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Ken Russell's Biography

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Who was Ken Russell?

Ken Russell was born Henry Kenneth Alfred Russell on 3 July 1927 in Southampton.

He had stints as in the Merchant Navy, the RAF, as a ballet dancer with My Norsk Ballet, as an actor with Garrick Players and as a photographer (which he had studied at Walthamstow Art School) before becoming a director.

Ken Russell made music and arts documentaries for the BBC before making his name as a feature film director. In particular, Ken Russell made over 30 films for the BBC Monitor and Omnibus programmes.

His movies include Women in Love (1969), The Music Lovers (1971), Mahler (1974), The Devils (1971) and The Rainbow (1989) and Altered States (1980).

Ken Russell also adapted The Who's Tommy for cinema in 1975.

BBC Dorset has a very revealing account of Ken Russell's life.

Ken Russell became the second person to leave Celebrity Big Brother 2007 without being voted off. Whereas Donny Tourette was not looking forward to being the servant of Jade and her family and legged it, with Ken Russell, it was more that he was not relishing living with them.

Ken Russell died on 27 November 2011, aged 84.

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