David Winters is a Actor, Director, Scriptwriter and Producer American born on 5 april 1939 at London (United-kingdom)
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Birth name David WeizerNationality USABirth 5 april 1939
at London (United-kingdom
)Death 23 april 2019
(at 80 years)
David Winters (born April 5, 1939, London) is an English-born American actor, dancer, choreographer, producer, director and screenwriter. Winters participated in, directed and produced over 400 television series, television specials, and motion pictures. Of these, he has directed, produced and distributed over 50 films.
Early life and stage career
Winters was born David Weizer in London, England, the son of Jewish parents Sadie and Samuel Weizer. His family relocated to the United States in 1953. He became a naturalized United States citizen in 1956. Winters began acting as a child, appearing in over 100 television roles and commercials including Rock,Rock,Rock! before appearing as Baby John in the original Broadway production of West Side Story. He was one of only three members to be cast in the film version (as A-Rab, Baby John's best friend). Following his role in West Side Story, Winters played "Yonkers" in Gypsy.
Winters started teaching dance and his students included Teri Garr, who would go on to find success as an Academy Award-nominated actress. and Antonia Basilotta (better known as Toni Basil), who would also go on to be a noted choreographer (and became widely known for the 1980s song "Mickey"). Winters would give his students acting and dancing roles in most of the movies and projects he choreographed and they would become known as David Winters and his dancers.
Winters went on to appear as a regular singer/dancer and choreographer on the hit variety series Hullabaloo (1965), expanding his previous role on the earlier Shindig! (1964). Under Luigi, he was in dance class with Elliott Gould. He guest-starred on the 1967 Nancy Sinatra special Movin' with Nancy, which featured his choreography and dancing, and which earned him his first Emmy Award nomination. He would later team up with regular Hullabaloo director Steve Binder to choreograph dance numbers for the infamous Star Wars Holiday Special.
Winters also choreographed many major films, including four Elvis Presley movies. and later, Barbra Streisand's version of A Star Is Born (1976).
Winters often choreographed the productions in which he danced. He was nominated for a Special Achievement in Choreography Emmy in 1967, which was unusual in that choreography was not a category that year. He choreographed and directed two episodes of The Monkees. Former Monkee Michael Nesmith went on to be a pioneer in American music videos.
In 1970 Winters teamed up with Raquel Welch and Tom Jones, John Wayne, and Bob Hope for Raquel!, a television special. Bob Mackie designed costumes in production numbers of songs from the era, and guest performances, including John Wayne and Bob Hope in the wild West, made the show well received by critics. Winters also choreographed the 1970s roller disco cult classic Roller Boogie.
Winters appeared in episodes of several popular dramatic and variety shows. In 1963 he guest starred on Perry Mason as title character and murder victim Chick Montana in "The Case of the Devious Delinquent". He appeared on The Milton Berle Show, Suspense, Shindig!, Hullabaloo and Lux Video Theatre as well as in specials as a dancer. He was interviewed and appears in the 2005 documentary Inside Deep Throat, discussing his two year-affair with porn actress Linda Lovelace. He also made an appearance in Linda Lovelace for President. Other feature films in which Winters has appeared include The Last Horror Film (1982), Welcome 2 Ibiza (2002) and Blackbeard (2006).
In the late 1960s Winters began directing, beginning with two episodes of The Monkees. He also directed Paul Newman in Once Upon a Wheel, Kirk Douglas in the television adaptation of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, as well as the film version of the successful Alice Cooper tour Welcome to my Nightmare (he also served as producer). In the 1980s he produced, directed, wrote and co-starred in The Last Horror Film (1982), which he filmed during the Cannes Film Festival and which went on to win numerous awards including the Paris Film Festival Award, the Los Angeles Golden Scroll Award and the Sitges Film Festival Award.
Winters' 1986 film Thrashin' remains a seminal piece of work in the board sport industry two decades after its initial release.
Mystery Science Theater 3000 chose Winters' 1988 film Space Mutiny as its target for a November 1997 episode. It is available in that series' home video collection (Volume 4), and runs ten minutes shorter than the original due to the deletion of some Battlestar Galactica footage.
Winters' producing career began in 1966, when he co-produced Lucy in London, starring Lucille Ball (who was also the executive producer), Anthony Newley and the Dave Clark Five and that was sponsored by Monsanto Company.
In 1971 Winters directed and produced Once Upon a Wheel, an ABC television documentary on the history of auto racing starring and hosted by Paul Newman and co-starring Mario Andretti, Kirk Douglas, Hugh Downs, Dean Martin, Cesar Romero, Dick Smothers and many others. Coca-Cola sponsored the show.
In the 1970s, he won a Peabody Award for producing the 1972 NBC special The Timex All Star Swing Festival. In 1975 he produced the soft-core film Linda Lovelace for President and Young Lady Chatterly. Winters' two-year affair with Lovelace has been linked to her desire for a Vegas career. In 1978, in a jam-packed Universal Amphitheatre (now the Gibson Amphitheatre), fans of Diana Ross were treated to a concert spectacular, conceived and executed by Winters.
1986 was a turning point for Winters. After being overruled on a casting decision for Thrashin', Winters made the professional decision to control all aspects of future projects. Josh Brolin was ultimately cast, but Winters' choice was a pre-21 Jump Street Johnny Depp.
The 1991 film Raw Nerve featured Glenn Ford (in his last film role) with Jan-Michael Vincent, Sandahl Bergman and former porn actress Traci Lords.
In 1994 Winters cast Stacy Keach, David Keith, Robert Hays, and Pamela Anderson in Raw Justice. The film, under the alternate title Good Cop, Bad Cop, won the Bronze Award at the Worldfest-Charleston in the category for dramatic theatrical films. Winters' comedy Welcome 2 Ibiza (2002) won the Bangkok Film Festival Audience Award in November 2002.
Winters' production companies
Action International Pictures was organized by Winters with partners David A. Prior and Peter Yuval in 1986, the same year as the Thrashin' incident. Winters bought out his partners in AIP in 1992 and re-branded it as West Side Studios. In 2004 their Equator Films purchased HandMade Films. His current American production entity is known as Alpha Beta Films International.
In Thailand, Winters is building a large movie studio with acclaimed film director Oliver Stone, which has been dubbed by the press Ollywood.
Winters came forward with alternate theories about the death of his friend David Carradine
Eccentric Cinema was quoted as saying about Winters' Space Mutiny:"Quite possibly the worst science fiction/space adventure film made in English... Even the horrendously bad Shape Of Things To Come (1979) can't aspire to such depths of total putrescence. I speak of the notorious Made-In-South Africa Space Mutiny".