Gordon Hessler

Gordon Hessler was born in Germany, the son of a Danish mother and an English father. Educated in England, he moved to the US while in his late teens and spent several years working in documentaries. At Universal, “I guess because I had an English accent”, Hessler was placed under contract to Alfred Hitchcock and went to work on the master director’s TV series Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1955) and The Alfred Hitchcock Hour (1962), climbing the ladder from story reader to associate producer and finally to producer in the series’ final year. A novelette rejected for the show became the basis for The Woman Who Wouldn’t Die (1965), Hessler’s first feature film as director. When production of the AIP Edgar Allan Poe series was shifted to Britain, Hessler collaborated with producer Louis M. Heyward and horror enthusiast/ screenwriter Christopher Wicking on three Poe films and on the sci-fi shocker Scream and Scream Again (1970). Carrying on in the fantasy field, he also directed the Ray Harryhausen stop-motion swashbuckler The Golden Voyage of Sinbad (1973) and additional small-screen suspensers like the Psycho (1960)-inspired Scream, Pretty Peggy (1973) with Bette Davis.

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