.
|Education||B.A. New York University|
|Occupation(s)||Film director, producer|
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 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. 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. After completing his service, Winkler returned to New York University and went on to receive a degree in American Literature in 1955.
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.
After meeting Robert Chartoff, who managed several comedians, including Jackie Mason, the two set up their own talent management company. One of the "unsuccessful clients" 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. 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.
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.
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  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 .
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  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.
In 2019, Winkler published his autobiography A Life In Movies: Stories from 50 years in Hollywood The New York Times wrote ‘…Winkler looks back fondly on a career producing some of the most successful films of the 20th century’.
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. 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.
|1991||Guilty by Suspicion||Yes||No||Yes|
|1992||Night and the City||Yes||Yes||No|
|1999||At First Sight||Yes||Yes||No|
|2001||Life as a House||Yes||Yes||No|
|2006||Home of the Brave||Yes||Yes||Yes|
- As an actor
|1998||Welcome to Hollywood||Himself|
|1998||Welcome to Hollywood||Special thanks|
|1976||Academy Awards||Best Picture||Rocky||Won|||
|1983||The Right Stuff||Nominated|||
|2003||American Society of Cinematographers Awards||Board of Governors Award||—||Won|||
|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|||
|1990||British Academy Film Awards||Best Film||Goodfellas||Won|||
|1991||Cannes Film Festival||Palme d'Or||Guilty by Suspicion||Nominated|||
|2019||Chicago Indie Critics Awards||Best Studio Film||The Irishman||Nominated|||
|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|||
|1976||Golden Globe Awards||Best Motion Picture – Drama||Rocky||Won|||
|1983||The Right Stuff||Nominated|
|1985||Golden Raspberry Awards||Worst Picture||Revolution||Nominated|||
|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|||
|2006||National Board of Review Awards||Career Achievement Award in Producing||—||Won|||
|2019||Online Film & Television Association Awards||Best Picture||The Irishman||Nominated|||
|2002||Palm Springs International Film Festival||Lifetime Achievement Award||—||Won|
|2016||Producers Guild of America Awards||David O. Selznick Achievement Award||—||Won|||
|1985||Stinkers Bad Movie Awards||Worst Picture||Revolution||Won|||
|2003||Swiss Film Fund||Helvetian Award for Extraordinary Artistic Achievement||—||Won|
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.
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- ^ "6th Annual RAZZIE Awards – 1985 Archive". March 23, 1986. Archived from the original on October 13, 2014. Retrieved January 2, 2002.
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- ^ "Awards". Archived from the original on August 16, 2007.
- Winkler, Irwin. A Life in Movies: Stories from 50 years in Hollywood. New York, Abrams Press, 2019
- 1931 births
- Living people
- Film producers from New York (state)
- Jewish American military personnel
- New York University alumni
- Film directors from New York City
- Filmmakers who won the Best Film BAFTA Award
- Producers who won the Best Picture Academy Award
- Golden Globe Award-winning producers
- United States Army soldiers
- 21st-century American Jews