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Vic Morrow
Born February 14, 1929(1929-02-14)
New York City, New York, United States
Died July 23, 1982 (aged 53)
Indian Dunes, Ventura County, California, United States
Other name(s) Victor Morrow
Occupation Actor, director
Years active 1955–1982
Spouse(s) Barbara Turner (1957 - 1964) (divorced)
Gale Lester (1975–1976) (divorced)

Victor "Vic" Morrow (February 14, 1929 — July 23, 1982) was an American actor, whose credits include a starring role in the 1960s TV series Combat!, prominent roles in a handful of other television and cinema dramas, and numerous guest roles on television. He and two others died when a stunt helicopter crashed on them during the filming of Twilight Zone: The Movie.


Early life and family

Morrow was born in the Bronx, New York to a middle class Jewish family,[1] the son of Jean (née Kress) and Harry Morrow, an electrical engineer.[2] When he was 17, Morrow dropped out of high school and joined the U.S. Navy. He married actress Barbara Turner with whom he had two daughters: actress Jennifer Jason Leigh and Carrie Ann Morrow. He and Leigh became estranged after he divorced Turner, an estrangement that lasted until his death.


Morrow's first movie role was in Blackboard Jungle (1955), after which he went into television. On April 16, 1959, he appeared in the premiere of NBC's 1920s crime drama The Lawless Years in the episode "The Nick Joseph Story". Morrow then appeared from 1960–1961 as Joe Cannon in three episodes of NBC's The Outlaws with Barton MacLane. On October 6, 1961, he guest starred in the ABC television series Target: The Corruptors! with Stephen McNally and Robert Harland.

He was cast in the lead role in ABC's Combat!, a World War II drama, which aired from 1962–1967. He also worked as a television director. After Combat! ended, he worked in several films. Morrow appeared in two episodes of Australian-produced anthology series The Evil Touch (1973), one of which he also directed. He memorably played the homicidal sheriff, alongside Martin Sheen in the 1974 TV film The California Kid, and had a key role in the 1976 comedy The Bad News Bears. He also played Injun Joe in 1973 telefilm Tom Sawyer, which was filmed in Upper Canada Village. A musical version was released in theaters that same year.


In the early morning hours of July 23, 1982, Morrow and two Vietnamese immigrant children, My-Ca Dinh Le (age 7), and Renee Shin-Yi Chen (age 6), died on the set of Twilight Zone: The Movie in Ventura County, California. Morrow was playing the role of Bill Connor, a racist who is taken back in time and placed in various situations where he would be a persecuted victim: as a Jewish Holocaust victim, a black man about to be lynched by the Ku Klux Klan, and a Vietnamese man about to be killed by United States soldiers. Morrow, Le, and Chen were filming a scene for the Vietnam sequence in which their characters attempt to escape from a pursuing helicopter out of a Vietnamese village. The helicopter was flying at about 25 feet above them when pyrotechnic explosions simulating combat conditions caused it to lose control and crash on top of them.[3] Morrow and Le were both decapitated by the rotor blades, and Chen was crushed to death by the helicopter's skid. The helicopter crew sustained minor injuries.

Morrow is interred in Hillside Memorial Park Cemetery in Culver City, California.[4]

Due in part to the deaths of Morrow, Le, and Chen, the fact that the children were hired in circumvention of child labor laws, and the nighttime schedule during which the children were working without supervision, state child labor laws were reformed, as were safety regulations on movie sets in the state of California. Litigation over the deaths lasted well over a decade. Director John Landis and other defendants, which included producer Steven Spielberg and pilot Dorsey Wingo, were ultimately acquitted of involuntary manslaughter and child endangerment. The parents of Le and Chen sued and settled out of court for $2 million each. Morrow's children also sued and likewise settled for an undisclosed amount.[5]

