The Hollywood Reporter said Russell died in his sleep Sunday.
Russell's films include "The Devils," "Women in Love," "Gothic," "The Who's Tommy," "Altered States" and "The Fall of the Louse of Usher." He also directed the TV miniseries "Lady Chatterley."
He acted in the movies "Russia House" and "Mr. Nice," and the TV series "Waking the Dead."
"Among many achievements that spring to mind, he made British cinema less insular and self-concerned. He will be widely mourned," The Hollywood Reporter quoted Lebrecht as saying on his Web site.