John Frankenheimer dead at 72

HOLLYWOOD director John Frankenheimer has died on Saturday in Los Angeles at the age of 72, following complications from spinal surgery.

Frankenheimer made what is considered to be the best auto racing film ever made - "Grand Prix" - in 1966, as well as such classic films as "The Manchurian Candidate" (1962), "Birdman of Alcatraz" (1962), "Seven Days in May" (1964), "Seconds" (1966) and "Black Sunday" (1977).

A native New Yorker, Frankenheimer started making movies while in the Air Force, and over his career, which spanned nearly five decades, he was nominated for 14 Emmy Awards and won four consecutive Emmys in the late 1990s. In 1998 his television film "George Wallace" won a Peabody award and a Golden Globe award.

During the 1970s, Frankenheimer ran into personal difficulties, including a drinking problem, which followed the assassination Robert F. Kennedy. Kennedy, who was a close friend of Frankenheimer, had been staying at his house and was driven by Frankenheimer to the Ambassador Hotel the night he was killed in 1968.

It is expected that Frankenheimer will be inducted into the Television Hall of Fame this coming November.

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