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Director Daniel Petrie dies at 83

Helmed ‘Raisin in the Sun,’ ‘Fort Apache: The Bronx.’
/ Source: The Associated Press

Daniel Petrie, who directed “A Raisin in the Sun” and “Fort Apache, The Bronx” and won Emmy awards during a half-century career in movies and television, has died. He was 83.

Petrie died of cancer Sunday at his Los Angeles home, said his son, Daniel Petrie Jr.

Petrie won directing Emmys for 1976’s “Eleanor and Franklin” and for “Eleanor and Franklin: The White House Years” in 1977.

“There’s a common thread in all of his work of a real concern for the human condition,” his son told the trade paper Hollywood Reporter. “He explored difficult subjects, often ahead of his time,” including “A Raisin in the Sun,” which dealt with racism, and “The Dollmaker,” starring Jane Fonda, which dealt with women as breadwinners.

Petrie also served in a number of leadership positions with the Directors Guild of America.

Petrie was born in Glace Bay, Nova Scotia. He began a television career in 1960 with NBC and over the next five decades directed dozens of series and specials.

In addition to directing Sidney Poitier in 1961’s “A Raisin in the Sun,” Petrie’s movie work included 1980’s “Resurrection,” starring Ellen Burstyn, 1981’s “Fort Apache, The Bronx,” with Paul Newman, and 1978’s “The Betsy.”

Petrie also wrote and directed a 1984 autobiographical movie, “The Bay Boy,” that won Genie awards, Canada’s equivalent of the Oscar, for best picture and best screenplay.