Nik Powell (4 November 1950 – 7 November 2019) was a British businessman and one of the co-founders of Virgin Records with Richard Branson. After operating a mail-order company, a small record shop, and a recording studio, the partners established the label in 1972. It became one of the UK's major recording labels until its sale to EMI in 1992.
Born in Great Kingshill, Buckinghamshire, England, Powell was educated first at Longacre School, Shamley Green, Guildford, Surrey, moving when he was seven to a small Catholic preparatory school, St. Richard'sin Little Malvern, outside Malvern. From there he went to Ampleforth College, North Yorkshire, and subsequently spent a year at the University of Sussex.
In 1983, Powell and Stephen Woolley founded Palace Productions, which produced The Company of Wolves (1984), Mona Lisa (1986), and The Crying Game (1992).After presiding over the 1992 collapse of the company, Powell re-established himself in the film industry with Scala Productions and produced Fever Pitch (1997), Twenty Four Seven (also 1997), B. Monkey (1998), Last Orders (2001), and Ladies in Lavender (2004).
Powell was director of the National Film and Television Schoolfrom 2003 to 2017 in England while maintaining his position as chairman of Scala Productions.
Powell's marriage to Merrill Tomassi, the sister of Richard Branson's first wife, ended in divorce. He then married singer Sandie Shaw and helped relaunch her career. They had two children, Amie and Jack, before divorcing in the early 1990s.
Powell died on 7 November 2019 in Oxford, three days after his 69th birthday; he had been receiving treatment for cancer.
Sir Richard Charles Nicholas Branson is an English business magnate, investor, author and former philanthropist. In the 1970s he founded the Virgin Group, which today controls more than 400 companies in various fields.
Virgin Records Ltd is a British record label founded by entrepreneurs Richard Branson, Simon Draper, Nik Powell, and musician Tom Newman in 1972. It grew to be a worldwide success over time, with the success of platinum performers such as Aaliyah, George Michael, Paula Abdul, Janet Jackson, Roy Orbison, Devo, Tangerine Dream, Genesis, Phil Collins, Keith Richards, the Human League, Culture Club, Rolling Stones, Simple Minds, Lenny Kravitz, dc Talk, the Smashing Pumpkins, Mike Oldfield, Charlie Brown Jr., Gorillaz, and Spice Girls, among others.
Sir Kenneth Charles Branagh is a Northern Irish actor and filmmaker. Branagh trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London; in 2015 he succeeded Richard Attenborough as its president. He has been nominated for five Academy Awards and five Golden Globe Awards; he has won three BAFTAs and two Emmy Awards. He was appointed a Knight Bachelor in the 2012 Birthday Honours and knighted on 9 November 2012. He was made a Freeman of his native city of Belfast in January 2018. In 2020, he was listed at number 20 on The Irish Times list of Ireland's greatest film actors.
Daniel Michael DeVito Jr. is an American actor, comedian, director, producer, and screenwriter. He gained prominence for his portrayal of the taxi dispatcher Louie De Palma in the television series Taxi (1978–1983), which won him a Golden Globe Award and an Emmy Award. He plays Frank Reynolds on the FX and FXX sitcom It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia (2006–present).
Michael Latham Powell was an English filmmaker, celebrated for his partnership with Emeric Pressburger. Through their production company The Archers, they together wrote, produced and directed a series of classic British films, notably The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943), A Canterbury Tale (1944), I Know Where I'm Going! (1945), A Matter of Life and Death, Black Narcissus (1947), The Red Shoes (1948), and The Tales of Hoffmann (1951). His later controversial 1960 film Peeping Tom, while today considered a classic, and a contender as the first "slasher", was so vilified on first release that his career was seriously damaged.
Richard Ewing Powell was an American singer, actor, voice actor, film producer, film director and studio head. Though he came to stardom as a musical comedy performer, he showed versatility, and successfully transformed into a hardboiled leading man starring in projects of a more dramatic nature. He was the first actor to portray the private detective Philip Marlowe on screen.
