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Vic Morrow Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (2) | Trivia (13) | Personal Quotes (2) | Salary (1)

Overview (4)

Date of Birth 14 February 1929The Bronx, New York City, New York, USA
Date of Death 23 July 1982Indian Dunes, California, USA  (helicopter accident)
Birth NameVictor Morozoff
Height 5' 9" (1.75 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Vic Morrow was born in the Bronx, New York, to Jean (Kress) and Harry Morrow, an electrical engineer. His parents were Russian Jewish immigrants. Morrow dropped out of high school at 17 to join the U.S. Navy. When he left the Navy, he used the G.I. Bill to study pre-law at Florida State. While Morrow was working on his degree in Law, he also took part in a school play and found that he preferred stage acting to courtroom acting. When he went to New York, Morrow enrolled in the Actors' Workshop to improve his skills. After graduating, he was cast in the summer stock production of "A Streetcar Named Desire". His screen debut came when he was signed by MGM to play a tough-talking, surly street punk in Blackboard Jungle (1955). The good news was that he was now in the movies, but the bad news was that he became typecast as a heavy. Disappointed with this situation, Morrow left MGM after a few years and headed back to school to study directing at USC. He made some appearances on television and in 1962 found a role that brought him fame and made him the "hero": the TV series Combat! (1962), in which he played Sgt. Chip Saunders, veteran squad leader. Due to his demands, the show quickly went from an alternating showcase between platoon leader Lt. Hanley (Rick Jason) and Sgt. Saunders to one featuring mainly Saunders. With the success of the show, Morrow put to use what he had learned at USC and directed some episodes. In 1965 he and his wife divorced, and two years later the series ended. These two events put him into a personal and professional slide. By 1969 he began almost a decade of making made-for-TV movies, with an occasional foray into features. Most of his roles, though, put him back as a "heavy", although he did have a good part as a tough L.A. cop going up against out-of-town mobsters in a two-part episode of Police Story (1973) that was later released as a telefeature. While he worked in the theater and looked forward to the big screen, most of his roles were in "B" pictures such as Dirty Mary Crazy Larry (1974) and Treasure of Matecumbe (1976). He got good reviews playing Walter Matthau's nemesis in the hit comedy The Bad News Bears (1976), but was not involved in any of the following sequels, and he seemed to be stuck in a rut of "B" features and average made-for-TV films. With the failure of his second marriage, the death of his mother and the scarcity of good parts, Morrow hit the bottle, which did his career even less good. In 1982, however, he refocused his drive and made a comeback in Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983), but was unfortunately killed on the early morning hours of July 23, 1982 in a tragic, freak accident on the set while filming a scene involving a helicopter which crashed right on top of him and two young children.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Tony Fontana <tony.fontana@spacebbs.com>

Spouse (2)

Gale A. Lester (1 April 1975 - 27 September 1979) (divorced)
Barbara Turner (26 June 1957 - 1964) (divorced) (2 children)

Trivia (13)

Daughters, Carrie Ann Morrow (b. 1958) and Jennifer Leigh Morrow, (aka Jennifer Jason Leigh) (b. 1962).
Attented school in the bronx with producer Brandon Chase
Killed, along with two Vietnamese child actors, in a freak accident on the set of Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983) when a hovering helicopter crashed landed on top of them, in which the top rotor blades decapitated Morrow and one of the children, and crushing to death the second one.
Interred at Hillside Memorial Park, Culver City, California, USA.
His parents, Harry Morrow (Morozoff) and Jeanette Kress, were both Russian Jewish immigrants.
At the time of his death, he had a pet dog named Macho.
Despite playing heavies before and since, plus Saunders in "Combat", Morrow disliked guns. This according to Combat Co-star Rick Jason, who said Vic turned down his offer to shoot skeet, by saying he "can't stand to kill clay"
Personally thanked director John Landis for the opportunity to star in Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983). Morrow was excited about what turned out to be his final film, considering it a welcome change of pace from the myriad (and mostly-foreign) B-pictures he had been forced to fall back on during most of the 1970s.
The pilot episode of his TV series Combat! (1962), was directed by Boris Sagal. Two decades after collaborating, Sagal and Morrow would die almost exactly the same way (struck by a helicopter's rotor blade)...within a year of each other, both while shooting a movie on location. For Sagal, it was World War III (1982); for Morrow, it was Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983).
His funeral was attended by Combat! (1962) co-stars Dick Peabody and Rick Jason...and by John Landis, who directed Morrow in Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983). All three gave separate eulogies; Peabody also served as one of Vic's pallbearers.
His epitaph was written by daughter Carrie Ann Morrow. It reads, "I loved him as 'Dad'; to everyone else he was 'Vic'".
Morrow had an elder brother, George, born 1924.
Born on February 14, 1929, the same day as the infamous St. Valentine's Day Massacre in Chicago, an event strongly associated with the Thompson submachine gun. As Sergeant Chip Saunders in "Combat!" (1962), he became an iconic figure also strongly associated with the Thompson submachine gun.

Personal Quotes (2)

[on the success of his movie Blackboard Jungle (1955)] "Sure, the reviews were great...but you would've thought they'd picked me up out of an ashtray, and made me a star. Hell, I'd already done Shakespeare and Chekhov and all those other cats."
[his half-joking aside to a PA, shortly before filming the fateful helicopter sequence for Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983)] "How did I let them talk me into doing this scene? I should have asked for a stunt double."

Salary (1)

Combat! (1962) $5,000 /week

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