The ultimate impresario of a unique brand of glossy erotic fare, Zalman King started out as an actor, earning a Golden Globe nomination for his role on "The Young Lawyers" (ABC, 1970-71). His destiny lay behind the camera, however, and he produced and, with his wife, co-wrote "9½ Weeks" (1986). Directed by Adrian Lyne and starring Mickey Rourke and Kim Basinger, the film broke new ground for its art-directed erotic set-pieces, becoming a cult hit. Although critics found little to recommend about his psychosexual dreamscapes, King wrote, directed and produced provocative fare like "Two Moon Junction" (1988), "Wild Orchid" (1990) and "Wild Orchid II: Two Shades of Blue" (1991) that became enduringly popular favorites with certain audiences. The keystone of his softcore empire, however, came with the immensely popular "Red Shoe Diaries" (Showtime, 1992-97). Loosely connected by a mysterious man (David Duchovny), the anthology series (and flurry of related projects) depicted King's favorite type of tale: various women transcending the mundane through their erotic awakenings. After a battle with cancer, he died on Feb. 3, 2012. Although mainstream critics found little to praise in his body of work, Zalman King was responsible for helping change audiences' perceptions of sexuality, art and film, redefining the line between artistry and erotica.