David Winters (choreographer): Wikis


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David Winters
Born David Weizer
April 5, 1939 (1939-04-05) (age 70)
London, England
Other name(s) Maria Dante
Occupation Producer, director, actor, screenwriter, choreographer, dancer
Years active 1954 - present

David Winters (born 5 April 1939) is an English-born American dancer, choreographer, producer, director, screenwriter, and actor.[1] Winters has directed and produced over 200 television series, specials, and films. Of these, he has directed, produced and distributed over fifty films.




Early life and stage career

Winters was born David Weizer in London, England, the son of Sadie and Samuel Weizer.[2] His family relocated to the United States in 1953. He became a naturalized United States citizen in 1956.[2] Winters began acting a child, appearing in various television roles and commercials before appearing as Baby John in the original Broadway production of West Side Story, he was one of only three Broadway cast members to be cast in the film version.[3][4]

Following his role in West Side Story, Winters played the role of "Yonkers" in Gypsy.[5]


Emmy Nomination for Movin' With Nancy

Winters then went on to appear as a regular singer/dancer and choreographer on Hullabaloo (1965) expanding his previous role on the earlier Shindig! (1964).[6] Under Eugene Louis Facciuto (aka Luigi), Winters was in dance class with Elliott Gould. Additionally, Winters taught dance to world famous actors, such as Ann-Margret, Raquel Welch and Elvis Presley. In addition to a credit as guest star on the 1967 Nancy Sinatra special Movin' With Nancy, the special also featured his choreography and dancing. This project earned him his first Emmy Award nomination.

In addition to dancing, Winters also choreographed many major films, including four Elvis Presley films[7][8][9][10] and later, Barbra Streisand's A Star Is Born (1976).[11][12] Winters often choreographed the productions in which he danced. Winters was nominated for a Special Achievement in Choreography Emmy in 1967, which was unusual, in that choreography was not a category that year. In addition to the Nancy Sinatra special, Winters choreographed and directed two episodes of The Monkees.[13] That show is sometimes considered to have launched the music video as a promotional device. In any case, former Monkee Michael Nesmith went on to be a pioneer in American music videos.[14]

In 1970, Winters teamed up with Raquel Welch with Tom Jones, John Wayne, and Bob Hope for the multi million-dollar TV special Raquel!.[15] Now seen as a classic '70s timepiece, featuring pop-culture icons of the time, the song and dance extravaganza was filmed around the world - from Paris, London to Mexico. 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 choreograhphed the 70's roller disco cult classic "Roller Boogie"


In television's early years, Winters appeared in several television episodes, including; The Milton Berle Show, Perry Mason, Suspense, Shindig, Hullabaloo, Lux Video Theatre as well as appearing in some of the specials as a dancer. He was interviewed and appears in the 2005 documentary Inside Deep Throat, discussing his two year affair with Linda Lovelace. He also made an appearance in Linda Lovelace for President.[16][17] Other feature films in which Winters has appeared include The Last Horror Film (1982), Welcome 2 Ibiza (2002), and Blackbeard (2006).


Winters (right) directing Kirk Douglas (center), and Susan Hampshire (left) in Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde (1973)

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. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde (1973), as well as the film version of the successful Alice Cooper tour Welcome to my Nightmare (he also served as producer).[18][19][20][21] 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 went on to win numerous awards including the Paris Film Festival Award, the Los Angeles Golden Scroll Award and the Sitges Film Festival Award.[22]

Winters' 1986 film Thrashin' remains a seminal piece of work in the board sport industry two decades after its initial release.[23] Mystery Science Theater 3000 chose Winter's 1988 film Space Mutiny as their 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.[24][25]


In the 1970s, in addition to the Raquel Welch special, Winters won a Peabody Award for producing the 1972 NBC special The Timex All Star Swing Festival.[26] In 1975, he produced the soft-core film Linda Lovelace for President[27][28] and Young Lady Chatterly. Winter's two-year affair with Lovelace has been linked to her desire for a Vegas career.[16][17] 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.[29]

1986 was a turning point for Winters.

After being over-ruled 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.[30][31]

The 1991 film Raw Nerve featured the unlikely film paring of Glenn Ford, in his last film role, with that of an adult film actress Traci Lords.[32] The 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 1999 Winters and his British business partner Patrick Meehan took their Equator Films public,[33] in 2004 that company purchased HandMade Films.[34] His current American production entity is known as Alpha Beta Films International.

In Thailand, Winters is currently building a large movie studio with acclaimed film director Oliver Stone which has been dubbed by the press Ollywood.[35][36][37][38]


Winters admits on his website, that he crashed Sal Mineo's car while staying on the West Coast during the filming of West Side Story.[39]

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".[40][41]

Selected filmography




  • The Ann-Margret Show (1968)
  • Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1973)
  • Welcome to my Nightmare (1975)
  • Racquet (1979)
  • The Last Horror Film (1982)
  • That Was Rock (1984)
  • Girls of Rock & Roll (1985)
  • Thrashin' (1986)
  • Rage to Kill (1987)
  • The Mission... Kill (1987)
  • Space Mutiny (1988)


Awards and nominations

Year Award Result Category Film or series
1968 Emmy Award Nominated Special Classification of Individual Achievements Movin' with Nancy
1970 Outstanding Achievement in Choreography Ann-Margret: From Hollywood with Love
1972 Christopher Award Won TV Special Timex All Star Swing Festival (Shared with Burt Rosen, Bernard Rothman, and Jack Wohl)
2002 Bangkok Film Festival Won Audience Award Welcome 2 Ibiza


