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Biography #2 (for Amazing Grace)

Michael Apted enjoys a career spanning film and television, winning recognition and many awards for his work in both media.

He began working as a researcher at Granada Television and soon became established as an investigative reporter and television director of the news series World in Action, before becoming a drama director on the long running British soap Coronation Street. Among his sixty plus television credits are The Lovers and Folly Foot, which won BAFTA Awards, and Another Sunday and Sweet FA and Kisses at Fifty, both of which won him the award as Best Dramatic director.

In 1972, Apted made his directorial film debut with Triple Echo, starring Glenda Jackson and Oliver Reed, followed by the acclaimed rock and roll drama Stardust, then The Squeeze, with Stacy Keach and Agatha, starring Dustin Hoffman and Vanessa Redgrave.

In 1980, his first American feature Coal Miner's Daughter, garnered seven Academy nominations, including Sissy Spacek's Oscar for her portrayal of the country-western singer Loretta Lynn. He then directed John Belushi in Continental Divide, and William Hurt in an adaptation of the best-selling novel Gorky Park. In 1985, Bring On The Night, which chronicled the creation of rock star Sting's Blue Turtles album and his subsequent tour, won Apted a Grammy Award.

Gorillas in the Mist, starring Sigourney Weaver, gained five Academy nominations. This was followed by Class Action, a court room drama starring Gene Hackman and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Thunderheart, starring Val Kilmer, Blink, a thriller with Madeleine Stowe and Aidan Quinn and Nell, starring Jodie Foster, who was nominated for an Academy Award for her performance in the title role.

In 1996, Apted directed Extreme Measures, a medical ethics drama starring Sarah Jessica Parker and Hugh Grant, followed by Always Outnumbered, starring Laurence Fishburne, written by Walter Mosley.

In 1999 he directed the James Bond adventure The World Is Not Enough, which became the most successful film in the franchise to date, starring Pierce Brosnan, Judi Dench and Denise Richards. This was followed by Engima, a World War II drama starring Kate Winslet and Dougray Scott and Enough, starring Jennifer Lopez.

In 2004, Apted directed the three establishing episodes of the epic HBO drama Rome, which follows two soldiers form Julius Caesar's army as the Republic collapses and the Empire begins.

Parallel to his feature film career, Michael Apted has made documentaries that have attracted awards, as well as critical and box office success. The most notable of these is the series which began with 7 Up, following the lives of a group of 14 British schoolchildren from the age of seven, in 1963, visiting them every seven years to chart their lives. The most recent of the series, 49 Up, aired in 2005. Other documentaries include Married in America, the Rolling Stones Forty Licks Tour and The World 2006, following soccer and it's global influence leading up to the 2006 World Cup.

Michael Apted is currently President of the Directors Guild of America, for a second term, and was recently awarded the International Documentary Association's highest honour, the IDA Career Achievement Award.

Bio courtesy Samuel Goldwyn for "Amazing Grace" (04-Mar-2007)


Biography #3 (for Enough)

Michael Apted was born in England and studied law and history at Cambridge University. He began his career as a researcher at Granada Television, eventually becoming a TV director and guiding episodes of the popular series Coronation Street. Several of his television series won British Academy awards with Apted himself named Best Dramatic Director. It was also in England that Apted began a series of documentaries beginning with, 7 Up, 21 Up, 28 Up, 35 Up and 42 Up - that follows the changing lives of a diverse group of men and women every 7 years. Roger Ebert has called it "the most engrossing long-distance documentary project in the history of film." He has continued making documentaries, most recently with Me and Isaac Newton and his current project Married in America for A&E and New Line Television. For this work and others, Apted has been honored with the I.D.A. Career Achievement Award.

Apted came to America in 1980 and his first Hollywood movie, Coal Miner's Daughter, garnered seven Academy Award nominations including Best Picture and an Oscar for Sissy Spacek. He went on to direct Continental Divide, Gorky Park, Kipperbang (giving him another British Academy nomination), First Born, Bring on the Night (which won him a Grammy Award) and Critical Condition. Apted then traveled to Rwanda and Kenya to film Sigourney Weaver in Gorillas in the Mist, earning the actress an Oscar nomination along with four other nominations for the film.

His other films include the acclaimed documentary Incident at Oglala, Thunderheart with Val Kilmer, the thriller Blink starring Madeline Stowe and Nell, which won Jody Foster an Academy Award nomination.

Apted recently directed the medical ethics thriller Extreme Measures and made his own mark on the action blockbuster genre with The World is Not Enough, the most successful James Bond film to date and the code-breaker drama Enigma, produced by Mick Jagger and Lorne Michaels.

Apted has twice been nominated for the Director's Guild of America Award: for Coal Miner's Daughter and for the PBS Production of Harold Pinter's The Collection starring Sir Laurence Olivier.

Behind the camera, Apted executive produced HBO's Criminal Justice, Francis Ford Coppola's Bram Stoker's Dracaula, and Strapped. He also executive produced the documentaries 14 Up in America and Age 14 In Russia which premiered on England's BBC in l998.

Bio courtesy Columbia Pictures for "Enough" (08-Aug-2002)


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