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Roger Michell, the British stage, television and film director whose movies include the hit rom-com Notting Hill, has died. He was 65.
He died Wednesday, his family announced. They didn’t disclose the place or cause of death.
“It is with great sadness that the family of Roger Michell, director, writer and father of Harry, Rosie, Maggie and Sparrow, announce his death at the age of 65 on Sept. 22,” said the statement released through Michell’s publicist.
Michell directed for British theaters including the Royal Court, the National Theatre and the Royal Shakespeare Company, and made acclaimed television series in the 1990s, including adaptations of Hanif Kureishi’s novel The Buddha of Suburbia and Jane Austen’s Persuasion.
On the big screen, his biggest commercial hit was Notting Hill, the Richard Curtis-penned comedy about an awkward romance between a movie star played by Julia Roberts and a London bookshop owner, played by Hugh Grant.
After its release in 1999 it was for a time the highest-grossing British film in history, and Michell followed it with Hollywood thriller Changing Lanes, starring Ben Affleck and Samuel L. Jackson.
But he largely made films in Britain, including Enduring Love, based on an Ian McEwan novel, and Venus, which gained Peter O’Toole an Academy Award nomination.
Kate Winslet, who starred in Michell’s 2019 film Blackbird, wrote in a statement obtained by The Hollywood Reporter: “We are utterly heartbroken to lose the kindest and best of men. Roger Michell was a loving and devoted family man, but was also responsible for bringing together other families, creative families, across the globe. Myself, and the cast of his movie Blackbird are eternally bound forever by the bond he forged between us all. We mourn him deeply today, and will cherish and uphold his memory and his pure, magical spirit for all time. A truly great and good man from whom we learnt so much. A brilliant director. A gorgeous man, who made the world a better place. Us lucky ones who knew him have been profoundly affected by his gentleness and his almighty lion heart.”
Later films included Hyde Park on Hudson, a historical drama starring Bill Murray as President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and The Duke, a real-life art heist story starring Jim Broadbent and Helen Mirren that premiered at the 2020 Venice Film Festival.
“We are devastated and shocked by the news of the passing of our dear friend Roger Michell. We were just with him a few weeks ago in Telluride with The Duke celebrating his exceptional accomplishment,” Michael Barker and Tom Bernard of Sony Pictures Classics said in a statement.
“Roger was a world-class filmmaker, one of the best and one of the loveliest and warmest people you will ever meet. We have been close since 1995, when we brought him and his first film, Persuasion, to Telluride. Our heart goes out to his family and friends who are experiencing the profound sadness we all share.”
Michell is survived by ex-wives Kate Buffery and Anna Maxwell Martin, both actors, and by his four children.
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