Tributes paid to Bond director and 7-Up documentarian Michael Apted who has died at 79

Tributes have poured in for film director and documentarian Michael Apted who has died aged 79.

The British filmmaker was most well-known known for the Up series, which followed the lives of 14 children since 1964, as well as directing Coal Miner’s Daughter and Gorillas In The Mist.

He also directed the 1999 James Bond film The World Is Not Enough, which starred Pierce Brosnan, and a number of episodes of Coronation Street in the 1960s.

Thomas Schlamme, president of the Directors Guild of America (DGA), paid tribute to Apted in a statement, saying: “Our hearts are heavy today as we mourn the passing of esteemed director, longtime DGA leader and my friend Michael Apted.

“His legacy will be forever woven into the fabric of cinema and our Guild.

“A fearless visionary as a director and unparalleled guild leader, Michael saw the trajectory of things when others didn’t, and we were all the beneficiaries of his wisdom and lifelong dedication.”

Apted, who served as the president of the DGA from 2003 to 2009, was born in 1941 in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, before moving to London with his father after the Second World War.

As a child, he studied at the City of London School where he first developed an interest in cinema.

In 2008 he was made a companion of the Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for services to the British film and television industries.

He won four Baftas, including three for Up.

A tweet from the film academy said the organisation is “very sorry to hear of the death of director Michael Apted”.

The producers of the James Bond film franchise paid tribute to his ability to move “effortlessly and successfully between all genres”.

A Twitter post signed by Michael G Wilson and Barbara Broccoli added: “He was beloved by all those who worked with him.

“We loved working with him on The World Is Not Enough and send our love and support to his family, friends and colleagues.”

The official Twitter page for the Oscars also paid tribute.

“Director Michael Apted will always be remembered for the groundbreaking documentary “Up” series,” the post said.

“A past president of the Directors Guild and Academy Governor, he also made many acclaimed feature films, from “Coal Miner’s Daughter” to “The World Is Not Enough.” He will be missed.”

ITV managing director Kevin Lygo highlighted Apted’s long association with the broadcaster which included the Seven Up series.

“At ITV, we are deeply saddened by the news that Michael Apted has passed away,” he said.

“Michael’s long and distinguished career began and ended with ITV, spanning six decades, which is in itself truly remarkable.

“What that association produced was truly unique.

“The Up series demonstrated the possibilities of television at its finest in its ambition and its capacity to hold up a mirror to society and engage with and entertain people while enriching our perspective on the human condition.

“The influence of Michael’s contribution to film and programme-making continues to be felt and he will be sadly missed.”

Actor and director Paul Feig said he was “very very sad to hear of the passing of Michael Apted”.

“He was always so kind to me and I was such a great admirer of his work,” he added.

“We were on the DGA board together for a couple of years and I always looked forward to sitting next to him. RIP Michael.”

Screenwriter John Fusco, who worked with Apted on the film Thunderheart, tweeted: “Sad to learn of the passing of brilliant film director Michael Apted.

“In directing ‘Thunderheart’ he was the only director to ever truly capture one of my screenplays as envisioned. Excelsior, Mate.”

A post on the Twitter account of the band Garbage, who performed the theme for The World Is Not Enough, labelled Apted a “delightful, charming soul”.

“Thank you for sprinkling us with some of your stardust,” the post added.

The song’s composer David G Arnold, who worked with Apted on three other films including The Chronicles Of Narnia: The Voyage Of The Dawn Treader, tweeted: “I was lucky enough to go to the rodeo with Michael on 4 films, including “Bond” and “Narnia”. A more trusting, funny, friendly and, most importantly, kind person you’d never meet . So pleased to have known him and so sad that he’s gone.”


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