In a tale fit for the big screen, Irwin Winkler graduated from New York University in 1955 with a degree in American literature, quickly got a job in the mailroom at the William Morris Agency and went on to become one of Hollywood's biggest producers.
After leaving William Morris, Winkler and Robert Chartoff formed their own agency. One of their first clients was Julie Christie, and they negotiated the distribution deal for the 1965 film “Darling,” which won her an Academy Award. The two also formed Chartoff-Winkler Productions, whose first film for MGM was the 1967 Elvis Presley musical “Double Trouble.” The same year, they scored a critical hit with the classic John Boorman film noir “Point Break” with Lee Marvin. And their next film, 1969’s “They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?,” earned nine Oscar nominations.
Winkler and Chartoff received their first Oscar producing the 1976 best picture winner, “Rocky,” which made its star and writer, Sylvester Stallone, an overnight sensation. They also produced best picture nominees “Raging Bull” (1980) and “The Right Stuff” (1983).
Winkler went out on his own as a producer with the 1985 war epic “Revolution,” and worked on 1986’s “Round Midnight” and Martin Scorsese’s 1990 best picture nominee “GoodFellas.”
He turned to directing with 1991’s “Guilty by Suspicion,” which looked at the blacklist in Hollywood in the 1950s. Among the other films he’s directed are 1995’s “The Net” and 2001’s “Life as a House.”
Winkler has also continued producing such films as 2006’s “Rocky Balboa” and 2009’s “Streets of Blood,” which was directed by his son Charles Winkler.
|1980||Best Picture||Raging Bull||Nomination*|
|1983||Best Picture||The Right Stuff||Nomination*|
|1990||Best Picture||Good Fellas||Nomination|