Roger Michell, director of ‘Notting Hill’, dies at 65

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The British filmmaker Roger Michell, who directed the popular film Notting Hill (1999), starring the English Hugh Grant and the american Julia Roberts, has died at 65, his publicist reported Thursday.

In a brief statement released by the British agency PA, it is indicated that the also writer and theater director died on September 22, without giving more details about the circumstances.

“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 September 22,” the note reads.

Born on June 5, 1956 in Pretoria (South Africa), where his father was stationed as a diplomat, Michell grew up in several countries and later attended higher studies in Bristol (south-west England) and the University of Cambridge, where he directed several works and won various awards.

He was an assistant director at the London Royal Court Theater – where he met, among others, with the novelist Hanif Kureishi (from whom he would later adapt Buddha of Suburbia for television) or the filmmaker Danny Boyle-, and in 1985 he joined the Royal Shakespeare Company, where he was a resident director for six years.

Already consolidated in the theater and television circuit, the well-known screenwriter Richard Curtis he sought him out to direct his work Notting Hill, which became one of the highest grossing British films of all time. In 2002, he directed another big screen hit, Changing Lanes, with Ben Affleck and Samuel L. Jackson.

In the following decade he worked for personal reasons mainly in the United Kingdom, with films such as The Mother (2003), led by Anne Reid and Daniel Craig, and Venus (2006), with Peter O’Toole.

In 2010, Michell directed Morning Glory, a comedy about a morning television show with the Canadian Rachel McAdams and the american Harrison Ford, and in 2020 signed The Duke, starring Helen Mirren and Jim Broadbent, which was acclaimed last year at the Venice Film Festival and is awaiting its premiere in the coming months.

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