Director Jesus Franco dies

By Robert Kirchgassner ,

Cult film director Jesus “Jess” Franco died Tuesday in his native Spain of a stroke at age 82.

His career, which included writing and acting, spanned seven decades and included nearly 200 films.

Franco was known for his horror films and, as The Huffington Post notes, later became notorious for making erotic pictures.

His films include The Awful Dr. Orloff (1962), Oasis of the Zombies (1983) and The Bloody Judge (1970). Franco also inspired younger directors such as Quentin Tarantino.

"The auteur steered the 1960s Spanish horror boom, and even in the face of fascist censorship, placed sex, blood and gore at the front and center of his motion pics," Sean Fitz-Gerald wrote in Variety.

TV Guide reported that, as a child, Franco composed music before he shifted gears and entered film school. Among his early filmmaking credits was a turn as assistant director for the Orson Welles film Chimes at Midnight (1965).

Franco's wife and frequent collaborator, Lina Romay, died in 2012.

Among Franco's accolades was an honorary Goya award in 2009. His final film, Al Pereira vs. The Alligator Women, was released in March.

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