×

Emmy-Winning Director Joseph Sargent Dies at 89

Joseph Sargent, director of “The Taking of Pelham One Two Three” and winner of four Emmys and four DGA Awards, died Monday at his home in Malibu of complications from heart disease. He was 89.

Sargent worked until he was 84. His credits included “Something The Lord Made,” “Warm Springs” “MacArthur,” “The Incident,” “Playing For Time,” “Miss Rose White” “Miss Evers’ Boys” and “Love Is Never Silent.”

He and his wife Carolyn helped co-found Deaf Theatre West as also founded the Free Arts Clinic For Abused Children. He won a Genesis Award for “The Last Elephant.”

Sargent worked during his last decade as the senior filmmaker-in-residence for the directing program at the American Film Institute Conservatory in Los Angeles and as the first professor of a masters program in film directing at Pepperdine University in Malibu, where Sargent and his wife Carolyn have resided for 40 years.

“When it comes to directing Movies for Television, Joe’s dominance and craftsmanship was legendary — for the past 50 years,” said Directors Guild of America president Paris Barclay.

“With eight DGA Awards nominations in Movies for Television, more than any other director in this category, Joe embodied directorial excellence on the small screen.” Barclay said. “He was unafraid of taking risks, believing in his heart that television audiences demanded the highest quality stories – whether chronicling uncomfortable historic events like the infamous Tuskegee syphilis study in ‘Miss Evers’ Boys,’ or compelling personal stories about inspiring individuals like heart surgery pioneers Alfred Blalock and Vivien Thomas in ‘Something the Lord Made.’ His biographies demonstrated an exactitude for period accuracy while simultaneously infusing historical figures with true-to-life spirit and passion.  Joe once said that he was ‘drawn to projects possessing ‘edge’ — material that can make some comment or contribution to the condition of man,’ and it is this ‘edge’ that is his enduring directorial legacy.”

He was born Giusseppe Daneiele Sorgente in Jersey City, New Jersey. He served as a teenage GI volunteer in Western Europe in World War II; after the war, he began studying as an actor studying at the Actors’ Studio.

He gained experience in episodic TV, first as an actor and finally getting directory opportunities in “Gunsmoke,” “Bonanza,” “Lassie,” “The Fugitive,” “Star Trek” and “The Man From Uncle.  He won his first Emmy directing the pilot episode of “Kojak,” a film entitled “The Marcus-Nelson Murders.”

Sargent is survived by his widow Carolyn Nelson Sargent, two daughters, Lia Sargent and Athena Sargent Sergneri (from a prior marriage to Mary Carver), and by nieces Charlotte and Emma Nelson.

More TV

  • THE-TURNCOAT

    Beta Film Sells Dreamtool’s ‘The Turncoat’ to Scandinavia (EXCLUSIVE)

    Set to air in April on Germany’s ARD, Beta Film has sold Dreamtool series “The Turncoat” throughout Scandinavia to public broadcasters NRK in Norway, SVT in Sweden, DR in Denmark and YLE in Finland. Negotiations are underway in the U.K. and U.S. Directed by Florian Gallenberger who co-wrote with Bernd Lange (“Criminal: Germany”), the four-hour [...]

  • Submarine

    The Mediapro Studio, Globo Team on ‘Submarine’

    MADRID —  Continuing its burgeoning line in action thrillers of substance – following South Pole crime thriller “The Head”-  The Mediapro Studio (“The New Pope”) is teaming with Globo Studios to produce “Submarine,” described by the partners as a “complex political criminal thriller.” Budgeted at a provisional €1.5 million ($1.7 million) per episode – high-end [...]

  • 20190702_788LCDP_S4_tamaraarranz_DSC_9303.nef

    Spanish TV Industry Adjusts to Harsh Realities of the Coronavirus Crisis

    The Spanish TV industry has been shaken by the dramatic impact of the coronavirus crisis, but it is fighting back. Industry players have reacted fast, pushing forward with development, post-production and other business activities using online tools, and with the expectation of supporting funds from both public and private initiatives that will mitigate the effects [...]

  • THE HEAD

    Spanish Shows on the Virtual Market

    MADRID — As the world’s international TV distribution goes virtual, these are a pick of Spanish TV shows – at project stage, in production or completed, and mostly drama series – being brought onto the market, or available for partnering for production or straight acquisition: 24 LAND (Ficción Producciones, Ukbar Filmes) A Spain-Portugal co-production from [...]

  • Night Shift: Inside Late-Night TV's Coronavirus

    Night Shift: Inside Late-Night TV's Coronavirus Chaos

    David Letterman famously helped Americans rebound from the trauma of 9/11 with a stirring monologue delivered from the stage of his show’s home, New York’s Ed Sullivan Theater. Now his heirs are working to do the same – from a basement. A garage. A self-styled ‘bunker.’ A backyard. With their kids. In the woods. The [...]

  • The Nameless

    Filmax, Jaume Balagueró, Pau Freixas Team for ‘The Nameless’ Series (EXCLUSIVE)

    MADRID — One of Europe’s best-known genre auteurs, Jaume Balagueró (“[REC]” franchise, “Sleep Tight”) is teaming with fellow Spaniard Pau Freixas, writer-director of “The Red Band Society,” and creator of Mediaset España’s “I Know Who You Are,” on a small-screen version of “Los sin nombre” (“The Nameless”). Created by Balagueró and Freixas and currently in [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content