R.I.P. 'The Up Series' Director Michael Apted

Image via the Peabody Awards

BY Josiah HughesPublished Jan 8, 2021

Michael Apted — a veteran film director best known for helming eight documentaries in the legendary Up Series — has died at the age of 79.

The original film in the series, Seven Up!, was directed by Paul Almond and researched by Apted. Released in 1964, the film followed the lives of 14 British children, each seven years old. Since then, Apted has followed up with the subjects and released a new documentary every seven years.

The critically acclaimed, jawdropping series most recently included 63 Up, which was released in 2019. Speaking with the New Daily about that film, Apted said, "I'd be lucky to do the next one. If I live, I'll be 85."

It's unclear if the series would continue without Apted.

Outside of the documentary series, Apted directed a James Bond film in The World Is Not Enough, as well as The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.

He also directed the Loretta Lynn documentary The Coal Miner's Daughter, the David Essex film Stardust and, according to The Hollywood Reporter, a documentary about the Rolling Stones' 2002 Forty Licks tour that was shelved following a disagreement with Mick Jagger. That's just scratching the surface.

Apted is survived by his third wife Paige Simpson as well as his four children.


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