Roger Michell, who directed the 1999 romantic comedy Notting Hill with Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant, died Thursday, his family said. He was 65. Michell's other films include Morning Glory with Harrison Ford and Rachel McAdams, Hyde Park on the Hudson with Bill Murray, and the 2017 version of My Cousin Rachel with Rachel Weisz. His final film was The Duke, released in 2020.
"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," Michell's family said in a statement to the Associated Press. Michell was married to Kate Buffery until their divorce in 2002. He later married Anna Maxwell Martin in 2002. He is also survived by four children.
Michell was born in South Africa and began directing in theater. He began working on television in the early 1990s, and made his first film, a BBC adaptation of Jane Austen's Persuasion, in 1995. His biggest film by far was Notting Hill, which starred Roberts as a movie star who falls for a London bookshop owner played by Grant. At one point, the film held the title of the highest-grossing British film of all time.
Most of Michell's films were made in the U.K., meaning he worked with incredible actors. He worked with Bill Nighy and Daniel Craig on Enduring Love (2004), Peter O'Toole on Venus (2006), and Weisz on My Cousin Rachel. His final film was The Duke, starring Jim Broadbent as a taxi driver who stole a piece of art from the National Gallery. It was screened at the Venice Film Festival earlier this month and is scheduled to hit theaters in the U.K. on Feb. 22.
Michell's work was celebrated on social media by those who worked with him and loved his films. "I loved every minute we spent together. RIP Roger Michell," Roberts wrote on Instagram, alongside a black and white photo of Michell. "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," Samantha Morton, who starred in Enduring Love, tweeted. "My thoughts and prayers are with his family. Thank you Roger for being so wonderful to us all."