Gary Franklin, a Los Angeles entertainment reporter whose 1-to-10 scale of movie reviews made him a familiar name and even carried weight with Hollywood studios, died Oct. 2 in Chatsworth, Calif. He was 79.
Franklin had suffered four strokes in recent years, daughter Daryle Esswein said.
Franklin worked at several local television and radio stations, first as a reporter and then as a movie reviewer. In the 1980s he was entertainment critic at several local television stations.
He rated movies and TV shows “on the Franklin Scale of 1 to 10, 10 being best.” Because he was based in Hollywood, his reviews carried weight in the showbiz community.
Franklin pulled no punches when he felt a movie was exploitative. He gave director Oliver Stone a zero on the scale for the violent “Natural Born Killers,” calling it a “cultural crime.”
Franklin was born in Leipzig, Germany. His Jewish family came to America in 1938 to escape the Nazis. Franklin earned a film degree from City College of New York. He was an Army cameraman in Korea and then began to produce television documentaries in New York and Canada before beginning a broadcast career in Virginia in 1954.
In 1991 Franklin left Los Angeles to work as a development executive at a commercial television network in Germany. He returned after only a couple of months and resumed reviewing on TV.
In addition to his daughter, Franklin is survived by his wife, Sylvia; another daughter, Michelle Truesdell, and four grandchildren.