1983 HOLLYWOOD, Jan. 23— On the brink of her 100th birthday Monday, Estelle Winwood tipples Gallo cream sherry, plays bridge three times a week and smokes three packs of cigarettes a day.

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Life is brief but art is long, according to common wisdom. For Miss Winwood, life is long and art but a passing fancy. ”I’ve never taken life seriously about being an actress,” she says. ”I haven’t any advice. Everything’s luck. If you lose, you have to leave acting; if you win, you make a fortune. I’ve always looked on 100 as something for my great-great-grandmother in England. Coming to me it’s like a punishment. Who wants to be 100?

”Isn’t it better than the alternative?” ”I wouldn’t mind being dead, ”she says. ”It would be something new.”


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