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Overview for Sam Peckinpah
Sam Peckinpah

Sam Peckinpah


TCM Archive Materials VIEW ALL ARCHIVES (2)

Also Known As: Died: December 28, 1984
Born: February 21, 1925 Cause of Death: series of heart attacks
Birth Place: Fresno, California, USA Profession: Director ...


Enlisted in the Marines; sent to China in 1945 and began studies of Zen
Began career as director-producer in residence at the Huntington Park Civic Theatre for a year and a half
Joined KLAC-TV in Los Angeles as a stagehand, propman and floor-sweeper; stayed two years; lost job after row with studio executive (dates approximate)00
Hired by CBS as an assistant editor on basis of short films he had made on his own time at KLAC
First job in the film industry; hired by Walter Wanger as third assistant casting director (gopher) at Allied Artists; first assignment on Don Siegal's "Riot in Cell Block 11" (date approximate)0
Worked as "dialogue director" (in reality personal assistant to Don Siegal) on "Private Hell 36" (1954), "An Annapolis Story" (1955), "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" and "Crime in the Streets" (both 1956)
Worked as dialogue director on some of Jacques Tourneur's films for Allied Artists
Wrote first scripts for TV series, "Gunsmoke" (most were adaptations of "Gunsmoke" radio scripts)
Sold first original feature script, ("The Authentic Death of Hendry Jones" (later in altered form it was filmed by Marlon Brando as "One-Eyed Jacks")
Directed first TV episode, "The Knife Fighter" on series "Broken Arrow"
Reworked an original script rejected by "Gunsmoke"; sold to Dick Powelll at Four Star Productions as "The Sharpshooter" (1958) which served as pilot for series, "The Rifleman" (also directed four episodes)
Debut as TV producer on NBC series, "The Westerner" (also directed five episodes and co-wrote four)
Directed first feature film, "The Deadly Companions"
Returned to TV as producer-director of two hour-long films for "The Dick Powell Theatre" ("Pericles on 31st St Street" 1962 and "The Losers" 1963)
Joined Walt Disney Productions as writer-director; left after disagreement with producer (date approximate)
Taught writing and directing at UCLA
Directed final film, "The Osterman Weekend"

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