Gordon was best known for cult classics like Re-Animator (1985) and From Beyond (1986), though he was also a writer and producer for the Honey I Shrunk the Kids franchise. Other film highlights by Gordon include the underrated horror flick Castle Freak (1995), as well as The Dolls (1987), Robot Jox (1989), The Pit and the Pendulum (1991) and Fortress (1992), among others.
In addition to film, Gordon was also active in theatre since his days at University of Wisconsin-Madison. He formed Screw Theater in 1968 at the school, getting arrested with his future wife for obscenity in the company's final production — a political rework of Peter Pan. After that, he cut ties with the university and formed Broom Street Theater in 1969, then the Organic Theater Company in Chicago later that year.
Gordon directed a one-man show called Nevermore… An Evening with Edgar Allan Poe in 2009, starring Re-Animator actor Jeffrey Combs.
In 2011, Gordon produced, wrote and directed Re-Animator the Musical, which played in Hollywood for six months before doing festival runs in New York and Edinburgh.
His final stage play was 2014's Taste, which told the story of the infamous "Rotenburg Cannibal," who killed an ate a voluntary victim that he found on the internet.
Gordon is surived by his wife Carolyn Purdy-Gordon, his three daughters and four grandchildren.
Read a selection of tributes to Gordon below.
An enormous talent, vibrant & boundary breaking, his work was in a class by itself. He created countless moments on film which were at once, funny, scary, daring & smart. He gave me my career. I lost a dear friend. I'm heartbroken. No words can do him justice. RIP Stuart Gordon— Barbara Crampton (@barbaracrampton) March 25, 2020
Sorry to hear about the great Stuart Gordon passing. Along with his storied career in theatre and independent film, he is in the horror hall of hame forever for films like 'From Beyond' & the outrageous gem that is 'Re-Animator'. Put a plaque up at Miskatonic University for him. pic.twitter.com/Uv56Bc4Isd— edgarwright (@edgarwright) March 25, 2020
Horrible news. Stuart Gordon created so many of my favorite horror movies. Re-Animator, From Beyond and Fortress being my favs. He was so kind when I met him at Re-Animator the Musical. Very sad to hear this. A true Gentleman and a Legend. https://t.co/lubpDUx5il— James Cullen Bressack (@JamesCullenB) March 25, 2020
Stuart Gordon was not only a brilliant filmmaker but an incredibly gracious human. He attended an early screening of A Horrible Way to Die and was quite kind about it, which was the only reason Adam and I had the confidence to try to cast Barbara Crampton in You're Next. R.I.P.— Simon Barrett (@Simon_Barrett) March 25, 2020
Stuart Gordon was a massive influence on so many of us, myself included.— Joe Lynch (@TheJoeLynch) March 25, 2020
He was a Cinema maverick, a SplatterPunk & an actor's auteur. Stuart always brought his A game to any B flick.
Thank you for the Lovecraft and "Happy Landings" From Beyond, Maestro. #RIPStuartGordon https://t.co/oBYZoIc16T