Movie-TV director John Frankenheimer dies at 72
Sat Jul 6,10:11 PM ET
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Hollywood director John Frankenheimer, whose films included the 1960s hits "The Birdman of Alcatraz" and "The Manchurian Candidate," died Saturday in Los Angeles. He was 72.
Frankenheimer died following a stroke at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, where he had undergone spinal surgery, his daughter Kristi Frankenheimer said.
Frankenheimer, a native of Malba, New York, also was an award-winning television director known for social dramas.
He won four consecutive Emmy Awards in the 1990s for the television movies "Against the Wall," "The Burning Season," "Andersonville," and "George Wallace," which also received a Golden Globe award.
In the 1960s, Frankenheimer's credits included the popular hits "The Birdman of Alcatraz," "The Manchurian Candidate," and "Seven Days in May."
"In his time, which I guess you'd say was the 1960s, Frankenheimer worked with the top writers, producers and actors in a series of films that dealt with issues that were just on top of the moment -- things that were facing us all," movie critic Leonard Maltin told KNX radio in Los Angeles.
"The Birdman of Alcatraz" starred Burt Lancaster and told the story of a convicted murderer who became an expert on birds while imprisoned at Alcatraz in San Francisco Bay.
"The Manchurian Candidate" was about a Korean War veteran who was brainwashed as a prisoner of war and programmed to kill a liberal politician.
"Seven Days in May" featured Lancaster as a U.S. general plotting a coup.
Among Frankenheimer's other films were "Reindeer Games," "Ronin," "Grand Prix," "The Fixer," "Black Sunday," and "The French Connection II."
Frankenheimer got his start making training films for the U.S. Air Force. In 1953 he arrived in New York City and talked his way into an assistant director's job at CBS.
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