Horror director Jeff Burr dies of a stroke at 60

 October 16, 2023

Horror movies fans were saddened last week to learn that longtime film director Jeff Burr passed away in his sleep. 

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the 60-year-old died last Tuesday at his home in Dalton, Georgia of complications arising from a stroke.

A career that spanned decades

The magazine recalled how Burr was born in Ohio but raised in Georgia when he became interested in filmmaking at a young age.

Burr's interest accelerated when he acquired a Super-8 film camera in high school and went on to create a Civil War-themed short film called "Divided We Fall" in 1982 after dropping out of the University of Southern California.

In 1987, Burr broke into the horror genre with "From a Whisper to a Scream." The director recalled in a 2012 interview how he convinced movie legend Vincent Price to star in the production after showing up at his house unannounced with a bottle of wine.

"He had no reason to listen to me," author Joel Eisner quoted Burr as saying of Price in his 2021 book, "The Price of Fear: The Film Career of Vincent Price, In His Own Words."

Burr's interest extended beyond horror films

"He knew he was the biggest star there and he could have easily run roughshod over me. But he was an incredible gentleman, and it was a great thrill just to have Vincent Price listen to my direction," Burr added.

The success of "From a Whisper to a Scream" was followed by a series of other horror films, including "Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III" and "Pumpkinhead II: Blood Wings."

"I do love horror films, genre films, but they are not the only kinds I want to make," Burr told the Athens Banner-Herald in 2018.

"I am a lover of film and want to do all kinds of movies, but in the mainstream Hollywood world, very often filmmakers are typecast like actors," he stressed.

Screenwriter remembers Burr as a good friend

Tributes to Burr were quickly put up on social media websites, including X, the platform previously known as Twitter.

A post from screen writer Shane Bitterling called news of Burr's death "awful" and described the director as being "[o]ne of my first friends in L.A., and one of the best."

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