The documentarian, who died Jan. 7, spent decades following the lives of a group of British citizens, updating their stories with a new episode every seven years. Originally broadcast in 2013.
(CNN) British filmmaker and documentarian Michael Apted died Thursday night in Los Angeles at the age of 79, the Directors Guild of America (DGA) announced in a statement Friday.
No details about his death were immediately available.
“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,” Thomas Schlamme, the president of DGA, said.
“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,” Schlamme said.
Born in 1941 in Aylesbury, England, Apted had a prolific body of work in television, film and documentaries.
He is known especially for directing the Up series (1964–2019). The Up series follows the lives of fourteen British children since 1964, when they were seven years old. The documentary has had nine episodes—one episode every seven years—thus spanning 56 years. In 1991 the then most recent installment, 28 Up, was chosen for Roger Ebert’s list of the ten greatest films of all time.
Apted directed the 1980 movie “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” which won the Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture in the musical and comedy category. Sissy Spacek won the Oscar for Best Actress for her role in the film.