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Vic Morrow question


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Hi all. I am new to the forums. My recent research on Vic Morrow brought me here. I am in my early thirties and am a teacher. My mom requested that I watch "Blackboard Jungle" since it depicts many of the issues I face. I was captivated by Vic Morrow. As I watched it though I kept saying to myself, "I know that face from somewhere" and then it hit me...Jennifer Jason Leigh! There is no denying she is his daughter for they look so much alike!

 

After researching Vic Morrow I'm questioning why he and Jennifer were estranged. Does anyone know? I can't believe he only left her $100 bucks...seems cold to me.

 

He was quite talented and incredibly handsome though!!!!

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Hi - welecome to the board. Vic Morrow is one of my favorite actors. Blackboard Jungle is a terrific movie.

 

You're right - Vic Morrow and his daughter Jennifer Jason Leigh bare a striking resemblence.

 

I, too, thought he was very handsome. Have you ever seen him in the t.v. show Combat? It's available on DVD and is a terrific show.

 

Thanks for starting this Vic Morrow thread! Great actor.

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Thanks for the replies and the welcome. I am a movie fan so I'm glad I found this site. As for Jennifer Jason Leigh....I've seen a lot of her films. I knew of her before Vic morrow since she was more in my time than he was. Yes, she has talent and is a good actress. She's not one of my favorites though and some scenes in a few of her movies are rather...unneccessary I guess is the word. Maybe I'm old fashioned. I wonder what Vic would think. I know he'd be proud overall but still. I find it ironic she was trying to escape the "Vic Morrow's kid" label when anyone looking at her would know instantly as I did. How funny. And let's face it, it was people knowing he was her dad that got her foot in the acting door. I'm curious to know why they were estranged...and what about his other daughter, Carrie, is she an actress too?

 

As for Vic...he showed tremendous talent from the start. I look forward to viewing more of his work.

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JoeLynn, welcome to the TCM boards. There are lots of interesting people and conversation here, so if you enjoy classic films/actors, then you'll certainly enjoy this forum.

 

There were quite a few previous threads regarding Vic Morrow, so he is obviously a very popular actor. I enjoyed his films, particularly "Blackboard Jungle" which was his 1st film and finest performance (in my opinion). I also would highly recommend a film called "Men in War" which was from the 1950's. Vic Morrow played a sort of simple-minded soldier in this film and it would be a stark contrast from the fearless leader Sargeant Saunders he would play a decade later in Combat television series. I would also suggest a made-for-t.v. film called "The Glass House" with Alan Alda. Vic Morrow was great in this film as well. He's also very good in "Roots" t.v. epic and has guest starred in 2 great episodes of Bonanza - as well as the film King Creole with Elvis.

 

As for Jennifer Jason Leigh, she is a very good actress, but some of her movie roles are rather bizarre. However, she is supposed to be an Oscar potential for her upcoming film with Nicole Kidman called "Margot at the Wedding". I liked her in "Single White Female" and "Washington Square". I was just reading a magazine article about Jennifer Jason Leigh and it says her sister Carrie is a drug counselor - and I do believe she's a director - and has directed or produced a film called "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang".

 

I don't really know what caused the estrangement of Vic Morrow and Jennifer Jason Leigh - although I do recall reading that it hurt him deeply that she changed her name from Jennifer Leigh Morrow to Jennifer Jason Leigh (Jason is after family friend Jason Robards) - and I also think that Vic Morrow was beset with personal problems in the '70's and his career was faltering and it bothered him to watch his daughter's career eclipse his own - he probably wasn't too happy with her movie role selections either - although that's just speculation. If anyone else knows anything about this, please let us know. Nobody really knows the whole story - because it's never been mentioned anytime Jennifer Jason Leigh does a rare interview - it's really quite sad - but they do look exactly alike.

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Jennifer Jason Leigh is a fine actress. She had many nice thing to say about TCM`s Star Of The Month a few years ago Barbara Stanwyck. I especially remembered what she said about Barbara`s performance in a scene from "Double Indemity". Jennifer`s comments were so interesting to me that I taped them.

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Welcome, JoeLynn! Hope you enjoy it here! "Combat" was where I first noticed Vic Morrow....he was so good in that TV series! Jennifer Jason Leigh is one of the finest young actreeses working today.....and hope she will have a chance for more films!

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Thank you for the movie suggestions, I will definately be checking out more of Vic's work. He caught my eye for sure...such talent!

 

I'm wondering if Jennifer Jason Leigh chose to change her name, in part at least, because Vic wasn't really a part of her life. This is speculation of course but speaking from personal experience with my own dad, when parents divorce, a lot of times the fathers tend to drift away from their children. I'm not saying that's the case here but I do wonder. I too chose to drop my dad's last name a few years after my folks divorced because my dad wasn't a real part of my life at that point. If that's the case with Jennifer I understand her decision. If that was the case Vic should have been more understanding of her decision.

