Boris Sagal

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Boris Sagal
Born (1923-10-18)October 18, 1923
Yekaterinoslav, Ukrainian SSR, Soviet Union
Died May 22, 1981(1981-05-22) (aged 57)
Portland, Oregon, United States
Years active 1955-1981
Spouse(s) Sara Zwilling (1952–1975)
Marge Champion (1977–1981)
Children Katey (born 1954)
Joe (born 1957)
David (born 1960)
Jean (born 1961)
Liz (born 1961)

Boris Sagal (October 18, 1923 – May 22, 1981) was a Ukrainian-born American television and film director.[1]


Early life and career[edit]

Born in Yekaterinoslav, Ukrainian SSR (now known as Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine), Sagal immigrated 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.

Sagal directed the 1971 cult classic science fiction film The Omega Man, starring Charlton Heston in the lead role, and The Dream Makers.

There is a directing fellowship in his name at the Williamstown Theatre Festival in Massachusetts.

Personal life[edit]

Sagal was Jewish.[2] He is the father of Katey, Joe, David, and twins Jean and Liz Sagal by his first wife, Sara Zwilling, who died in 1975; It has been reported TV producer Norman Lear, who became the godfather to Boris' daughter Katey, had introduced both Boris and Sara to each other.[3] 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.[4]

He is interred at Forest Lawn Memorial Park, near his wife, Sara Zwilling in the Hollywood Hills of Los Angeles, California.[5][6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "BORIS SAGAL, 58, MOVIE DIRECTOR, DIES AFTER A HELICOPTER ACCIDENT". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-01-18. 
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ Cathcart, Rebecca. "Out From Under All That Big Hair", The New York Times, November 7, 2008, p. 2 of online version
  5. ^ "Boris Sagal (1923 - 1981) - Find A Grave Memorial". Retrieved 2016-07-28. 
  6. ^ "Sara E. Zwilling Sagal (1927 - 1975) - Find A Grave Memorial". Retrieved 2016-07-28. 

External links[edit]