Roger Michell is dead. The director of comedy-dramas such as “Notting Hill”, “Weekend with the King”, “Without Farewell” or recently “The Prince”, died at the age of 65. He was one of Britain’s leading theater directors.
Roger Michell, the director of “Notting Hill” among others, died on Wednesday, according to his family representatives. According to BBC News, the cause of Michelle’s death has not been made public.
Roger Michell – an outstanding theater artist
Roger Michell was born in 1959 in Pretoria (South Africa) to the family of a British diplomat. As a child, he also lived in Beirut, Damascus and Prague.
He graduated from Cambridge, during which he became interested in directing. Upon graduation, he received a special award for best student director from the Royal Shakespeare Company. In 1977 he moved to London, where he was an assistant, incl. John Osborne and Samuel Beckett at the Royal Court Theater.
Before the end of the 1970s, he started an individual career. After leaving the theater, he began to write and direct his own ideas. In 1982, his comedy “Private Dick” won the Fringe First Award of the prestigious Edinburgh Festival. In 1985, he joined the Royal Shakespeare Company, where for six years – first as an assistant director, then as a director – he realized himself creatively.
Roger Michell and the success of “Notting Hill”
His adventure with the film began with the BBC miniseries “The Buddha of Suburbia” in 1993, and three years later he made the television movie “Perswazje”, for which he received the BAFTA TV award. The film hit American cinemas, where it was very successful.
A few years later, Richard Curtis, screenwriter of such British classics as “Four Weddings and a Funeral” and “This Is Love”, chose Michella to direct “Notting Hill”. The comedy-drama starring Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant has become one of Britain’s highest-grossing films of all time, winning a Golden Globe nomination, among others.
In the following years, he shot new hits with star casts: “Changing the Belt” (2002), “Venus” (2006), “Dzień dobry TV” (2010) and “Weekend with the King” (2012). In 2019, he created “Without farewell” with Kate Winslet, Sam Neill, Mia Wasikowska and Susan Sarandon. The film is a remake of the Danish “Stille hjerte” (dir. Bille August).
In 2020, he made the biographical comedy-drama “The Prince”. The world premiere took place during last year’s edition of the International Film Festival in Venice. However, Michell did not live to see “The Prince” hit the regular cinema distribution.
The IMDb portal informs that in post-production there is the last title of Michella – the documentary “Elisabeth”.
Main photo source: WARREN TODA / EPA / PAP