Joseph Sargent

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For other people named Joseph Sargent, see Joseph Sargent (disambiguation).
Joseph Sargent
Joseph Sargent.jpg
Born Giuseppe Danielle Sorgente
(1925-07-22)July 22, 1925
Jersey City, New Jersey, U.S.
Died December 22, 2014(2014-12-22) (aged 89)
Malibu, California, U.S.
Cause of death Heart disease
Other names Joseph Daniel Sargent
Occupation Film director
Years active 1951–2009
Known for White Lightning
Jaws: The Revenge
The Taking of Pelham One Two Three
Spouse(s) Mary Carver (1952–1968) (divorced) (2 children)
Carolyn Nelson (1970-2014) (his death)
Children Lia Sargent
Athena Sargent

Joseph Sargent (born Giuseppe Danielle Sorgente, July 22, 1925 – December 22, 2014) was an American film director. Though he directed many television movies, his best known feature film works were the theatrical releases; White Lightning, MacArthur, Nightmares and Jaws: The Revenge, with his most popular film being The Taking of Pelham One Two Three. He was the recipient of four Emmy Awards. He is the father of anime dubbing voice actress Lia Sargent.

Life and career[edit]

Sargent was born as Giuseppe Danielle Sorgente in Jersey City, New Jersey, the son of Italians Maria (née Noviello) and Domenico Sorgente.[1][2] Sargent began his career as an actor, appearing in numerous films and television programs.

He appeared in an uncredited role as a soldier in the film From Here to Eternity (1953) where he also meet his first wife Mary Carver on the set. He switched to directing in the mid-1950s, with directing credits over the next 15 years including episodes of the television series Lassie, The Invaders, The Man from U.N.C.L.E." and Star Trek.

In 1969, he directed his first feature, Colossus: The Forbin Project, and in 1972 The Man, starring James Earl Jones.

He alternated between television movies and feature films during the 1970s. Sargent's directorial work from this period includes; The Taking of Pelham One Two Three, the TV movies Hustling with Lee Remick and Jill Clayburgh and Tribes with Jan-Michael Vincent and Darren McGavin, as well as the international award-winning ABC film The Night That Panicked America. In 1974, he won his first Directors Guild of America Award for The Marcus-Nelson Murders (1973), which was the TV movie pilot for the Kojak series

In the 1980s, Sargent directed the mini-series Manions of America, which featured Pierce Brosnan and Space. In 1987, he directed Jaws: The Revenge, the third sequel to Steven Spielberg's 1975 classic. The film received mostly negative reviews. Roger Ebert particularly called his directing of the climactic sequence "incompetent,"[3] and he was nominated as "Worst Director" in the 1987 Golden Raspberry Awards.[4]

He concentrated on TV movies after Jaws: The Revenge, including The Karen Carpenter Story, The Long Island Incident, Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment and Sybil.

Sargent was nominated for several Emmy awards, and won four. His first nomination came for his direction of the TV movie Tribes (1970). His second nomination, for The Marcus-Nelson Murders (1973), earned him his first win. He also won Emmys for Love Is Never Silent (1985), Caroline? (1990) and Miss Rose White (1992). He was also nominated for Amber Waves (1980), A Lesson Before Dying (1999), Something the Lord Made (2004) and Warm Springs (2005).

He won the Directors Guild of America Outstanding Directorial Achievement in 2005 for Something the Lord Made and also in 2006 for Warm Springs, starring Kenneth Branagh.

Carolyn Nelson Sargent and Joseph Sargent laid the groundwork for Deaf West Theatre.[5]

He was the Senior Filmmaker-in-Residence for the Directing program at the American Film Institute Conservatory in Los Angeles.

Sargent died of complications from heart disease at his home in Malibu, California, on December 22, 2014. He was 89.[6]


Year Film Director Producer Actor Notes
1953 From Here to Eternity
1967 Tobruk
1968 The Hell with Heroes
1970 Colossus: The Forbin Project
1972 The Man
1973 White Lightning
1974 The Taking of Pelham One Two Three
1975 The Night That Panicked America
1977 MacArthur
1981 Manions of America
1983 Nightmares
1985 Love Is Never Silent
1987 Jaws: The Revenge
Nominated—Razzie Award for Worst Picture
Nominated—Razzie Award for Worst Director
1989 The Karen Carpenter Story
1998 Mandela and de Klerk
The Long Island Incident
1999 A Lesson Before Dying
2004 Something the Lord Made
Directors Guild of America Award for Outstanding Directing in a Television Film
2005 Warm Springs
2007 Sybil
2008 Sweet Nothing in My Ear


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ Ebert, Roger. "Jaws the Revenge". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved September 18, 2006. 
  4. ^ "1987 Archive". Retrieved December 11, 2006. 
  5. ^ "The Deaf West Theatre". Retrieved January 21, 2010. 
  6. ^ Emmy-Winning Director Joseph Sargent Dies at 89

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