Roger Michell, the British director known for romantic comedies like Notting Hill and Morning Glory, has died at the age of 65.
“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 22 September,” Michell’s publicist says in a statement.
Michell spent his formative years travelling across Europe and the Middle East with his British diplomat father. When he returned to England, Michell attended Clifton College in Bristol before enrolling at Queens’ College, Cambridge. It was during his years at these schools where his love for theatre and acting originated.
Michell’s initial forays were in the world of stage theatre, including stints as assistant director at the Royal Court Theatre, working with prominent figures including Samuel Beckett, Simon Curtis, and Danny Boyle. From 1985 to 1991, Michell was the Resident Director for the Royal Shakespeare Company.
He initially found work behind the camera on television films, including adaptations of Persuasion and The Buddha of Suburbia. Originally focusing on drama, Michell’s career trajectory changed when he was offered the directors chair for Notting Hill, the romantic comedy starring Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts. For a period, Notting Hill was the highest-grossing British film of all time.
Michell returned to dramas with the films Changing Lanes, The Mother, and Venus. Michell also dramatised the relationship between US President Franklin D. Roosevelt and his sixth cousins Margaret “Daisy” Suckley in the film Hyde Park on the Hudson, starring Bill Murray. Michell won a BAFTA for Persuasion and for his two-part TV drama The Lost Honour Of Christopher Jefferies. Michell’s final film, The Duke, was released in 2020.
Michell is survived by ex-wives Anna Maxwell Martin and Kate Buffery, plus his aforementioned four children.