The filmmaker, best known for his work on the 1959 surfing film starring Sandra Dee, passed away on Thursday (12Nov09) due to a lung infection following a stroke, according to Reuters.
During Wendkos' 50-year career he also worked on movies Guns of the Magnificent Seven and The Legend of Lizzie Borden, and his first narrative film - The Burglar - helped launch screen legend Jayne Mansfield's career.
Wendkos, who previously served in the U.S. Navy during World War II, is survived by his wife - television producer Lin Bolen - son Jordan, as well as a granddaughter, niece and nephews.
An ethereal retelling, stylishly produced, of the story of the New England spinster accused of the axe murders of her father and stepmother in the 1890s in the town of Fall River, Massachusetts. Emmy Award nominations went to Elizabeth Montgomery, art director Jack DeShields, set decorator Henry Gordon, editor John A. Martinelli, and costume designer Guy Verhille. DeShields and Gordon won.