Irwin Winkler

Irwin Winkler
Born (1931-05-25) May 25, 1931
New York City, United States
Nationality United States
Education B.A. New York University
Occupation Director
Spouse(s) Margo Winkler
Children Charles Winkler, David Winkler and Adam Winkler
Parent(s) Sol and Anna Winkler

Irwin Winkler (born May 25, 1931) is an American film producer and director. He is the producer or director of 50 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 three other films: Raging Bull, The Right Stuff, and Goodfellas.

Early life and education

Winkler was born to a Jewish family[1][2] in New York City, to Sol and Anna Winkler. He received a BA from New York University in 1955, after serving in the U.S. Army.


Winkler began producing films in partnership with Robert Chartoff, in the late 1960s. Their first effort (along with Judd Bernard), was John Boorman's thriller Point Blank (1967), largely ignored in its day but now regarded as a top film of the time. 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 Winkler launched his solo career with the Revolution (1985).

Winkler produced such noteworthy features as Bertrand Tavernier's Round Midnight (1986) and back-to-back Costa-Gavras films, Betrayed (1988) and Music Box (1989), before receiving another Best Picture Oscar nomination for Martin Scorsese's GoodFellas (1990). He also returned to the franchise to oversee Rocky IV (1985) and Rocky V (1990), continuing the association forged with Sylvester Stallone on the first three Chartoff-Winkler productions.

Approaching the age of 60, 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. His second feature, the unsuccessful 1992 remake of Night and the City, also starred De Niro. Winkler had better luck at the box office as 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), was a tale featuring 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). Receiving critical praise, Winkler re-teamed with Kline for the follow-up De-Lovely (2004), casting the actor as the lead in his biographical film of American composer Cole Porter centered on his unique relationship with his wife and muse (Ashley Judd).

As his directorial career continued, Winkler continued to produce his share of films as well, including The Shipping News (2001) and Enough (2002).


As producer

As director


For his contribution to the motion picture industry, Irwin Winkler has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6801 Hollywood Boulevard.

Awards and nominations

Year Group Award Film Result
1977 Academy Awards Best Picture Rocky Won
1981 Academy Awards Best Picture Raging Bull Nominated
1984 Academy Awards Best Picture The Right Stuff Nominated
1991 BAFTA Awards Best Film Goodfellas Won
1991 Academy Awards Best Picture Goodfellas Nominated
1991 Cannes Film Festival Palme d'Or Guilty by Suspicion Nominated[3]
1999 Hollywood Film Festival Hollywood Film Award Outstanding Achievement in Producing Won
2001 Aspen Filmfest Audience Favorite Feature Life as a House Won


  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. "Festival de Cannes: Guilty by Suspicion". Retrieved August 9, 2009.

External links

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