 

As for Vic being somewhat jealous or resentful of Jen's career (sorry, I can't remember which one said that) I must respectfully disagree. First of all Vic died in 1982 and Jen's career just took off after "Fast Times..." which was in the mid eighties I believe so that would not have been a factor in their estrangement. Besides I'm sure he would have been proud nonetheless.

 

I read that Jennifer and Carrie sued John Landis...is this correct?

 

Thanks for taking time to read and respond to my posts. :)

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One more note...I'm looking into buying a few of the films suggested and when I type in "Vic Morrow" undoubtedly "The Twilight Zone" appears. Of course this is heart gushing considering the facts but part of me thinks I should buy it because he gave his life for it...if that makes sense...anyone seen it? What are your thoughts?

 

 

How were they able to finish the movie since he died making it? Was that the last scene or something?

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I also like Vic Morrow. I think Blackboard Jungle was a good film and Vic Morrow played the bad student Artie West with such believability. He was very impressive and I also want to add that Richard Kiley and Glenn Ford were great in that film as well.

 

Jennifer Jason Leigh is quite an actress, but I don't hear too much about her. I have also seen her comments on TCM about Barbara Stanwyck and I thought it was a very interesting piece. Perhaps TCM can have her as a guest programmer sometime.

 

Jennifer was 2 years old when her parents divorced - so I don't really know what type of relationship she had with him after that. I once read that Vic Morrow viewed his daughter's name change to rid herself of the Morrow last name as the ultimate act of disloyalty (I read this on a Vic Morrow tribute website years ago where they had lots of articles and magazine clippings on Vic) But in any case, I think there is a lot more to their estrangement than her name change. I don't think anyone has a definitive answer about that and it's a private family matter. I also read that Jennifer paid for, and had the gravestone made for her father's final resting place - and I thought that was touching. She has been on the Actor's Studio with James Lipton and I had read articles where she said she respected Vic as an actor, but he was like a stranger to her - how sad that is.

 

Also, I watched Twilight Zone, the movie - on TVLand a few days ago and I felt it was a terrible film. It's too bad this awful film was Vic's last work and I had read he was embarrassed by this film and thought it was a piece of garbage - plus they were asking him to do dangerous things that he wasn't comfortable with. The actual scene with the tragedy was not in the film. I wouldn't recommend this film - but maybe others might have a different opinion.

 

If you want to see Vic Morrow at his best, see Blackboard Jungle and COMBAT t.v. series - he was spectacular in these and one can easily see what a supberb talent he was. Not only that, he was incredibly sexy and handsome in COMBAT playing Sgt. Saunders. I have the DVD's and was hooked on the show immediately. It's too bad Vic Morrow's career didn't skyrocket right after COMBAT because he was very popular during the latd 1960's and I vividly remember watching the show on Tuesday nights with my family when I was a young child. R.I.P. Vic Morrow

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I doubt it, especially since it was nominated for Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Black-and-White and Best Cinematography, Black-and-White for Russell Harlan. I like it in Black & White it makes the city look Grittier. (IMHO)

 

 

vallo

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  • 2 weeks later...

joelyn...I just started on the message boards as well! My question about the music used during the biopics spot was answered the very next day. I think that we have a plethora of movie experts here! We are amongs. the best resources for this art form. Viv Morrow's death was horrid. One movie that always puts a smile on my face is "The Bad News Bears." Indeed Morrow's character is not the hero...but a Little League dad that practically makes his team goosestep for warm-ups. How earily clairvoyant of our times now. It is not his last movie for sure. Perhaps if you could wrap up "Combat" in a box with a bow that lists all of his other great achievments and put it to the side...make "The Bears" his final film in your heart. (Sorry for that sappy metaphor.) He is incredible in the film...even as a tyrant to his team, his son, his wife and of course the oft-drunk Walter Mathau. Just seeing Mathau 'dressed up" to see the City Councilman is worth watching and comparing to the tidy Morrow (in tight shorts by the way.) Morrow is subtle in his role...portraying a man that is clearly on the edge and banks all of his worth on his baseball team. How he makes it look so easy. I was 10 when "Bears" came out. Now I can watch Morrow and realize that his character is so misguided. How subtly and with ease he makes this man hiding and swallowing a breakdown.

 

 

Also...Don't forget Dolores Claiborne with Jennifer Jason Leigh. I completely agree with the message above the remarkes that she inherited his talent. It amazes me that she is my age when ever I see her act. She may not be be on the cover of mags because she spends her time perfecting her craft.

