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Entertainment Roger Michell, director of Notting Hill, dies at 65

09:16  24 september  2021
09:16  24 september  2021 Source:   celebrity.nine.com.au

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Roger Michell, the director of such films as Notting Hill, Venus and My Cousin Rachel, died on Wednesday, his publicist told the UK Press Association. He was 65.

A statement from his publicist to the agency on Thursday reads: "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."

Born in South Africa, Michell had a successful career in theatre, with stints at the U.K.'s Royal Court Theatre, the Royal Shakespeare Company, where he was resident director, and the National Theatre, among others. For TV, he made the miniseries Downtown Lagos (1992), followed by the enormously acclaimed adaptation of Hanif Kureishi's The Buddha of Suburbia (1993).

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Michell made his film directorial debut with My Night with Reg (1997), where a group of gay English men spend a night of reminiscence after one of their friends dies of AIDS.

Romantic comedy Notting Hill (1999), written by Richard Curtis and starring Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant, was a global smash hit and made Michell an in-demand filmmaker across the pond in Hollywood. Thriller Changing Lanes (2002), starring Ben Affleck and Samuel L. Jackson, followed, as did The Mother (2003), which saw Michell reunite with Kureishi.

Michell is also known for Venus (2006), again written by Kureishi, starring Peter O'Toole in a role that earned him his final Oscar nomination; Morning Glory (2010), starring Harrison Ford, Diane Keaton and Rachel McAdams; and Hyde Park on Hudson (2012, featuring Bill Murray, Laura Linney and Olivia Williams.

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Roger Michell, Harrison Ford, Diane Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Patrick Wilson posing for a photo: Roger Michell, Harrison Ford, Rachel McAdams, Patrick Wilson and Anna Maxwell Martin arriving for the UK premiere of Morning Glory. © PA Images via Getty Images Roger Michell, Harrison Ford, Rachel McAdams, Patrick Wilson and Anna Maxwell Martin arriving for the UK premiere of Morning Glory.

The filmmaker's last fiction features were Blackbird (2019), with Susan Sarandon leading an ensemble cast that also included Kate Winslet and Sam Neill and The Duke (2020), with Jim Broadbent and Helen Mirren.

Michell won BAFTAs for best miniseries for The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies (2014) and for best single drama for Persuasion (1995).

Homages have been pouring in from the industry.

Roberts called Mitchell a "kind and gentle man" in a statement.

"He always had a sweet grin on his face and a perfect piece of direction to share," Roberts said. "I feel so fortunate to have had such a fantastic opportunity to work with him."

She said Mitchell's children were "the true lights of his life" and offered them her condolences.

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Roger Michell, Benjamin Bratt posing for the camera: Julia Roberts called Roger a © Ron Galella Collection via Getty Julia Roberts called Roger a

Winslet, who worked with Michell on the drama Blackbird, called the director "a gorgeous man, who made the world a better place."

"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," Winslet said in a statement. "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."

Michael Barker, Tom Bernard and the Sony Pictures Classics team paid tribute to Michell on Thursday, describing him as a "world class filmmaker."

"We are devastated and shocked by the news of the passing of our dear friend Roger Michell," a statement from the Sony Pictures Classics team reads. "We were just with him a few weeks ago in Telluride with 'The Duke' celebrating his exceptional accomplishment. Roger was a world class filmmaker, one of the best AND 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."

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"So incredibly sad to hear about the passing of Roger Michell, a wonderful director with huge integrity and compassion, in this world his kindness mattered so much to me. My thoughts and prayers are with his family. Thank you Roger for being so wonderful to us all. Enduring love...," tweeted actor Samantha Morton.

https://twitter.com/samthesparrow/status/1441094206416560140?s=20

"We're sad to hear the news that film director Roger Michell has passed away. Best known for Notting Hill, his other film works include Persuasion and Venus," tweeted the British Film Institute.

https://twitter.com/BFI/status/1441084970638790656?s=20

"What horrible news about Roger Michell. Devastating for his family. And sad sad news for all of us who have loved so many of his films," tweeted Tricia Tuttle, director of the London Film Festival.

https://twitter.com/TriciaTuttle/status/1441076183534350341?s=20

"Shocked and saddened to hear of the passing of Roger Michell. Terrific director & always such great company. He was as generous with his time and attention towards me as the main stars on Notting Hill. A kindness I've never forgotten. Thoughts with his son Harry & Roger's family," wrote actor Sanjeev Bhaskar.

https://twitter.com/TVSanjeev/status/1441088459385413644?s=20https://twitter.com/TheDukeFilmUK/status/1441088722590597129?s=20

Liverpool great and World Cup winner Roger Hunt dies aged 83 .
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