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On June 9, 2017, the adult industry lost legendary director Michael Zen when he passed away at the age of 83. Zen's directorial career began in 1976 with the film Reflections for VCX. He went on to direct the first film for Wicked Pictures, one of Zen's most renowned, Blue Movie – which is also considered one of the top adult films of all time. Blue Movie swept the 1996 AVN Awards show, nominated in all film categories, and taking home the awards for Best Director and Best Editing. Blue Movie also assisted in securing the superstar career status of one of the industry's most recognizable names, Jenna Jameson.

During his successful directorial career, Zen shot for popular studios like Caballero Video, Vivid Entertainment, and Cal Vista, among others. Zen also directed gay videos in addition to straight porn, winning GayVN and Grabby awards for his outstanding gay titles.

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Michael Zen's love of film extended beyond adult video. Prior to his work in adult, Zen directed stage productions, as theater was his first and greatest passion. In addition to directing, Zen also taught filmmaking courses at universities like UCLA and Marymount.

Zen's reputation as an extremely talented, kindhearted filmmaker in the industry almost supersedes his illustrious body of work. In hearing the news of his passing, industry veterans like Paul Thomas and Mike Horner expressed their sorrow at losing a beloved director, mentor, and friend. Michael Zen will be remembered for his contributions to film as well as his goodhearted nature.

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