Ken Russell, the famed director of Tommy, The Devils and Women in Love has died at the age of 84.

The British director died in his sleep after a series of strokes on Sunday night, reports E! Online.

He was known for his groundbreaking work in television and films, as well as for his controversial style.  

Born in Southampton, England, in 1927, Russell began his career in television and then transitioned to the silver screen in the mid-1960s. Some criticized him for being over-obsessed with sexuality and the church.

His most famous work during the 1960s was Women in Love starring Glenda Jackson. Jackson won the Oscar for Best Actress for her performance in this film.

The movie was a rowdy adaptation of D. H. Lawrence's novel about two artist sisters living in post-World War I Britain. Despite the critical acclaim, the movie is probably best known for the nude wrestling scene between Alan Bates and Oliver Reed.

In the 1970s, Russell continued on with a string of adult-themed movies such as The Music Lovers, which was a biopic about Tchaikovsky.

His film The Devils, inspired by Aldous Huxley's book The Devils of Loudun, was about a priest who stands in the way of a corrupt church and state. The movie was so controversial (including exorcisms, orgies and scenes of sexuality among nuns) that Warner Brothers still refuses to release the uncut version.

Russell's greatest success was Tommy, The Who's rock opera from 1975. This film included the likes of Tina Turner, Elton John, Eric Clapton and Jack Nicholson.

Ken Russell is survived by his actress wife Lisa Tribble and his five children.