About Ken Russell
Ken Russell was a film director with a penchant for the flamboyant, the bizarre and the excessive. Born in Southampton, he served in both the RAF and the Merchant Navy, and moved into television work after a brief affair with dancing and photography.
In the late 1950s, Russell’s amateur films secured him a job at the BBC, where he worked regularly from 1959–1970 making arts documentaries. He received an Oscar nomination as well as international acclaim in 1969 with his 3rd film, ‘Women in Love’, adapted from Lawrence’s novel. He also directed, among many, The Who’s rock opera ‘Tommy’ in 1975, and has produced many controversial operas including Stravinsky’s ‘The Rakes Progress’.
Much of his work since 1990 has been commissioned by The South Bank Show. Russell also wrote several books on filmmaking, an autobiography ‘A British Picture’, and a series of biographical novels on great composers to be published in 2006.