R.I.P. Zalman King, King Of Softcore Cinema

The Hollywood Reporter has news of the death of Zalman King, the actor turned director and producer behind such mainstream softcore staples as Two Moon Junction, Wild Orchid, Red Shoe Diaries, and 9 1/2 Weeks. King died of cancer at the erotically appropriate age of 69. (Also oddly appropriate: His death was first reported by his friend, Charlie Sheen.)

King started his career as an actor, turning up in small parts on television shows such as Adam-12, The Munsters, The Man From U.N.C.L.E., Gunsmoke, Charlie’s Angels, and Alfred Hitchcock Presents (in the memorable “Memo From Purgatory” episode written by Harlan Ellison and co-starring James Caan and Star Trek’s Walter Koenig). He also landed a starring role on ABC’s short-lived The Young Lawyers—alongside guests such as Barbra Streisand, Martin Sheen, Gary Busey, and Richard Pryor—playing an idealistic law student who tries to aid the impoverished in Boston under the supervision of Lee J. Cobb.