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Michael Winner’s funeral a ‘moving occasion’

Michael Winner (pictured here with Jenny Seagrove) died earlier this week. File picture: Rebecca Naden/PA Wire Michael Winner (pictured here with Jenny Seagrove) died earlier this week. File picture: Rebecca Naden/PA Wire

Wednesday, January 23, 2013
5:12 PM

Tributes were paid again to film director and restaurant critic Michael Winner at his funeral in north London today.

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He directed more than 30 films during his career. File picture: PA WireHe directed more than 30 films during his career. File picture: PA Wire

Sir Michael Parkinson and former Rolling Stone Bill Wyman were among the mourners at the service, which was followed by a reception at his home in Kensington.

Winner, who made more than 30 films including the blockbuster Death Wish series, died on Monday following a lengthy battle with liver disease.

A statement issued by his office said: “Michael Winner was buried today in a moving service at Willesden Jewish Cemetery, north London. If Michael had been alive to film it, he would have said, ‘Perfect, darling, perfect’.

“A cold wind whipped a flurry of snowflakes across the cemetery - a film directors’ dream.

“Among the mourners were many of Michael’s friends from long ago as well as his widow Geraldine, his long term assistant Dinah May, Sir Michael Parkinson, Sir David Frost, Bill Wyman, Terry O’Neill, Don Black, Chris Rea and Henry Wyndham, chairman of Sotheby’s.

The service was conducted by Rabbi Geoffrey Shisler with a reception after at Mr Winner’s home, Woodland House, Kensington.”

Winner’s personal assistant, Natalie Wright, said: “It was the most moving occasion. I’ve worked for Michael for the last five years and he would have loved the send-off.”

Ms Wright added that there were plans for a public memorial service later in the year.

In a career spanning more than 50 years, Winner worked with some of the biggest stars in Hollywood, including Marlon Brando, Robert Mitchum and Faye Dunaway.

He later reinvented himself as a restaurant critic, writing about food in his Winner’s Dinners column for the Sunday Times.

Winner also founded and funded the Police Memorial Trust following the murder of WPc Yvonne Fletcher outside the Libyan embassy in London in 1984.

More than 50 officers have been honoured by the trust at sites across the country.

His initiative led to a National Police Memorial being erected in the Mall in central London.

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