HOLLYWOOD HILLS, Calif., May 10 (UPI) -- Curtis Harrington, an experimental filmmaker who earned a reputation as a master of the morbid, died in his Hollywood Hills, Calif., home. He was 80.
Known for his experimental film shorts in the 1940s and '50s, Harrington, who never fully recovered from a 2005 stroke, died Sunday.
Harrington was an associate producer at 20th Century Fox when he directed his first feature film, "Night Tide," a 1961 release starring Dennis Hopper in his first leading role, The Los Angeles Times said.
"He's always been a dear friend through the years," Hopper told the Times, who "allowed me all the freedom that I wanted; he was very gracious."
Among Harrington's films are "Games," a psychological thriller with Simone Signoret, James Caan and Katharine Ross; "What's the Matter With Helen?," a horror film featuring Debbie Reynolds and Shelley Winters, and "The Killing Kind," which explored a psychopath's mind starring Ann Sothern and John Savage.
Harrington also directed for the small screen, overseeing episodes for the popular TV series and made-for-TV movies.
In 2002, Harrington directed and starred in "Usher," a 38-minute film based on the Edgar Allen Poe story.