Partial filmography

Year Title Role Other notes
1955 Blackboard Jungle Artie West
1956 Tribute to a Bad Man Lars Peterson
1956 The Millionaire Joey Diamond TV, 1 episode
Climax! Ted TV, 1 episode
1957 Men in War Corporal James Zwickley
Alfred Hitchcock Presents Benny Mungo TV, 1 episode
1958 King Creole Shark
God's Little Acre Shaw Walden
1959 Naked City David Greco TV, 1 episode
The Rifleman Brett Stocker TV, 1 episode, "The Letter of the Law"
1960 The Barbara Stanwyck Show Leroy Benson TV, 1 episode
Cimarron Wes Jennings
The Brothers Brannagan Locke TV, series premiere, "Tune in for Murder"
1961 Portrait of a Mobster Dutch Schultz
1961 The Law and Mr. Jones Dr. Bigelow TV, 1 episode, "A Very Special Citizen"
1962 The New Breed Belman TV, 1 episode
1962–1967 Combat! Sergeant Chip Saunders TV, 152 episodes
1969 Target: Harry Harry Black Alternative titles: What's In it For Harry?, How to Make It
1970 The Immortal Sheriff Dan W. Wheeler TV, 1 episode
Dan August Steve Harrison TV, 1 episode
1971 Hawaii Five-O Edward Heron TV, 1 episode, "Two Doves and Mr. Heron"
Mannix Eric Latimer TV, 1 episode
Sarge Lt. Ross Edmonds TV, 1 episode
1972 McCloud Richard TV, 1 episode
Owen Marshall: Counselor at Law Andy Capaso TV, 1 episode
Mission: Impossible Joseph Collins TV, 1 episode
1973–1974 Police Story Sergeant Joe LaFrieda TV, 3 episodes
The Evil Touch Purvis Greene TV, 2 episodes
The Streets of San Francisco Vic Tolliman TV, 1 episode
1974 Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry Cpt. Franklin
1975 The Night That Panicked America Hank Muldoon Television movie
1976 Captains and the Kings Tom Hennessey Miniseries
1976 The Bad News Bears Coach Roy Turner
1977 Roots Ames Miniseries
1978 Wild and Wooly Warden Willis Television movie
1978 Message From Space (Ucyuu karano messeiji) General Garuda Japanese(Toei) movie
1978–1980 Charlie's Angels Lt. Harry Stearns TV, 2 episodes
1979 Greatest Heroes of the Bible Arioch TV, 1 episode
The Evictors Jake Rudd
1980 Humanoids from the Deep Hank Slattery Alternative titles: Humanoids of the Deep, Monster
B.A.D. Cats Capt. Eugene Nathan TV, 9 episodes
1981 Magnum, P.I. Police Sergeant Jordan TV, 1 episode
1982 Fantasy Island Douglas Picard TV, 1 episode
1983 Twilight Zone: The Movie Bill Connor Died during on-set accident during filming; death scene deleted from film

Award nominations

Year Result Award Category Film or series
1963 Nominated Emmy Awards Outstanding Continued Performance by an Actor in a Series (Lead) Combat!


  1. ^ "About Vic Morrow". Jodavidsmeyer. Retrieved 2009-07-27.  
  2. ^ Donnelley, Paul (2003). Fade to Black: A Book of Movie Obituaries. Omnibus. pp. 504. ISBN0711995125.  
  3. ^ Ventura County Coroner Department autopsy reports
  4. ^ "Vic Morrow". Find a Grave. Retrieved 2009-07-27.  
  5. ^ Noe, Denise. "The Twilight Zone Tragedy: Funerals and Blame"

External links

Simple English

Victor Morrow (born February 14, 1929 in the Bronx, New York, USA – died July 23, 1982) was an American actor. He was famous for acting in the TV series Combat! (1962-1967), in which he also worked as a television director.

Morrow died while filming Twilight Zone: The Movie at an accident with a helicopter that crashed and killed him and two children. The accident made the government make many reforms in U.S. child labor laws and safety regulations on movie sets in California.

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