Malcolm McLaren dies at 64

Activist, filmmaker and Sex Pistols manager succumbs to cancer.

by Jennie Kermode

Malcolm McLaren, the Sex Pistols manager, controversial artist and filmmaker has died at the age of 64 in a Swiss hospital. He had been suffering from mesothelioma for some years. Though he was best known for his musical work, both as a promoter and as a performer, his interest in the arts was extensive and he made significant contributions to the world of cinema.

Committed from an early age to finding innovative and unusual ways of bringing about social change, McLaren became one of the most influential figures in the popular culture of the 20th century. His political passions led to him to support many anti-establishment causes and in 1980 he collaborated with the young Julien Temple in bringing his punk project to the big screen in The Great Rock N' Roll Swindle, but he would go on to contribute to more mainstream projects like Fast Food Nation. He contributed to numerous film soundtracks, being cited as an inspiration by Quentin Tarantino during the production of Kill Bill, and he even tried a spot of acting in The Ghosts Of Oxford Street.

McLaren is survived by his partner Young Kim and the son, Joseph, whom he had with fashion designer Vivienne Westwood. He had been living in New York but is expected to be buried in London's Highgate Cemetery.

Share this with others on...

The turning point Wendy Makkena on Tom Hanks, Chris Cooper and Matthew Rhys in A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood

Decisive moments Evelyn Schels on Marina Abramovic, Sigalit Landau, Shirin Neshat and Katharina Sieverding in Body Of Truth

Sense memories Robert Tinnell on Feast Of The Seven Fishes and family memories

Keeping his word Michael Apted in conversation on 63 Up

Talking about juxtapositions Thom Powers on dreams, fashion, identity, nature and bright spotlights in DOC NYC

Dedicated to DA Pennebaker Thom Powers on Martin Scorsese, Michael Apted, the Masters and Winner’s Circle in the tenth edition

More news and features

We're bringing you coverage of Tallinn Black Nights, Welsh horror spectacular Abertoir and the French Film Festival.

We've recently been at the London Korean Film Festival and DOC NYC, the Valencia Film Festival, New York's NewFest, the Cambridge Film Festival, the New York Film Festival, the London Film Festival, the Iris Prize Festival in Cardiff, and Manchester's Grimmfest.

Read our full for more.

Visit our festivals section.


More competitions coming soon.