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Ken Russell people

 

 

Song and dance men

Singers and dancers Ken Russell has worked with.  As well as singing and dancing, most also act in his films.

 

Roger Daltry

Roger Daltry in Lisztomania

Singer of The Who, he developed a minor actor career based on his performance in Tommy. His Lisztomania (above) was disappointing (as was Russell´s direction, though others disaagree). Daltry would also have starred in the first attempt to film The Fall of the Louse of Usher.

 

Georges Delerue Georges Delerue

A French film composer who wrote the music for French Dressing and for Women in Love. Russell also directed a television documentary about Delerue.

 

Peter Maxwell Davies Peter Maxwell Davies

One of Britain's foremost classical composers. He provided the music for the Devils and The Boy Friend. One of his best pieces is "Eight Songs for a Mad King" which has the credit "produced by Ken Russell".

 

Rudolf Nureyev

Nuryev as Valentino

Dancer and choreographer.

Nureyev famously defected from the Soviet Union "By this time his suspicions were thoroughly aroused. He feared that returning to the Soviet Union would result in his being arrested and imprisoned; at the very least, he felt that he would never be allowed to return to the West.  At that moment he seemed isolated and alone. However, his Parisian socialite friend Clara Saint – daughter of a Chilean painter living in Paris – was luckily present at the airport. She helped him by informing the French police of his predicament. He managed to escape from Russian embassy guards and ran through a security barrier, shouting in English, ‘I want to be free!’ (from ‘The White Crow’: Rudolf Nureyev’s defection to the West, Liz Bryant, The National Archives here).

Russell wanted Nureyev to appear in the film Nijinsky but this fell through. He stars in Valentino (above).  His other films are very poor. He died of AIDS related complications in 1993.

 

Lindsay Kemp Lindsay Kemp

Dancer and choreographer Kemp is a direct relative of Will Kemp, one of Shakespeare´s actors. Falstaff was one of the parts Shakespeare wrote for Will. Lindsay Kemp choreographed many ballets including "A Midsummer Night´s Dream". He appears in acting roles in Savage Messiah and Valentino as well as Jarman´s Sebastiane and Jubilee. He has also worked with Bowie and Kate Bush and was in Wicker Man.

 

Rick Wakeman


Ken Russell Crimes of Passion Rick Wakeman

Rock artist, keyboard player for Yes and composer of the music for Lisztomania and Crimes of Passion. He has a minor role in both, as Thor and as the photographer (above) respectively.

 

Twiggy

Twiggy in Ken Russell's The Boyfriend

Twiggy was a famous model.  She says "Personally, Ken Russell changed my life. He was the hottest director in England when he cast me in The Boy Friend. Without him I would have never tried anything other than modeling. If you have that person that really believes in you, it really does work" (from L'Officiel, interview by Joshua Glass, 23 Feb 2021 here).

Twiggy appears with Bowie on the cover of Pin Ups.  The Bowie song Drive in Saturday refers to her "She'd sigh like Twig the Wonder Kid /And turn her face away".

David Bowie Pin Ups

 

 

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