Gorillas in the Mist director Michael Apted dies aged 79

Film-maker was also known for Up documentaries and for directing Bond film

Director Michael Apted at his office in west Los Angeles, US, in December 2012. Photograph: Robert Yager/The New York Times

Director Michael Apted at his office in west Los Angeles, US, in December 2012. Photograph: Robert Yager/The New York Times

 

Director Michael Apted has died aged 79.

The British film-maker was known for the Up series of documentaries which followed the lives of 14 children since 1964, as well as for 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.

Apted also directed 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 St Michael and St George in the queen’s birthday honours, for his services to the British film and television industries.

He won four Baftas, including three for Up.

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 Bond producers 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.”– PA