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|Also Known As:||Giuseppe Danielle Sorgente,Joseph Daniel Sargente||Died:|
|Born:||July 22, 1925||Cause of Death:|
|Birth Place:||Jersey City, New Jersey, USA||Profession:||Director ... director producer actor|
The son of Italian immigrants, Joseph Sargent rose from blue collar New Jersey to Hollywood, but his best work as a director, the masterful action film "The Taking of Pelham One Two Three" (1974), retained a gritty, street-level quality. Born Giuseppe Danielle Sorgente on July 22, 1925 in Jersey City, NJ, he originally moved to California to find work as an actor. Though he did appear briefly in the classic "From Here To Eternity" (1953), Sargent soon found himself changing career paths, becoming a television director later in the 1950s. He spent over a decade as a journeyman director, amassing a solid credit list including episodes of hit series such as "Lassie" (CBS / Syndication 1954-1973), "The Man From U.N.C.L.E." (NBC 1964-68) and "Star Trek" (NBC 1966-69). In 1968, Sargent made the movie into film with a low-budget World War II drama starring Rod Taylor, "The Hell With Heroes" (1968). Dystopian science fiction thriller "Colossus: The Forbin Project" (1970) followed. A political drama, "The Man" (1972), was Sargent's next project: written by Rod Serling based on the novel by Irving Wallace, it starred James Earl Jones as a career politician who rises to the presidency. By this time it was clear that Sargent was effective in a number of different styles and genres. This was confirmed by his next two projects. "White Lightning" (1973) was a smash-'em-up chase movie starring Burt Reynolds as one of his most iconic characters, Gator McKlusky. This big hit was followed by Sargent's best-known film, the hard-edged, at times darkly comic thriller "The Taking of Pelham One Two Three" (1974), a heist film starring Walter Matthau as a hangdog NYPD lieutenant chasing a group of kidnappers who have taken a subway train hostage. Oddly, after that pair of critical and commercial successes, Sargent moved primarily into directing made for television movies. He only made three more theatrical features, the tepidly-received biopic "MacArthur" (1977), the low-budget horror anthology "Nightmares" (1983), and the legendary bomb "Jaws: The Revenge" (1987). Completed, from inception to editing, in less than nine months, "Jaws: The Revenge" is a perennial entry on "worst films of all time" lists. However, Sargent continued working steadily in television following that disaster, including high-profile made for TV movies such as the authorized biopic "The Karen Carpenter Story" (1989) and the HBO period drama "Something the Lord Made" (2004), for which he won the Directors Guild of America award. Sargent's final film was the family drama "Sweet Nothing In My Ear" (2008), starring Jeff Daniels and Marlee Matlin. Joseph Sargent died of heart disease on December 22, 2014 at the age of 89.
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