Robin Hardy, 'The Wicker Man' Director, Dies at 86

Robin Hardy - 2016 - H

The helmer went on to make the follow-up film 'The Wicker Tree' in 2011.

Robin Hardy, the director of the cult British film The Wicker Man, has died, BBC reports. He was 86.

Hardy died Friday, a family friend told the BBC. The University of Malta also announced the news in a Facebook post.

Starring Christopher Lee, Edward Woodward and Diane Cilento, mystery film The Wicker Man told the story of a police sergeant who is sent to a Scottish island village in search of a missing girl that the townspeople claim never existed. The English helmer went on to make a follow-up film, The Wicker Tree, in 2011, that was based on his novel (he also wrote the screenplay).

In 1986, Wicker wrote and directed another feature-length film, the thriller The Fantasist.

In perhaps his final public appearance, Hardy came to the University of Malta in late May for a screening of The Wicker Man and spoke to students. "Both the Master Class and the presentation were simply captivating, and the audience was totally mesmerized by Mr. Hardy," said a statement on the school's Facebook page. "We will always treasure our memory of these unique moments."

He is survived by his wife Victoria.