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Goodbye to two greats : Ben Gazzara and Zalman King

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Two of cinema’s most proficient, actor Ben Gazzara and filmmaker/writer Zalman King have left us for the multiplex in the sky.

Gazzara, 81, probably best known to readers as the villain in Swayze ‘gem’ “Roadhouse” (1989), succumbed to Pancreatic cancer. His many other film and television credits include “Anatomy of a Murder”, “The Strange One”, “Run for Your Life” and “The Big Lebowski”.

Bloody great actor. Big-ass loss.

Zalman King, 69, is a name most of our readers will recognize; he was the man who gave us our jollies throughout the ’80s and early ’90s with such soft-porn classics as “Nine and a Half Weeks” (he co-wrote the pic), “Two Moon Junction”, and TV’s “Red Shoe Diaries”. Some might also remember that King was an actor before he started concealing himself behind the lens, starring in films like “Galaxy of Terror”.

Though “Two Moon Junction” was obviously the high-point of King’s directing career, it’s “Wild Orchid” that probably received the most publicity. Aside from causing quite a ruckus and garnering lots of attention when it was screening at the Drive-In I worked at as a youngster (it’s rumoured barrage of 18+ sex scenes led to many asking if I could sneak them in), the movie got lots of attention because of how real Mickey Rourke and Carre Otis’s sex scenes were – it was said that they weren’t actually pretending to screw onscreen. That was the real thing. The movie was atrocious, but it certainly gained a reputation and quickly.

Both Gazzara and King, specifically for their work in “Roadhouse” and “Two Moon Junction”, respectively, played a big part in my cinematic diet back in the ’80s. Thanks for all your fun, hot, tight nights gentlemen.

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About Caffeinated Clint

The writer/publicist/producer who wears the editor hat on Moviehole. Favorite films include "Say Anything...", "The Hunt for Red October", "Jerry Maguire", "Almost Famous", "Die Hard", "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo", "Young Guns", "American Psycho", "Back to the Future" and the "Star Wars" series.
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