Deadline: Robin Hardy, English author and film director best known for helming the classic 1973 suspense horror film The Wicker Man died on July 1, friends confirmed. He was 86. The BBC first reported the news. A native of Surrey, Hardy’s career as a director was kicked off in Canada and the United States in the 1960s with episodes of the cultural omnibus television show Esso World Theater. From there, he staked out a career making commercials and educational films.