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RIP Ken Russell 3 July 1927 to 27 November 2011
28/11/2011 15:58 GMT

Posted by Martin

British director Ken Russell has died at 84.

Russell had a didactic career, ranging from features such as Billion Dollar Brain (1967) to intimate personal views of classical music such as his ABC of British Music (1988). His only science fiction output was the hallucinatory Altered States (1980).

While a staff director at the BBC in the early sixties he revolutionised the style of arts programs, by depicting composer's lives in dialogue free reconstructions to his own voice overs. In latter years he complained bitterly that the BBC would no longer employ him and instead turned to short arts films and the theatre.

At the high point of his career in 1971 he had three features simultaneously in exhibition (Women in Love, The Music Lovers and The Devils) and was acknowledged with an entry in the Guinness Book of World Records for this fact. At this time he was hailed as the "British Orson Welles", and seen as the forefront of a Renaissance in UK cinema.

He died in hospital on Sunday after a brief illness.

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