  1. ^ Singer, Michael. "David Winters". Film Directors: A Complete Guide. Toris Von Wolfe, Vera Anderson. Carson City, NV: Lone Eagle Productions, Inc.. pp. 427. ISBN 9780943728179.  
  2. ^ a b "David Winters Biography (1939-)". filmreference.com. http://www.filmreference.com/film/33/David-Winters.html. Retrieved 2008-11-14.  
  3. ^ Delson, Jane. "David Winters Sees New Global Opportunities for Thailand’s Film Industry". Daria!. pp. 87. http://www.dariamagazine.com/art_film_music_fashion/art_film_music5_2.asp. Retrieved 2008-11-14.  
  4. ^ Nichols, Peter M.. "West Side Story". The New York Times Guide to the Best 1,000 Movies Ever Made. A. O. Scott, Vincent Canby. Macmillan. pp. 1098. ISBN 9780312326111.  
  5. ^ ""Gypsy" on Sondheim.com.". 2008=10=07. http://www.sondheim.com/shows/gypsy/.  
  6. ^ "Hullabaloo" at TV.com
  7. ^ Viva Las Vegas at the TCM Movie Database
  8. ^ ibid Easy Come, Easy Go
  9. ^ ibid Girl Happy
  10. ^ ibid Tickle Me
  11. ^ Nickens, Christopher. "A Star is Born". The Films of Barbra Streisand. Swensen, Karen. Citadel Press. pp. p132. ISBN 0806519541.  
  12. ^ Star is born at IMDB
  13. ^ Lefcowitz, Eric. Monkees Tale. Last Gasp. pp. pp94–95. ISBN 0-867-19378-6.  
  14. ^ Denisoff, R. Serge. Inside MTV. Transaction Publishers. pp. 25. ISBN 0-887-38864-7.  
  15. ^ Brown, Les. "Raquel!". Television: The Business Behind the Box. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. pp. 187,188. ISBN 9780156884402.  
  16. ^ a b Lovelace,, Linda. "Section 9, David Winters, Mel Mandel, Marilyn Chambers ch20"". Ordeal. Citadel Press. pp. 217, 231.. ISBN 9780806527741.  
  17. ^ a b McNeil, Leggs. The other Hollywood: the uncensored oral history of the porn film industry,. Jennifer Osborne, and Peter Pavia. New York: Regan Books. pp. p112.. ISBN 0-060-09659-4.  
  18. ^ Ormstein, Bill, "Winters-Rosen Triple Budgets", The Hollywood Reporter, 17 Nov, 1970: p.1
  19. ^ ibid
  20. ^ ibid
  21. ^ ibid
  22. ^ List of winners (in spanish) of Sitges awards. p28
  23. ^ Transworld Media (2002-02). "The Hollywood Grind". http://business.transworld.net/2003/02/. Retrieved 2008-10-01. "Hollywood’s previous interpretations of skateboarders in legendary 80s films Thrashin’ and Gleaming the Cube"  
  24. ^ Muir, John Kenneth. "In 1997, Mike, Crow and Servo watched Space Mutiny". An Analytical Guide to Television's Battlestar Galactica: An Episode Guide and Analysis of the 1978 Science Fiction Television Series and Its Short Lived Sequel, "Galactica: 1980". McFarland. pp. 146. ISBN 0-786-40441-8.  
  25. ^ "“The MST3K DVD List”". Satellite News. http://www.mst3kinfo.com/satnews/dvds/index.html. Retrieved 2006-08-21.  
  26. ^ Peabody winners book
  27. ^ Linda Lovelace for President" review in New York Press, April 12, 2000
  28. ^ Weldon, Michael J.. "Linda Lovelace for President". The Psychotronic Video Guide. St. Martin's Press. pp. p334. ISBN 0-312-13149-6.  
  29. ^ Adrahtas, Thomas. A Lifetime to Get Here: Diana Ross: the American Dreamgirl. Adrahtas, Tom. Bloomington, IN:: AuthorHouse. pp. 167. ISBN 9781425971403.  
  30. ^ Winters, David (1986)."Audio Commentary Track", Thrashin,DVD, MGM Home Video
  31. ^ Tyner, Adam (5 August 1993). "Thrashin'". http://www.dvdtalk.com/reviews/7178/thrashin/#supplements. Retrieved 2008-09-29. "something that (the) cast found so astonishing that they apparently called Depp's girlfriend in the middle of the commentary to find out if it's actually true."  
  32. ^ Prouty, H. H.. "Raw Nerve". Variety and Daily variety television reviews. New York: Garland. pp. 29, May, 1991. ISBN 9780824037963.  
  33. ^ Thaper, Neil (1999-07-18). "AIM newcomer set for big things after UK acquisition" (print). The Mail (London): p. 11. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/. Retrieved 2008-10-07. "...Equater's two biggest share holders are David Winters and Patrick Meehan"  
  34. ^ "HandMade plc". Financial Times. http://markets.ft.com/ft/tearsheets/businessProfile.asp?s=UK:HMF. Retrieved 2008-10-05.  
  35. ^ Walden, Celia, "Stone's Ollywood", Chatham, Kent , Telegraph.co.UK: 14 December 2007
  36. ^ Who is David Winters?
  37. ^ Oliver Stone - Stone's Hollywood Plans for Thailand
  38. ^ Stone to build studio in Thailand
  39. ^ ""Fellow Rebel"". 2008-10-07. http://www.davidwinters.net/archives2.htm.  
  40. ^ "MST3K: Space Mutiny Eccentric Cinema, Winner EW Best of Web 2007". http://www.eccentric-cinema.com/cult_movies/space_mutiny.htm.  
  41. ^ "Entertainment Weekly Best of the web 2007". http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,20165619_20165621_20167518,00.html.  

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