Jesus 'Jess' Franco Manera was born on May 12, 1930 in Madrid, Spain. He started out composing music at the age of 6 and studied at the Real Conservatorio de Madrid after the Spanish Civil War. He then became a writer using the alias David Khume. Franco ventured to Paris to study directing at I.D.H.E.C. at the University of Sorbonne. He returned to Spain and broke into film as an assistant director and composer on the 1955 film “Cómicos” (aka The Comedians). Jess then wrote the story and screenplay for the 1955 Spanish western “The Coyote”. His directorial debut was in the 1957 film “El árbol de España”. This was followed up with “The Judgement of the Coyote” (1956). Franco also directed 1975's “The Mark of Zorro” while writing screenplays for “Shadow of Zorro” and “Zorro the Avenger” both made in 1962. Jess also founded his own production company Manacoa Films. He's directed over 200 films in his on-going career in almost every genre adding erotic and horror themes. Franco is also a cinematographer, actor and composer and has used countless aliases over the years. He was married to screenwriter, actress Nicole Guettard [19??-1996] and is cuurently married to actress Lina Romay [1954- ]. Franco's continuing career is one of the most diverse in cinema history. Today we celebrate Jesus Franco's 80th birthday.