Los Angeles, a city synonymous with the glitz and glamour of Hollywood, served as the backdrop for the upbringing of Charles Winkler, the youngest son of esteemed film producer Irwin Winkler. As he emerged from the shadows of his father’s cinematic legacy, Charles carved a unique path, seamlessly transitioning between the world of film and the halls of academia.
Early Years in Hollywood
Charles Winkler’s early exposure to the film industry was almost inevitable, given his familial ties to Hollywood. Born and raised in the entertainment capital of the world, he found himself drawn to the magic of cinema from a young age. His initiation into acting began with small roles, notably in Martin Scorsese’s “New York, New York” (1977), a film that would serve as a stepping stone in his multifaceted journey.
Beyond the glitz of Hollywood, Charles Winkler pursued a robust academic journey. Armed with a Bachelor of Science in foreign service from the prestigious Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, he laid a foundation for his intellectual pursuits. Undeterred, he continued to expand his horizons, earning a Juris Doctor from New York University School of Law—a testament to his commitment to legal scholarship.
Further fueling his intellectual curiosity, Charles obtained a master’s degree in political science from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Under the mentorship of Karen Orren, a distinguished figure in the field, Winkler delved into the intricacies of political science, broadening his academic repertoire.
Legal Practice and Notable Cases
Charles Winkler’s journey led him to the courtroom, where he practiced law alongside renowned attorney Howard Weitzman. His legal acumen was put to the test when he represented none other than the King of Pop, Michael Jackson, in a high-profile defense against charges of sexual assault—a pivotal moment that underscored Winkler’s prowess in the legal arena.
In the corridors of justice, Winkler honed his skills further as a law clerk to Judge David Thompson of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit from 1995 to 1996. This hands-on experience in the federal judiciary solidified his understanding of the legal system.
Academic Pedigree and Teaching Career
As if Hollywood and legal practice were not enough to occupy his time, Charles Winkler embraced academia with equal fervor. From 2001 to 2002, he assumed the prestigious role of John M. Olin fellow at the University of Southern California Law School, delving into scholarly pursuits that complemented his practical legal experience.
Since 2002, Winkler has been a dedicated educator at UCLA School of Law, where he imparts his wealth of knowledge to eager legal minds. His commitment to shaping the next generation of legal professionals was duly recognized when he received tenure in 2007—a testament to his impact within the academic realm.