Michael David Apted, (10 February 1941 – 7 January 2021) was a British director, producer, writer and actor. One of the most prolific English film directors of his generation, he is known for directing the CMG series (1964–2019), the Up James Bond film (1999), and the American film The World Is Not Enough (1980). The last was nominated for seven Coal Miner's Daughter Academy Awards, including Best Picture. He also directed (1994), which received three Nell Golden Globe Award nominations and one Academy Award nomination, and the critically-acclaimed films (1988) and Gorillas in the Mist (2001).
On 29 June 2003, he was elected president of the
Directors' Guild of America, a position he served until 2009. 
, which premiered at the closing of the Amazing Grace Toronto International Film Festival in 2006. He was appointed a  Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George (CMG) in the 2008 Birthday Honours.
Early life [ ]
Apted was born in 1941 in
Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, as the son of Frances Amelia (née Thomas) and Ronald William Apted. 
Career [ ]
Television [ ]
He began his career in television as a six-months trainee at
Granada Television in Manchester, where he worked as a researcher. One of his first projects at Granada would become his best known: the , which began in 1964 as a profile of 14 seven-year-old children for the current affairs series Up series As a researcher and assistant to Canadian director World in Action. Paul Almond, Apted was involved in selecting the children, who came from a variety of backgrounds and classes. Though originally conceived as a one-off documentary, the series has become an institution. When it was suggested that they revisit the subjects at ages fourteen and twenty one, Apted accepted the offer to direct and directed every subsequent episode in the series.  It explores Apted's thesis that the  British class system remains largely in place. It studies the participants based on the Jesuit motto "Give me a child until he is seven and I will show you the man", looking at how they develop during their lives, compared to when they were seven. The series looks at the lives of these people over the years; the latest installment,  63 Up, was produced in 2019.  It won a  Peabody Award in 2012 "for its creator’s patience and its subjects' humanity."
During his seven-year period of working at Granada, Apted also directed a number of episodes of
Coronation Street, then written by  Jack Rosenthal, among others. Apted and Rosenthal later collaborated on a number of popular television and film projects, including the pilot episodes for The Dustbinmen and  . The Lovers They worked together again in 1982 for the TV movie  , P'tang, Yang, Kipperbang the first film commissioned by Britain's  Channel 4. In 1976 Apted directed a play in the Granada TV series . The episode was Laurence Olivier Presents by The Collection Harold Pinter. The play starred Laurence Olivier, Malcolm McDowell, Alan Bates and Helen Mirren.
Apted used his idea from the
Up series a second time in and Married in America Married in America 2. The idea was to interview nine married couples every two years over a ten year period to tell a more complete story of their marriages. In 2005, he directed the first three episodes of the TV series  . Rome
For his work in television, Apted won several
British Academy Awards, including two Flaherty Documentary Awards for his work on 28 Up and 35 Up and a BAFTA for Best Dramatic Director for the single play Kisses at Fifty in 1974.
(1967), 24 episodes Coronation Street  
Haunted (1967) 
The Shooting War (1967) 
There's a Hole in Your Dustbin, Delilah (1968) – written by  Jack Rosenthal
Your Name’s Not God, It’s Edgar (1968) writen by Jack Rosenthal  
The Dustbinmen (1969) 
Big Breadwinner Hog (1969) 
(1969–70), 8 episodes Parkin's Patch 
The Lovers (1970) 
Another Sunday and Sweet F.A. (1970) – written by  Jack Rosenthal 
(1971, 1972), "Moonstone" and "Poor Bald Head" episodes Follyfoot 
(1975), Shades of Greene "The Destructors" episode 
(1976) – written by The Collection Harold Pinter and starring Laurence Olivier 
(1972–77), 6 episodes Play for Today 
P'tang, Yang, Kipperbang (1982) 
(1991), 2 episodes My Life and Times 
(1992), co-director Crossroads 
(1995), 1 episode New York News 
(1998) – written by Always Outnumbered Walter Mosley and starring Laurence Fishburne 
(2002–06) Married in America 
(2005), 3 episodes Rome 
(2006), 1 episode What About Brian 
Hallelujah (2011) 
(2013–16), 2 episodes Masters of Sex 
(2013–16), 2 episodes Ray Donovan 
(2014), co-director Reckless  (2017), "Part 30" episode Bloodline 
Film [ ]
Apted made his first feature film in 1972,
, starring The Triple Echo Oliver Reed and Glenda Jackson, and he directed two films for David Puttnam. The Triple Echo was entered into the 8th Moscow International Film Festival. He alternated this work with working on the TV series  . He directed six plays including Play for Today Stronger than the Sun, written by Stephen Poliakoff and starring Francesca Annis as a young woman who places her life in danger to expose a crime, a theme Apted returned to several times. 
