‘Notting Hill’ director Roger Michell dies at 65

Entertainment

VENICE, ITALY – SEPTEMBER 04: Roger Michell attends the photocall of the movie “The Duke” at the 77th Venice Film Festival on September 04, 2020 in Venice, Italy. (Photo by Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images)

LONDON (AP) — Roger Michell, the British stage, television and film director whose movies include the hit romcom “Notting Hill,” has died. He was 65.

Michell’s family announced his death on Wednesday in a statement on Thursday. 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 September 22nd,” 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.

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.

Michell is survived by ex-wives Kate Buffery and Anna Maxwell Martin, both actors, and by his four children.

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