After graduating from Florida State College, actor Vic Morrow came to New York, establishing himself as an interpreter of vicious young punks. His first film role was as the unregenerate high school gang leader in 1955's The Blackboard Jungle. Morrow later channelled his "loose cannon" personality in roles calling for heroics and authority. From 1962 through 1967, he starred as Sergeant Chip Saunders on the TV series Combat! Many of the sillier movie roles accepted by Morrow in the 1970s were aimed at financing his theatrical work as an actor and director. Some of his better later roles included the mean-spirited Little League manager who smacks his own son in public after a diamond error in The Bad News Bears (1976). Sadly, Vic Morrow is most famous now not for his life but for his death; together with two Vietnamese children, Morrow was killed in a still-controversial helicopter accident while filming on location for 1982's Twilight Zone: The Movie. Once married to actress/writer Barbara Turner, Vic Morrow was the father of 1990s film star Jennifer Jason Leigh.
Biography by Hal Erickson
- Kicked out of several high schools before joining the Navy at 17.
- Originally wanted to be a lawyer because he admired their courtroom performance.
- Studied under Paul Mann at the Actor's Workshop in New York.
- In 1982, he and child actors Renee Chen and Myca Dinh Le died in a helicopter accident on the set of Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983).
- As a result of the accident, his children filed a wrongful death lawsuit and it ushered in a new era of safety requirements on movie sets.