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‘Midway’ writer Donald S. Sanford dies at 92

Penned TV series, war films

TV and film scribe Donald S. Sanford, who penned the 1976 WWII epic “Midway,” died Feb. 8 in Atlanta. He was 92.

He started writing for “Martin Kane” in the early 1950s and penned episodes for skeins including “The Loretta Young Show,” “Bonanza,” “Perry Mason,” “Dr. Kildare” and “Gunsmoke” over the next two decades.

In the late 1960s he wrote the screenplays for three WWII films: “Submarine X-1,” “Mosquito Squadron” and “The Thousand Plane Raid” before moving on, several years later, to the much bigger-scale project “Midway,” which had an all-star cast led by Charlton Heston and Henry Fonda. Sanford’s last credit was the 1979 post-apocalyptic sci-fier “Ravagers,” starring Richard Harris and Art Carney.

He was a member of the Writers Guild of America and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. He was also a member of the Pension and Health Finance Committee for the WGA Pension and Health Fund for many years.

Sanford served in the U.S. Navy from 1942-45 as a chief sonar soundman before beginning his radio and television career.

He is survived by his wife of 35 years, Teddi, and three stepchildren.

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