Ken Russell's Interesting Facts

1 In the late 1960s, Russell took a serious interest in directing A Clockwork Orange (1971) for a while before turning to Aldous Huxley and The Devils (1971).
2 Currently a feature writer for the London Times film section. [March 2007]
3 Currently a house-mate in the UK TV series Celebrity Big Brother (2001), Episode #5.1 (2007). [January 2007]
4 Directing the play "Mindgame" by Anthony Horowitz in New York, starring Keith Carradine. [October 2008]
5 One of his staunchest allies was Stan Brakhage, the experimental American film-maker whose work was in a different world from Russell's, but who frequently showed his films to students as object lessons in effective audacity.
6 He is survived by his four sons, Alex Russell, James Russell, Xavier Russell, and Toby Russell; a daughter, Victoria Russell from his first marriage to costume designer, Shirley Kingdon; a daughter, Molly Russell and a son, Rupert Russell from his second marriage to photographer Vivian Jolly; and a son Rex Russell from his third marriage to actress, Hetty Baynes; and is survived by his fourth wife, Lisi Tribble Russell, an actress.
7 He served in the British Merchant Navy and the Royal Air Force before moving to London, England where he studied dance before turning to photography in his late 20s.
8 Directed 2 actresses to Oscar nominations: Glenda Jackson (Best Actress, Women in Love (1969)) and Ann-Margret (Best Actress, Tommy (1975)). Jackson won an Oscar for her performance.
9 Considered his best film to have been The Rainbow (1989).
10 Considers his best film to be Omnibus: Song of Summer: Frederick Delius (1968), which he directed for the BBC. When discussing the film he said, "This is the best film I have ever made... I don't think I would have done a single shot differently".
11 Visited the Andy Worhol 'Factory' in 1964 and appeared in Worhol's famous "screen tests", but the scene he filmed was eventually cut.
12 Was part of a legendary incident in British television when he appeared on Late Night Lineup (1964) on BBC2 to discuss his new film The Devils (1971) alongside critic Alexander Walker, who did not like the film. As Walker began critiquing the film, Russell interrupted him repeatedly. The two began shouting at each other, and Russell eventually hit Walker over the head with a rolled-up copy of his own review. The incident took place on live television and no footage is known to exist.
13 He had a variety of jobs before he got into the film industry, including at one point a ballet dancer in a troupe in Norway.
14 Was sometimes called the "Fellini of the North".
15 Was dubbed "England's Orson Welles" early in his career.
16 His first wife, Shirley Russell, was the costume designer on all of his films until 1978 when they divorced. She was later nominated for two Oscars: Michael Apted's Agatha (1979) and Warren Beatty's Reds (1981).
17 During his stay at Belgrade as a guest of FEST film festival he was awarded with a Golden Seal Award from Yugoslav Cinematheque for his complete work and contribution to world cinema and film.
18 He was a guest of Belgrade Film Festival - FEST 2003.
19 His favorite film is Jean Vigo's L'Atalante (1934).
20 Stanley Kubrick once called him in the early 1970s to ask him where he had found the lovely locations for his films. Russell complied and Kubrick used the locations in his next film Barry Lyndon (1975). Russell later said, "I felt quite chuffed".
21 Alumni of East London University.
22 In the early 1980s during preproduction for the film version of the stage hit "Evita", he was so impressed with Liza Minnelli's screen test that he refused to direct the film without her. But the producers wanted Elaine Paige and the production came to a halt. The film was eventually made by Alan Parker starring Madonna.
23 After the controversy surrounding Altered States (1980), he found it hard to get financial backing, so he directed opera for a while, including a version of Madame Butterfly.
24 His films were popular in Italy. At the 1971 Venice Film Festival he won Best Director-Foreign Film for The Devils (1971).
25 According to Russell, he once met Federico Fellini, of whom he had been a fan, outside an Italian movie studio. They approached each other and spoke briefly, complimenting each other by calling themselves, "the Italian Ken Russell," and "the English Federico Fellini," respectively.
26 Became interested in making movies after frequenting the cinema after school with his mother.
27 Has tried to work on film with Barbra Streisand twice, first in the early 1970s on a biography of Sarah Bernhardt, and then in the version of the stage musical "Evita".
28 Father of Alex Russell, Molly Russell, Rupert Russell, Toby Russell and Victoria Russell.
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