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Correction Joelynn...I said Combat was Morrow's last movie and it was Twilight Zone. Also, I do know that she sued whoever directed/produced Fast Times because the bleach/dye they used on her hair made it fall out. Probably NOT the same lawsuit you were referring to...just fyi

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  • 5 years later...

Besides the fact that Jennifer adopted a different stage name, and the fact that her parents divorced when she was very young, there's never been anything that confirmed why she and Vic were estranged. Given how private JJL is, I doubt if we'll ever know. Her career was just starting out in the late '70s/early '80s and Vic was having a hard time breaking back into the mainstream. There's also a story that Jennifer wanted the role that Brooke Shields ultimately played in "The Blue Lagoon" (1980), but that Vic made her turn the role down because of the nudity involved. Not sure how true that is. Jennifer did say at the time of her father's death she hadn't talked to or seen him in two years, so the timing would be about right. But then again, who knows.

 

Jennifer did talk about her father early on, and for a few years after his tragic death, albeit briefly. There was one interviewer in particular who apparently pressured her so much into talking about Vic's accident that she began to cry. She loved her dad, and lost any chance she had to get close to him, which no doubt left her with a lot of pain and guilt. Here's one of the rare occasions that she spoke about Vic and his death, in a People magazine article in October 1982, just a few short months after the tragedy:

 

 

http://www.people.com/people/archive/article/0,,20083345,00.html

 

In more recent times she has declined to discuss him, which is understandable. "I don't really talk about my dad. Too sad," Jennifer stated in the '90s.

 

 

If you go to [www.listal.com|http://www.listal.com] and look up them each individually, and go to their photo galleries you will find a few photos of them together and with Barbara and Carrie before the divorce. Even in those early photos, you can see the resemblance between father and daughter.

 

Hope this sheds a little light on the subject! :)

 

Edited by: Noirdame79 on Oct 22, 2012 3:48 PM

 

Edited by: Noirdame79 on Oct 22, 2012 6:03 PM

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Actually Jennifer Jason Leigh now has a prime time TV gig. She's Emily's / Amanada's mother on Revenge. (A show I recomend for people who miss prime time soaps. It's better than the New version of Dallas.)

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Nice to see a thread about Vic Morrow / Jennifer Jason Leigh. I love them both! Vic Morrow was my first celebrity crush, watching "Combat" on TV at age 5 with my father.

 

 

I cannot speak to the truth of the nudity/"Blue Lagoon" issue, but what I do know is that Jennifer Jason Leigh displayed quite a bit of herself in "Flesh + Blood" (1985). She's among my fave "contemporary" actresses. I like her a lot in "Last Exit to Brooklyn" (1989), "In the Cut" (2003), and "Mrs. Parker" (1994). I'm gonna go out on a limb here and hope that her best work is yet to come.

 

 

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Jennifer had a short, recurring role on "WEEDS" as Mary-Louise Parker's older sister.

 

 

I didn't think *Twighlight Zone: The Movie* was all THAT bad, although Morrow's part was far from his best work. It would have been nice if his last film appearance was in a better role. Of course, at the time, nobody thought it WOULD be his last.

 

 

I too, became first aware of Vic Morrow from "COMBAT". Rick Jason, too, who also did some fine film work, though not enough of it to suit me. I liked seeing him in earlier work like *Blackboard Jungle* and *King Creole* . A long time fan.

 

 

And welcome to the board!

 

 

Sepiatone

 

 

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One of my favorite actors. Glad there is this thread for Vic Morrow. Combat was a terrific tv show from the 1960's. Also Blackboard Jungle was a great film. Morrow also guest starred in many tv shows later in his career such as Bonanza, Untouchables, Charlie's Angels, etc. He was great in an episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents too. Great actor.

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I *never* knew JJL was Vic's daughter. Her dialogue and characterization were AWFUL on Weeds, a moronic show at the end to beat all moronic shows. To think it started out so brilliantly.

 

I could never watch The Twilight Zone movie, knowing he was beheaded.

 

I used to like Combat, now I won't watch war movies. He was a decent actor.

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Hello, welcome to the boards. Great thread. Vic Morrow was one of my favorite actors. He was terrific in the COMBAT tv. show and I think his best movie role was in Blackboard Jungle (which I believe was his first movie back in 1955). I thought he was incredibly handsome in that COMBAT tv show as Sargeant Saunders - the swagger and that craggy face - he was a terrific actor.

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Anyone ever see a movie called "Men in War" from mid-1950's? TCM shows this film from time to time. A very young Vic Morrow was in this film and played a soldier who was timid and afraid. Ironic that a few years later he'd play the Sargeant of a squad in Combat. He was a great actor. I hope TCM shows more of his films. I also recall him in King Creole with Elvis Presley.

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