Rachel Roberts was a Welsh actress. She is best remembered for her screen performances as the older mistress of the central male character in Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (1960) and This Sporting Life (1963). For both films, she won the BAFTA Award for Best British Actress. She was also nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress for This Sporting Life. Her other notable film appearances included Murder on the Orient Express (1974), Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975) and Yanks (1979).
Virgin Group Ltd. is a British multinational venture capital conglomerate founded by entrepreneurs Sir Richard Branson and Nik Powell.
Roberto Alagna is a French operatic tenor. He obtained French citizenship in 1981, while also retaining his previous Italian citizenship.
The National Film and Television School (NFTS) is a film, television and games school established in 1971 and based at Beaconsfield Studios in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, England. It is featured in the 2018 ranking by The Hollywood Reporter of the top 15 International film schools.
Sandy Powell is a British costume designer. She has been nominated for the Academy Award for Best Costume Design fifteen times, winning three awards for the films Shakespeare in Love (1998), The Aviator (2004), and The Young Victoria (2009). She has also received fifteen BAFTA Award nominations, winning for Velvet Goldmine (1998), The Young Victoria, and The Favourite (2018). Powell has been a frequent collaborator with directors Martin Scorsese and Todd Haynes, having designed the costumes for seven of Scorsese's films and four of Haynes's.
Richard Crispin Armitage is an English actor. He received recognition in the UK with his first leading role as John Thornton in the British television programme North & South (2004). His role as dwarf prince and leader Thorin Oakenshield in Peter Jackson's film trilogy adaptation of The Hobbit brought him international recognition.
This is a list of Richard Branson's business ventures from the 1960s to today.
Stephen Woolley is an English film producer and director, whose prolific career has spanned over three and a half decades, for which he was awarded the BAFTA award for Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema in February 2019. As a producer he has been Oscar-nominated for The Crying Game (1992), and has also produced multi-Academy Award nominated films including Mona Lisa (1986), Little Voice (1998), Michael Collins (1996), The End of the Affair (1999), Interview with a Vampire (1994), and Carol (2016). He currently runs the production company Number 9 Films with his partner Elizabeth Karlsen.
Beaconsfield Film Studios is a British television and film studio in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire. The studios were operational as a production site for films in 1922, and continued producing films - and, later, TV shows - until the 1960s. Britain's first talking movie was recorded there, as were films starring British actors Gracie Fields, Peter Sellers and John Mills.
Kreshnik Xhelilaj, better known by his stage name Nik Xhelilaj, is an Albanian film and stage actor. He began his international career with the movie The Sadness of Mrs. Snajdrova, directed by Pirro Milkani and was the leading actor in three critically acclaimed Albanian films, of which two entered in the List of Albanian submissions for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 2008 and 2009. Nik has collected several "Best Actor" Awards in various international film festivals.
Virgin Films was a film production company of the early 1980s best known for making 1984 (1984). It was part of the Virgin Group and was headed by Al Clark. Nik Powell worked for the company before going over to Palace Films.
Richard Johns is a UK film and television producer. As well as producing many commercially successful and critically acclaimed films, he has helped discover and foster the next generation of directors and writers across the UK, Europe and the US.
An independent record label is a record label that operates without the funding of major record labels; they are a type of small to medium-sized enterprise, or SME. The labels and artists are often represented by trade associations in their country or region, which in turn are represented by the international trade body, the Worldwide Independent Network (WIN).
Alby James OBE FRSA is a British theatre director and a producer for film and television drama, screenwriter, script consultant and trainer, whose career spans more than four decades. Committed to promoting diversity and inclusion in the industry, he has worked with broadcasters such as the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC), as well as being involved with other development and mentorship schemes for writers, directors and producers. From its inception in March 2017 he led the Diverse Directors' Workshop at the National Film & Television School, with the aim of improving access to the mainstream and professional independent sector for women, ethnic minorities and those with disabilities. Recognition that James has received for his work include being appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 2019 for services to film, theatre and broadcasting.
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