Swiss-born writer-director Carl Schenkel has died suddenly in Los Angeles at the age of 55 from heart failure.

He made his feature debut with Cold As Ice (Kalt Wie Eis) set in the new wave music scene in 1981 and then became one of the hottest properties in the German film world with the 1984 thriller Out Of Order (Abwaerts), starring Goetz George, Renee Soutendijk and "new face" Hannes Jaenicke.

After the critical and commercial success of Out Of Order Schenkel was approached by HBO to direct some Tv movies and relocated to the USA where he directed such films as the chess thriller Knight Moves, the action adventure film Tarzan And The Lost City and the horror film Bay Cove as well as episodes of The Hitcher, Profiler and such TV movies as Silhouette and a new version of Agatha Christie's Murder On The Orient Express.