Michael Apted, the film director who helmed the award-winning Loretta Lynn biopic Coal Miner's Daughter, has died. The acclaimed director died on Thursday (Jan. 7) of undisclosed causes.

CNN reports that the British director died in Los Angeles, Calif., on Thursday night at the age of 79. The Directors Guild of America, for which Apted served as president from 2003 until 2009, announced his death in a statement on Friday (Jan. 8).

"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," DGA President Thomas Schlamme says. "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."

Apted was a prolific director with extensive credits in film, television and documentaries. Agatha, Gorky Park, Gorillas in the Mist, Nell and Enough were among his best-known movies, along with the James Bond film The World Is Not Enough.

In 1980, Apted directed Coal Miner's Daughter, a film that depicts Lynn's rise to country music stardom from her humble roots in rural Kentucky. Coal Miner's Daughter won a Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture — Musical or Comedy, and Sissy Spacek won an Academy Award for Best Actress as well as a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Motion Picture — Musical or Comedy for her stunning portrayal of the country icon.

Queen Elizabeth II made Apted a Companion of the Order of St. Michael and St. George in 2009 in recognition of his work. He is survived by his wife, Paige, and three children. His cause of death has not been disclosed, and no funeral plans have yet been announced.

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