Joseph Sargent

Joseph Sargent

Joseph Sargent (born 22 July 1925, Jersey City, New Jersey) is an American film director. He has directed many television movies, but his best known feature film works are probably White Lightning, MacArthur, Nightmares and Jaws: The Revenge. He has won four Emmy Awards.


Sargent began his career as an actor. He switched to directing in the mid 1950s, with early credits including episodes of the television series Lassie and The Man from U.N.C.L.E..

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

In 1969 he won his first Directors Guild of America Award for The Marcus-Nelson Murders, which spawned the long running TV series Kojak.

He alternated between television movies and feature films during the 1970s. Output during this time included 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 the 1980s he directed the mini-series The 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 generally negative reviews. Roger Ebert particularly called his directing of the climatic sequence "incompetent," and he was nominated as "Worst Director" in the 1987 Golden Raspberry Awards.

He has concentrated on TV movies since Jaws The Revenge. Notable credits includes The Karen Carpenter Story, The Long Island Incident, Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment, and Sybil.

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

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.

He has been married to "The Deadly Years" actress Carolyn Nelson since 1970, and has directed her in several of his projects, including the aforementioned The Marcus-Nelson Murders and The Taking of Pelham One Two Three.


  • Universal Studios. Joseph Sargent "Jaws The Revenge" Universal News. Press release.

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