Vic Morrow quit school at 17 to join the U.S. Navy. After he was discharged, he decided to go to law school using his GI Bill benefits. While in Florida State University's pre-law program, he participated in one of the University's theater presentations and found he preferred acting to law. He was soon on his way to New York to study at The Actors' Workshop. He made his screen debut in Blackboard Jungle
. As a result of his fine performance as a punk, he was typecast as a "heavy" afterwards. Disappointed with the narrow range of roles he was offered, he enrolled at USC to study directing.
In 1962, he was cast as Sgt. Chip Saunders in the highly successful television series Combat!
. Aside from making him a well-known name and face, Combat!
offered him the opportunity to try his had at directing as well as acting. He directed and/or wrote several episodes.
ended, his professional and private life reached a low point. He was twice divorced (once before the end of Combat!
) and his mother passed away. Roles were once again difficult to find and he was once again the "heavy" in various television series and made-for-tv movies.
In 1982, he was offered a role in Twilight Zone: The Movie
which featured reworkings of stories originally presented on the classic Twilight Zone
television series. In the only original story used in the film, Morrow was cast as Bill Connor, a bigot who ffinds himself as a Jew Nazi occupied France during WWII, a black man at a KKK rally in the 1950s and a Vietnamese man during the Vietnam War in the 1960s. Unfortunately, this was his final role. In a horrifing accident, this talented actor was taken from us when a helicopter being used in the movie crashed and decapitated Morrow and one of the children he was carrying. The other child was crushed. Their deaths led to new safety regulations and new regulations regarding child actors.
Actresses Jennifer Jason Leigh
and Carrie Morrow are his daughters.