Erotic Filmmaker Zalman King Dies

SANTA MONICA. Calif. — Erotic filmmaker Zalman King has died.

Best known for films "Nine 1/2 Weeks," "Red Shoe Diaries," and “Wild Orchid,” the producer, writer, director died after a six-year battle with cancer. He was 70 years old.

King studied Stanley Kubrick’s making of “Eyes Wide Shot” to learn how to shoot eroticism, said son-in-law, Allison Burnett.

The filmmaker's 1992 Showtime cable hit, "Red Shoe Diaries," narrated by actor David Duchovny, was descibed by Entertainment Weekly as "a collection of Penthouse Forum letters turned into video vignettes."

"Zalman was an extraordinary man and artist, more complex and humane than those who knew him only from afar could possibly imagine," Burnett said.

He added that King had a singular, unique vision and a visual signature that was all his own.

Longtime friend, actor Charlie Sheen wrote on his Facebook page Friday, "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."

King is survived by his wife and their two daughters, screenwriter Chloe King and designer and painter Gillian Lefkovitz.