Deaths Elsewhere

Deaths Elsewhere

September 22, 2004

Russ Meyer, 82, a master of sexploitation filmmaking who was called "king of the nudies" or "King Leer" for such soft-core pornography classics as Faster Pussycat, Kill! Kill! and Vixen, died Saturday at his Hollywood Hills home.

Mr. Meyer, who also directed the major studio release Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, had suffered from dementia and died of complications from pneumonia, according to his company, RM Films International.

Something of a one-man studio, Mr. Meyer produced, directed, financed, wrote, edited and shot 23 tantalizing but teasing films that pioneered a genre of skin flicks with violence and big-busted women but little sex.

But with age came grace -- and admiration -- as Mr. Meyer's work was honored at film festivals around the world, discussed in university classes and purchased by such respectable institutions as the New York Museum of Modern Art.

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