Tommy Director Dead at 84

Ken Russell's wild films stirred 1970s controversy
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 28, 2011 8:06 AM CST
'Tommy' Director Ken Russell Dead at 84
British film director Ken Russell with British model Twiggy during the filming of the movie "The Boy Friend," Aug. 4, 1971.   (AP Photo)

The Oscar-nominated director of Women in Love and the Who’s Tommy has died at 84. Ken Russell’s often outrageous films provoked controversy into the 1970s; the former film, for instance, featured two male actors wrestling nude. Russell “pushed the barriers completely and got away with it sometimes and didn't others,” a fellow filmmaker tells the BBC. Russell's contribution to British filmmaking was “enormous,” the director adds, even if he didn’t get the attention some say he deserved. “It was almost as if he never existed—I find it utterly scandalous for someone who was so innovative,” said actress Glenda Jackson. (More film stories.)

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