Notting Hill director Roger Michell dies at 65

The filmmaker was also responsible for films such as Morning Glory and Enduring Love.

Roger Michell (Ian West/PA)
Roger Michell (Ian West/PA)

Director Roger Michell, whose films include Notting Hill, Venus and My Cousin Rachel, has died at the age of 65.

A statement from his publicist to the PA news agency said: “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 son of a British diplomat, Michell was born in South Africa and lived in Beirut, Damascus and Prague as a child.

My Cousin Rachel World Premiere – London
Roger Michell at the premiere of My Cousin Rachel (Ian West/PA)

He was an acclaimed theatre director, and was resident director at the Royal Shakespeare Company for six years.

Among his theatre credits are Nina Raine’s Consent, Harold Pinter’s The Homecoming and Dylan Thomas’ Under Milk Wood, with many of his productions playing at the National Theatre.

His production of Blue/Orange by Joe Penhall, starring Bill Nighy, Andrew Lincoln and Chiwetel Ejiofor, won numerous awards and transferred to the West End.

ES Film Roger Michell
Collecting an award for Notting Hill (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

Michell’s biggest hit on the big screen was Notting Hill, written by Richard Curtis and starring Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant, which was a box office juggernaut and for which he was nominated for a Bafta.

Also among his film credits is Enduring Love, starring Daniel Craig, Morning Glory, with Rachel McAdams, Harrison Ford and Diane Keaton, and Changing Lanes, starring Ben Affleck and Samuel L Jackson.

He also directed the big screen version of My Cousin Rachel, as well as Venus, starring Peter O’Toole and Jodie Whittaker.

‘Morning Glory’ Premiere – London
With Rachel McAdams at the Morning Glory premiere (Ian West/PA)

He won a Bafta for his adaptation of Persuasion, as well as for his two-part TV drama The Lost Honour Of Christopher Jefferies, written by Peter Morgan, telling the true-life story of a retired schoolteacher accused of murder and starring Jason Watkins in the title role.

Mr Jefferies, who was one of Michell’s own teachers in his schooldays, was innocent.

Earlier this month Michell was in the US at the Telluride Film Festival, promoting his upcoming film The Duke starring Dame Helen Mirren, Jim Broadbent and Matthew Goode.

House of Fraser British Academy Television Awards – Press Room – London
roger Michell (seond left) with Gareth Neame, Kevin Loader and Jason Watkins with their Baftas for The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies (Ian West/PA)

He was also in production on a theatrical documentary about the Queen.

Michell was previously married to actress Kate Buffery, with whom he shared two children.

He was later married to actress Anna Maxwell Martin, with whom he also had two children before their separation.

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