October 18, 1923|
Yekaterinoslav, Ukrainian SSR, Soviet Union
|Died||May 22, 1981
Portland, Oregon, United States
|Spouse(s)||Sara Zwilling (1952–1970)
Marge Champion (1977–1981)
|Children||Katey (born 1954)
Joe (born 1957)
Jean (born 1961)
Liz (born 1961)
Early life and career
Born in Yekaterinoslav, Ukrainian SSR (now known as Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine), Sagal emigrated to the United States where he attended the Yale School of Drama. Sagal's many TV credits include directing episodes of The Twilight Zone, T.H.E. Cat, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Columbo: Candidate for Crime, Peter Gunn, and The Man from U.N.C.L.E.. He also directed the 1972 television adaptation of Percy MacKaye's play The Scarecrow, for PBS. He was nominated for four Primetime Emmy Awards for his direction of the miniseries Rich Man, Poor Man and, posthumously, Masada.
There is a directing fellowship in his name at the Williamstown Theatre Festival in Massachusetts.
Sagal was Jewish. He is the father of Katey, Joe, and twins Jean and Liz Sagal by his first wife, Sara Zwilling, who died in 1975. His second wife was Marge Champion, to whom he was married from January 1, 1977 until his death.
Sagal was killed in an accident during production of the miniseries World War III, when he was partially decapitated after walking into the tail rotor blades of a helicopter in the parking lot of the Timberline Lodge in Oregon. An investigation revealed that he turned the wrong way when exiting the helicopter and walked into the tail rotor. He died five hours later in a Portland hospital.
- "BORIS SAGAL, 58, MOVIE DIRECTOR, DIES AFTER A HELICOPTER ACCIDENT". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-01-18.
- Cathcart, Rebecca. "Out From Under All That Big Hair", The New York Times, November 7, 2008, p. 2 of online version