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Zalman King, Director and Producer, Dies at 69

Zalman King Directing - H 2012
Everett Collection

The man behind "9 1/2 Weeks" and "Red Shoe Diaries" passed away in Los Angeles.

Zalman King, who directed 1990’s Wild Orchid and produced 1986’s 9 ½ Weeks, died Feb. 3, a rep from Zalman King Productions confirms to The Hollywood Reporter. He was 69 years old.

King, who was born Zalman Lefkovitz in Trenton, New Jersey, had bit parts in 1960s TV shows before segueing into directing and producing. His trademark was work with a strong, somewhat artistic, erotic content. His most successful films as a director were 1988’s Two Moon Junction and 1992’s Red Shoe Diaries, which went on to be a series on Showtime. His most recent credit was as the exec producer on Showtime’s Body Language.

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King’s death was first reported by Charlie Sheen on Facebook, who said, "the world lost a brilliant and noble soul today. My dear friend of 40 years, Zalman King, just lost his battle with cancer. Fought like a recon marine til the bitter end. Say a prayer for his amazing wife Pat and their lovely daughters. Safe travels my friend. C".