John Michael Frankenheimer (February 19, 1930 ? July 6, 2002) was an American film director. Frankenheimer directed his first theatrical film, “The Young Stranger,” in 1957, but did not direct another until 1961. 1962 was a pivotal year for the young director, he directed three films “All Fall Down,” “Birdman of Alcatraz” and “The Manchurian Candidate” that were all box office hits. “The Manchurian Candidate” (based on the 1959 novel of the same title by Richard Condon) is the director’s best known work and was recently named as one of the top 100 films of all time. It was pulled from circulation due to the death of President Kennedy, but was re-released to great acclaim in 1988.
He was scheduled to direct a prequel to “The Exorcist” but died suddenly in Los Angeles, California, from a stroke due to complications following spinal surgery at the age of 72, shortly before filming started.