British filmmaker Ken Russell died on Sunday morning at the age of 84. Russell's credits include the controversial film, 'The Devils,' a 1971 movie starring Vanessa Redgrave and Oliver Reed, which was criticized for its graphic depiction of sex and violence. Russell received a Best Directing Oscar nomination for the 1969 film, 'Women in Love,' and would go on to direct The Who's 'Tommy,' an iconic 1975 flick based on the album by the British rock band. In an excerpt from the 2008 book, 'Vanity Fair's Tales of Hollywood,' author James Wolcott examines Russell's work, stating that the director is "more than a traffic cop in a canvas chair conducting for the camera. He's an impressario, each movie part of a larger sales pitch for the director's signature brand."
According to THR, Russell died peacefully in his sleep.