Born Zalman Lefkowitz in Trenton, New Jersey he had bit parts in 1960s TV shows before moving on to Directing and Producing. He was 69 years old when he died on February 3rd. His specialty was bringing an artistic style to edgy erotic content. He produced ‘9 1/2 weeks’ starring Mickey Rourke and Kim Basinger and caused quite a stir in 1986 and worked with Rourke again when he directed ‘Wild Orchid’.
His biggest Directing successes were ‘Two Moon Junction’ (1988) starring Sherilyn Fenn (Twin Peaks) and ‘Red Shoe Diaries’ (1992) starring David Duchovny (X-Files). The latter went on to be a TV series.
David Duchovny on Zalman King from EW interview :
“Zalman really had the soul of an artist,” “He was an original, he was an eccentric, and most of all he was an enthusiast. He was excited about his work and he could make us all feel like we were doing something special. In order to go to work in the morning and commit to what you do, you have to believe it’s worth something. Zalman was able to infuse his sets and his actors with that kind of feeling — that we were doing something special. That’s a beautiful thing.”
“I’ve worked with a lot of people that get respect and they weren’t the artist that Zalman was. I use the word artist reservedly because it’s thrown around, like genius, way too much. But that was his soul. That’s the place where he came from. I don’t think people understand that. They say this or that about Red Shoes or whatever, and they pigeonhole him in that [erotica] area but it’s not who he was. He was way more concerned with the color of the drapes than showing any T&A.”
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