Jesús "Jess" Franco (born Jesús Franco Manera; 12 May 1930 – 2 April 2013) was a Spanish film director, writer, cinematographer and actor. His career took off in 1961 with his cult classic The Awful Dr. Orloff, which received wide distribution in the United States and the UK. Though he had some American box office success with Necronomicon (1967), Ninety-Nine Women (1968) and his two Christopher Lee films — The Bloody Judge and Count Dracula — he never achieved wide commercial success. Franco moved from Spain to France in 1970 so that he could make more violent and erotic films, and it was at this point that his career began to go downhill commercially, as he turned to low-budget filmmaking with a heavier accent on adult films. Although he produced a number of well-received, low budget horror films in the early 70's (Dracula vs Frankenstein, Vampyros Lesbos, A Virgin Among the Living Dead), many people in the industry considered him a porn director due to the huge number of X-rated adult films he began churning out. Franco returned to low-budget horror in a brief comeback period from 1980-1983 (Bloody Moon, Oasis of the Zombies, Revenge in the House of Usher), but after 1983, his career took a second downturn as he returned to pornographic films. In his later years, he did however get the opportunity to turn out two rather big-budget horror films — Faceless and Killer Barbys — both of which showed what great work he could still do when adequately funded. The entirety of his work after 1996 was direct-to-video films of very low quality. Franco died in April 2013 at the age of 82.