Robin Hardy, best known as the director of the 1973 cult mystery-horror film The Wicker Man, died on Friday at the age of 86. A family friend confirmed the news to the BBC. The British-born Hardy’s relatively short filmography — his other films as a writer and director are 1986’s The Fantasist and 2011’s Wicker Man companion piece The Wicker Tree; he also wrote 1989’s Forbidden Sun — was complemented with a keen interest in painting and writing historical novels. (Interestingly, he was even involved in the creation of numerous historic theme parks in the United States.) “For the first two and a half decades of my life, I made my living entirely out of film,” he said last year. “Slowly but surely, writing novels became something I was interested in, and painting has always been part of my leisure life. But novels take a long time to write and research, so I’m happy to break up my work life in that way.” Hardy was planning another Wicker film at the time of his death, in a tribute to the star of the original film, Christopher Lee, passing away last year.