image source, Getty Imagesimage captionRoger Michell with Julia Roberts in 1999, the year of Notting Hill's release

Notting Hill actress Julia Roberts has joined many other stars in paying tribute to its director Roger Michell following his death at the age of 65.

The Oscar-winning actress said he had been "a kind and gentle man" she felt "so fortunate" to have worked with.

"He always had a sweet grin on his face and a perfect piece of direction to share," she said of Michell, whose other films included My Cousin Rachel.

Actor Sam Neill also paid tribute, remembering Michell as "a lovely man".

The Jurassic Park star said he and the cast of Blackbird had become "friends for life" after working on the 2019 drama and were "gutted" to hear of his death.

"We the cast, with our director Roger, all tattooed a bird after shooting Blackbird," Neill wrote on Twitter. "I grieve with his family."

Michell is survived by his four children – Harry, Rosie, Maggie and Sparrow – from his two marriages to the actresses Kate Buffery and Anna Maxwell Martin.

#RogerMichell. That lovely man. Died in his sleep last night . We the cast , with our director Roger, all tattooed a bird after shooting Blackbird- friends for life. Roger was only 65. We are all gutted. I grieve with his family. Great man. Vale Roger. Xx pic.twitter.com/qCqPSAAUBP

— Sam Neill (@TwoPaddocks) September 24, 2021
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Samantha Morton, who starred in Michell's 2004 film Enduring Love, said he had been "a wonderful director with huge integrity and compassion".

"In this world his kindness mattered so much to me," her Twitter tribute continued. "Thank you Roger for being so wonderful to us all."

Sam Claflin, who starred alongside Rachel Weisz in My Cousin Rachel, said he had been "patient, kind and loving" in his own Twitter tribute.

"You really were one of the finest men I've ever had the privilege of working with," the British actor wrote. "Life is too short."

Mr Michell – you really were one of the finest men I’ve ever had the privilege of working with. Patient. Kind. Loving. Sir, you will be missed. Love to your family. Love to all. Life is too short. ❤️ #RogerMichell pic.twitter.com/jPssDECba0

— Sam Claflin (@samclaflin) September 24, 2021
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Daniel Mays said Michell's death was "a huge loss to stage and screen", sentiments echoed by fellow British actor Toby Stephens.

Stephens, the son of actress Dame Maggie Smith, said he was "heartbroken" to have lost both a "dear friend" and a "wonderful director".

Sanjeev Bhaskar, who had a small role in Notting Hill, said he was "shocked and saddened" to hear of the director's sudden passing.

"He was as generous with his time and attention towards me as the main stars on Notting Hill," he tweeted. "A kindness I've never forgotten."

Shocked and saddened to hear of the passing of Roger Michell. 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 pic.twitter.com/3UBjhIMHlT

— Sanjeev Bhaskar💙 (@TVSanjeev) September 23, 2021
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James Dreyfus, another Notting Hill cast member, said he had been "one of the loveliest, most gentle artistes I've ever worked with".

Michell was also remembered by his frequent collaborator Samuel West, with whom he worked on both films and in the theatre.

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

A "devastated" Jason Watkins, whom Michell directed in The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies, said he would be "lost" without his "mate and collaborator".

"I owe him so much," wrote the actor, who won a Bafta for his role in the 2014 TV drama about a schoolteacher wrongly suspected of his tenant's murder.

My beautiful friend #RogerMichell has https://t.co/sE3OgWLbnU can you leave us now? I’m devastated. My mate and collaborator- I owe him so much. A kind strong gentle genius and a magnificent friend.We are all lost without you. Too soon, too soon. pic.twitter.com/2ob1dABKw7

— Jason Watkins (@Jason__Watkins) September 23, 2021
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Born in South Africa to a British father, Michell studied at Cambridge before becoming an assistant director at the Royal Court Theatre.

The London theatre said he had been "a great friend and force at the Royal Court" and had been "loved by writers".

Michell went on to direct for the Royal Shakespeare Company and at the National Theatre, where he directed eight plays.

The National said he was a "brilliant director" who would be "much missed", adding: "Our thoughts are with his loved ones."

Actor Eddie Marsan, whom Michell directed at the National in The Homecoming, said he had been "kind, supportive and insightful".

He was also remembered by composer David Arnold, who said he was "utterly shocked" to lose "one of his favourite directors and people".

image source, Pathe UKimage captionDame Helen Mirren and Jim Broadbent in a promotional image for The Duke

Michell died just as one of his final films, period comedy The Duke, was about to reach cinemas.

Pathé, the company behind The Duke, said it had had "a truly joyous time" working with its "wonderful" director.

Clive Coleman, BBC News' former legal correspondent, also worked on the film and said he was "devastated" by Michell's "untimely" death.

"It was a joy to work with him on The Duke," he wrote on Twitter, describing the director as "wise, witty, generous and utterly focused".

Michell's other collaborators included actor Daniel Craig, who he directed in 2003 film The Mother and again in 2004's Enduring Love.

He was set to work with Craig again on his second James Bond outing Quantum of Solace, only to step down before the film went into production.

"I'm a preparer," Michell said of the experience in 2012. "And with such a massive project as a Bond film, it seemed to me that I wanted as much time as possible.

"Basically I freaked out. I thought 'I can't do this, this is no good.' So I regretfully said, 'I just don't feel comfortable doing this.'"

image source, Getty Imagesimage captionMichell worked with Daniel Craig (left) before he was cast as James Bond

Michell was also to have directed the film version of Captain Corelli's Mandolin but was prevented from doing so by a heart attack.

Louis de Bernières' novel makes a cameo appearance in Notting Hill as the book Hugh Grant is reading in the film's final scene.

Released in 1999, the director's most well-known film tells of a London bookshop owner who falls in love with a famous Hollywood actress.

Michell himself worked both in the UK and Hollywood, juggling homegrown projects like Venus and Le Week-End with US productions like Changing Lanes and Morning Glory.

Michell was working on Elizabeth, a feature documentary about the Queen. at the time of his death.

In a statement on the film's website, he said it would be "a truly cinematic mystery-tour" that would show the monarch "as never before".

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