×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Emmy-Nominated Writer-Director S. Lee Pogostin Dies at 86

Television and film writer-director S. Lee Pogostin died following a long illness on March 7, one day before his 87th birthday.

Pogostin won a Writers Guild Award and was nominated for an Emmy for his original teleplay “The Game,” for the anthology series “Bob Hope Presents The Chrysler Theatre.” Though Pogostin lost, director Sydney Pollack and actor Cliff Robertson won Emmys in 1966 for “The Game,” and actress Simone Signoret also won that year for another Pogostin-scripted Chrysler segment, “A Small Rebellion.”

Pogostin directed subsequent episodes of the “Chrysler” series and in 1969 helmed his only feature, the cult item “Hard Contract,” starring James Coburn as a hired killer.

Pogostin’s other feature credits as a writer were “Pressure Point” (based on his teleplay “Destiny’s Tot”), starring Sidney Poitier and Bobby Darin; “Synanon”; “Nightmare Honeymoon”; “Golden Needles”; and “High Road to China.” He also wrote telepics, including the acclaimed “The UFO Incident,” under the pseudonym “Jake Justiz.”

Born in Jersey City, Pogostin grew up in Washington, D.C., and served in WWII after lying about his age to join the Army at 15. After moving to New York in 1950, Pogostin broke into the industry as a writer for radio programs including “Grand Central Station” and “Suspense.”

Moving into live television, Pogostin wrote for “Lux Video Theatre,” “Campbell Soundstage” and “Studio One”; crafting teleplays such as “Something for an Empty Briefcase” (an early starring role for James Dean) and “Early Morning for a Bartender’s Waltz” (an early vehicle for Robert Duvall). His other television credits include adaptations of Maugham’s “The Moon and Sixpence,” starring Laurence Olivier, and an adaptation of Arthur Miller’s novel “Focus,” for which Miller personally selected Pogostin to write the teleplay.

Pogostin spent much of the 1960s living abroad, in Spain and France, but commuted to Hollywood to write for TV series including “The Dick Powell Show,” “Cain’s Hundred” and “Slattery’s People.” After moving to Los Angeles, Pogostin became a friend and collaborator of John Cassavetes, who starred in Pogostin’s last “Chrysler Theatre” segment, “Free of Charge,” and Sam Peckinpah, with whom he worked (along with the actor Robert Culp) on an unproduced screenplay, “Summer Soldiers.”

Pogostin is survived by his wife, the dancer Betty Buday; two daughters and two sons; and six grandchildren.

More TV

  • Pete Davidson Sits Out Final 'Saturday

    Pete Davidson Sits Out Final 'Saturday Night Live' Sketches of 2018

    Just hours after “Saturday Night Live” cast member Pete Davidson posted a message on social media that said he “really [didn’t] want to be on this Earth anymore,” he was absent from the final 2018 live sketches of the late-night sketch comedy show. But although Davidson did not take part in the sketches or appear [...]

  • Pete Davidson photographed by Peggy Sirota

    Pete Davidson Posts Unsettling Message, Deletes Instagram

    UPDATED: “Saturday Night Live” cast member Pete Davidson posted a disturbing message Saturday morning stating he doesn’t “want to be on this earth anymore,” then deleted his Instagram account. In the post, Davidson wrote, “I’m doing my best to stay here for you but i actually don’t know how much longer i can last. all [...]

  • Disney Channel Fires 'Andi Mack' Actor

    Disney Channel Fires 'Andi Mack' Actor Arrested for Plotting Sex With Minor

    Disney Channel has severed ties with “Andi Mack” actor Stoney Westmoreland following his arrest for allegedly trying to arrange a sexual encounter with a 13-year-old. “Stoney Westmoreland, an actor working on the series ‘Andi Mack,’ was arrested in Salt Lake City today,” a Disney Channel spokesperson said in a statement Friday. “Given the nature of [...]

  • Russian Doll

    TV News Roundup: Natasha Lyonne's 'Russian Doll' Sets Netflix Premiere Date

    On Friday’s roundup, Netflix announces the premiere date for “Russian Doll” and Benedict Cumberbatch’s “Brexit” film has a premiere date on HBO FIRST LOOKS Showtime has released a new teaser for the upcoming comedy series, “Black Monday,” which will premiere Sunday, Jan. 20 at 10 p.m. ET/PT. The series stars and is executive produced by Don [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content