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The Man Who Fell to Earth Director Nicolas Roeg Dies at Age 90

David Bowie in The Man Who Fell to Earth.
David Bowie in The Man Who Fell to Earth.
Image: British Lion Films

Nicolas Roeg, director and cinematographer for such lauded genre films as The Witches and the io9 favorite The Man Who Fell to Earth, has passed away at age 90, Variety reports.


Roeg, who got his start in the film business in the 1960s, is known for making strange, idiosyncratic films. In particular, he’s famous for The Man Who Fell to Earth, which starred David Bowie in a beguiling and original performance. He also directed The Witches, a critically acclaimed comedy/horror film based on a book by Roald Dahl.

Roeg’s work was beloved and influential, and I’ll never forget Bowie’s striking, alien performance. It’s been a huge shaping factor in how we portray alien-ness on screen. What a director. He’ll be missed.

io9 Weekend Editor. Videogame writer at other places. Queer nerd girl.

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Roeg also directed Performance, Don’t Look Now and Bad Timing. Not to forget Insignificance, a meditation on a supposed meeting between Albert Einstein and Marylin Monroe. Or Track 29, a reworking of a Dennis Potter telly-play. He also did an episode of The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles.

His work as a cinematographer is also impressive, embracing Lawrence of Arabia, Casino Royale, The Masque of the Red Death, and Farenheit 451. Apparently he was also assistant camera man on Calling Bulldog Drummond and Tarzan’s Greatest Adventure.