Zalman King, the producer, director and screenwriter who was known for his erotically-charged films such as “9 1/2 Weeks,” “Red Shoe Diaries” and “Wild Orchid,” died on February 3, 2012 at the age of 70. He passed away at his home in Santa Monica, California, after a six-year struggle with colon cancer.
Zalman King’s Early Life and Career
Zalman King was born as Zalman King Lefkowitz on May 23, 1941 in Trenton, New Jersey. He was Jewish and dropped his last name at the beginning of his acting career. He started his career on screen in the 1960s, appearing in several TV shows and movies, such as Alfred Hitchcock Presents, The Munsters, Gunsmoke, Adam-12 and The Young Lawyers. He also played roles in films such as Stranger on the Run, The Ski Bum, Some Call It Loving, Blue Sunshine and Galaxy of Terror.
Zalman King’s Transition to Erotic Films
Zalman King made his transition to working behind the cameras in the 1980s, using erotica as a central theme in his films. He collaborated with director Adrian Lyne on the script of the film 9 1/2 Weeks, which starred Kim Basinger and Mickey Rourke in a torrid story of sexual obsession and manipulation. The film was a big hit in many countries and established King as a master of erotic cinema.
King then went on to make other erotic films such as Two Moon Junction, Wild Orchid,