Jackson Hunsicker, a director-producer known for helming The Frog Prince and Oddball Hall, has died. She was 69. Her cousin, Ned Nalle, told Deadline that Hunsicker died December 29 of cancer in Studio City.
“Jackie” Hunsicker was born May 14, 1948, in Philadelphia. She attended New York University’s Tisch Film School and worked in NYC and San Francisco before landing in Los Angeles, where she worked as a screenwriter and then a director. She became a trailblazer as one of the first women in the industry to direct and produce a feature-length film. Her credits include 1988’s The Frog Prince, starring Helen Hunt, and Oddball Hall (1990) with Don Ameche and Burgess Meredith.
In addition, she wrote the screenplay for the 1989 film adaptation of Agatha Christie’s Ten Little Indians starring Donald Pleasance and Brenda Vaccaro. She also wrote for the 1995 ABC drama The Marshal.
Hunsicker also was an inventor and philanthropist. She invented Memo-Mate, a small tape recorder that fit on a keychain, which got her inducted into the Women Inventor’s Hall of Fame. After a bout with breast cancer, she created the book Turning Heads, which featured photos of women who were bald from chemotherapy doing what they loved. The book won her the Benjamin Franklin Award and a mention among Springside School’s Distinguished Alumna.
Her philanthropy projects included the “No Litter Zone” in her neighborhood in Studio City as well as Reading Glass Project. She created the project after a dentist asked her to deliver reading glasses to female embroiderers in Northern Vietnam. With that in mind, Hunsicker created a program that asked travelers to purchase reading glasses from Reading Glass Project to take with them when they traveled to Third World countries to give them to those in need.
She was married and divorced from former Cannon Film Head of Production Christopher Pearce, who died in 2016, as well as director Leon Ichaso. She is survived by her brother, J. Freedley Hunsicker Jr.; a sister, Louisa; as well as cousins and 10 nieces and nephews.