Biography from Leonard Maltin's Movie Encyclopedia:
Talented filmmaker whose sensitivity to characters and their environments is evident in both his fiction films and documentaries. Apted studied law and history at Cambridge University, then worked at Granada Television as a researcher. Within a few years, he became a prominent and versatile TV director, winning several British Emmys for his work and compiling scores of credits. He made his feature debut with Triple Echo (1973) and scored a hit with Stardust (1975), which chronicled-with uncanny believability-the rise of a Beatles-like music group. After The Squeeze (1977) and the intriguing Agatha (1979), Apted had his first international hit with Coal Miner's Daughter (1980), the biography of country singer Loretta Lynn, which won Sissy Spacek a Best Actress Oscar.
Since then Apted has tackled a variety of films, but tries to alternate Hollywood movies with smaller, more personal projects and documentaries. His credits include Continental Divide (1981), Kipperbang (1982), Gorky Park (1983), Firstborn (1984), Bring on the Night (1985), Critical Condition (1987), Gorillas in the Mist (1988), Class Action (1991), Thunderheart and its documentary companion piece, Incident at Oglala (both 1992), and Nell (1994). But Apted's most remarkable achievement remains his unique series of documentaries-7 Up, 7 Plus 7, 21, 28 Up and 35 Up-which have followed the lives of 14 Britons since the age of seven-in seven-year increments.