British Film Director Ken Russell Dies

Posted November 28th, 2011 at 10:40 am (UTC-5)
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British film director Ken Russell, known for his provocative films, has died at the age of 84.

Russell's son says he died peacefully in his sleep on Sunday after a series of strokes.

One of the director's best known works is the 1969 adaptation of D.H. Lawrence's novel, Women in Love, which includes the famous scene of two male actors wrestling in the nude. The film earned Russell an Oscar nomination for best director, while star Glenda Jackson won the best actress Oscar for her role.

Russell began his career as a photographer before moving to the BBC to work on arts programming. From there, he launched a career as a film director, making his mark on the industry in the 1970s with a series of flamboyant films, often criticized for their sex and violence.

His passion for music often showed in his films, including The Music Lovers in 1970 and Lisztomania in 1975. He even directed the music video Nikita for Elton John.

Later in his career, his works became so eclectic that he had trouble getting funding for his films.

Russell was born in the English port of Southhampton in 1927. He is survived by his fourth wife, Elise, and eight children from his previous marriages.