Roger Michell: Director of Notting Hill, Venus, Dies at 65

Roger Michell, Director of ‘Notting Hill,’ Dies at 65

Roger Michell

Roger Michell, the director of such films as Notting Hill, Venus and My Cousin Rachel, died on Wednesday, Sep 22. He was 65.

A statement from his publicist 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 theater, with stints at the U.K.’s Royal Court Theatre, 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).

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 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.

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 Honor of Christopher Jefferies” (2014) and for best single drama for “Persuasion” (1995).