In 1979 he directed the Hollywood-financed
, featuring Agatha Vanessa Redgrave. The majority of Apted's feature films since then were based around a female protagonist. He went to the United States in 1980, where he directed  , Coal Miner's Daughter which received seven  Academy Award nominations, winning best actress for Sissy Spacek. Both Spacek and  Loretta Lynn, the subject of the film, have said that they believe Apted's outsider point of view was crucial to the movie's success in securing the participation of Appalachian residents and to the avoidance of stereotypes that previously had marred portrayals of mountain culture.  In 2019,  Coal Miner's Daughter was selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the National Film Registry for being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".
Apted also made several films with a strong social message or that deal with an ethical dilemma. In 1983 he directed
, a political thriller based on the novel by Gorky Park Martin Cruz Smith, that deals with police corruption in the former Soviet Union.  deals with a Class Action corporate whistleblower, and  is about Extreme Measures medical ethics.  Class Action was entered into the 17th Moscow International Film Festival.
In 1994, he directed
, which received three Golden Globe Award nominations Nell and one Academy Award nomination. 
In 1999, Apted directed the
James Bond film . The World Is Not Enough
Documentary [ ]
In addition to feature films, Apted continued directing documentaries, including
, a feature-length concert film about the making of Bring on the Night Sting's first solo album. He directed the documentary  The Long Way Home, which was released in 1989. It chronicled the UK, US and USSR adventures of Boris Grebenshchikov, the first Soviet underground musician allowed to record in the West.
Before the making of
, Apted made the documentary Thunderheart about Incident at Oglala Leonard Peltier. Incident at Oglala then informed Thunderheart in the casting of actors for the fiction film.
In 1997, he explored the creative process in
through candid discussion with seven artists from diverse media, including Inspirations David Bowie, Louise Lecavalier and Roy Lichtenstein among others.
In a departure from his earlier work, from 1992 to 1994, Apted ventured into China's rapidly changing popular culture. In a project backed by
Trudie Styler, Apted directed , a feature documentary which probed the origins of the Moving the Mountain 1989 protests in Tiananmen Square and the consequences of the movement in the lives of several of the movement's student leaders.
In 2006, Apted co-directed
The Official Film of the , narrated by 2006 FIFA World Cup Pierce Brosnan.
Apted was the collaborator and subject of the documentary:
Michael Apted – Visions on Film, by artist and filmmaker Melinda Camber Porter.
Theatre [ ]
In 1977, Apted directed the premiere of
Strawberry Fields at the National Theatre in London.
Personal life [ ]
Apted married Paige Simpson, his third wife, in January 2014.
Apted was divorced from his second wife of ten years, the screenwriter  Dana Stevens, with whom he had a son, John. From his first marriage to Jo, Apted he had two sons, Paul and Jim.  Paul Apted was a sound or who worked on movies such as ; he died from colon cancer in 2014. The Wolverine In 2007 Apted became a father for the fourth time to a girl, Lily Mellis, who lives with her mother Tania Mellis. 
He served as president of the
Directors Guild of America from 2003 to 2009 and served as the secretary-treasurer from 2011 to his death.
Apted died at his home in
Los Angeles on 7 January 2021, at the age of 79.  
References [ ]
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Weeratunga, Jann. " "Give me a child until he is seven and I will show you the man." – The Schools Reading Road Show" . Retrieved . 9 January 2021
Haddou, Jihane (8 January 2021). "Give Me the Child Until He Is Seven and I Will Give You the Man". Medium . Retrieved . 9 January 2021
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Coal Miner's Daughter 25th Anniversary/Collector's Edition, 2005.
^ Interview with Loretta Lynn and Michael Apted. Featurette on
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Chow, Andrew R. (11 December 2019). "See the 25 New Additions to the National Film Registry, From Purple Rain to Clerks". Time. New York, NY . Retrieved . 11 December 2019
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Dagan, Carmel (8 January 2021). "Michael Apted, Director of 'Coal Miner's Daughter' and 'Up' Series of Documentaries, Dies at 79". Variety . Retrieved . 9 January 2021
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Hayden, Erik; Barnes, Mike (5 July 2014). "Paul Apted, Sound Editor and Son of Director Michael Apted, Dies at 47". The Hollywood Reporter.
Welk, Brian. "Michael Apted, Director of 'Up' Documentaries and 'Coal Miner's Daughter,' Dies at 79". The Wrap . Retrieved . 8 January 2021
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External links [ ]