Allan King, the veteran documentary-maker, has died aged 79 years old following a battle with brain cancer.

King is best known as one of the founders of cinéma vérité and direct cinema, exemplified by his 1967 documentary Warrendale, a film about emotionally disturbed children, and the equally ground-breaking A Married Couple.

He described his style as: “actuality drama - filming the drama of everyday life as it happens, spontaneously without direction, interviews or narrative.”

His debut fiction feature, Who Has Seen The Wind, won the Grand Prix at the Paris International Film Festival in 1976 and was the highest-grossing Canadian film of the year. He also enjoyed success in television directing numerous episodes of the Emmy Award-winning series Road To Avonlea.

His recent work includes the powerful Dying At Grace, a 2005 profile of terminally-ill patients at a Toronto paliative care hospice, and EMPz 4 Life, a study of underclass teenagers and the maths professor who tries to help them find a way out of the cycle of crime and drugs.

He was working on what was to be his last film when he was diagnosed with a brain tumour in April. The project was entitled Endings.

A memorial will be held at the Isabel Bader Theatre, 93 Charles Street West, Toronto, on Monday, June 22, 2009 at 11 a.m.