Brit producer Simon Channing Williams dies

Made 11 films with Mike Leigh, founded Potboiler Prods.

LONDON -- Film producer Simon Channing Williams, the longtime producing partner of Mike Leigh, has died of cancer. He was 63.

Williams died at home with his family in Cornwall on Saturday.

Channing Williams began his career at the BBC, where he worked with Leigh, Stephen Frears, James MacTaggart, Mike Newell and Michael Apted, among others.

He went on to produce 11 films with Leigh, founding Thin Man Films in 1988. Titles included "Topsy-Turvy," an Oscar winner for best makeup and costume design, Palme d'Or winner "Secrets and Lies" and the Oscar-nominated "Vera Drake."

Leigh's "Happy-Go-Lucky" marked the duo's final production before Channing Williams' death.

Channing Williams produced several other films outside his relationship with Leigh, including Tony Palmer's "Puccini," Clive Rees' "When the Whales Came" and Tim Sullivan's "Jack and Sarah."

In 2000, he formed independent production company Potboiler Prods. with Gail Egan. Together they produced seven feature films including Fernando Meirelles' "The Constant Gardener."

He and Egan also executive produced Meirelles' "Blindness" and Potboiler acquired the rights to John le Carre's two most recent novels, "The Mission Song" and "A Most Wanted Man."

Egan pledged to continue Potboiler films and to produce movies based on le Carre's novels.

Channing Williams is survived by his wife, Annie, five children and five grandchildren.
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