12 December 1925|
|Died||19 January 2014
London, United Kingdom
|Occupation||film and television director|
Born in Berlin, Germany, he was raised in England and studied at the University of Reading. While a teenager, he moved to the United States and directed a series of short films and documentaries. Universal Studios hired Hessler as a story reader for the Alfred Hitchcock Presents television series. He became story editor for two seasons (1960–1962) for that series, then served as the associate producer for The Alfred Hitchcock Hour from 1962 until its cancellation in 1965. He directed episodes of that series and several other shows, including Hawaii Five-O and Sara.
In 1969, he directed his debut feature film, The Oblong Box, starring Vincent Price. It was the first of three horror films Hessler would direct with the veteran horror star, the other two being Cry of the Banshee (1970) and Scream and Scream Again (1970). Hessler's other films include Murders in the Rue Morgue (1971), The Golden Voyage of Sinbad (1974), Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park (1978), Pray For Death (1985) and The Girl in a Swing (1988) starring Meg Tilly, an adaptation of Richard Adams's ghost story novel. The majority of Hessler's directorial work from the late 1970s on was in television.
Hessler died in his sleep on 19 January 2014.
- Katz, Ephraim. The Film Encyclopedia, Harper Perennial, 1994, 2nd Edition, pg. 622. ISBN 0-06-273089-4
- McGee, Mark Thomas. Faster and Furiouser: The Revised and Fattened Fable of American International Pictures, McFarland & Company, Inc., 1996, pgs. 278- 281. ISBN 0-7864-0137-0