Having displayed a fondness for both documentaries and feature films, versatile director Michael Apted struck a creative balance between both worlds that was matched by very few of his contemporaries. After establishing himself in his native England with the documentary series "7 Up," as well as numerous episodes of various television shows, Apted journeyed to America, where he garnered instant credibility with "Coal Miner's Daughter" (1980), widely considered to be one of the best musical biopics ever made. He stumbled a bit with the understated comedy "Continental Divide" (1981) before achieving box office success with the dense crime thriller, "Gorky Park" (1983). Apted directed Sigourney Weaver as a fervent Dian Fossey in "Gorillas in the Mist" (1988), which he followed with the compelling courtroom drama "Class Action" (1991). While continuing the "7 Up" documentaries throughout the decades, the director struggled to retain his footing in the feature world, even as he took the reigns of the James Bond franchise with "The World Is Not Enough" (1999), a rather tepid affair that featured listless action and one of the most bemoaned Bond girl of all time. Though he found his stride directing episodic television - particularly on the acclaimed HBO series, "Rome" (2005-07) - Apted still remained a bit of a box office mystery, despite his long and venerable career.