Julia Roberts leads tributes to late ‘Notting Hill’ director Roger Michell: “A kind and gentle man”

"I feel so fortunate to have had such a fantastic opportunity to work with him"

Figures from across the world of cinema have paid tribute to Roger Michell, the Notting Hill director who died on Wednesday (September 22) aged 65.

Michell’s death was announced the following day. A statement from Michell’s publicist said: “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.” A cause of death has not been given.

Among those paying tribute to Michell was Julia Roberts, who worked with Michell on Notting Hill. In a statement to E! News, she described him as “Such a kind and gentle man. He always had a sweet grin on his face and a perfect piece of direction to share. I feel so fortunate to have had such a fantastic opportunity to work with him.”

Sanjeev Bhaskar, who appeared in a minor role in Notting Hill, said he was “Shocked and saddened” by the news.

“Terrific director & always such great company. He was as generous with his time and attention towards me as the main stars on Notting Hill. A kindness I’ve never forgotten. Thoughts with his son Harry & Roger’s family”

In addition to his work on Notting Hill, Michell was known for directing the comedy-drama Venus, the Daphne Du Maurier adaptation My Cousin Rachel and more.

Sam Neill, who starred in Michell’s 2019 film Blackbird, remembered him as a “lovely man,” while actor Samuel West, a frequent collaborator, said he was “numbed by the news”.

“He was a beautiful man and a consummate director: generous, authoritative, tasteful and so, so kind. I loved him, a lot,” West said.

The likes of Moonlight and The Underground Railroad director Barry Jenkins, other actors who have worked with him like Samantha Morton, Sam Claflin, and more also paid tribute.

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