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Andy Sidaris, 76; ABC sports director went on to make B-movies

March 10, 2007|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Andy Sidaris, 76, an Emmy Award-winning director for ABC Sports who moved on to make B-movies in a genre he called "Bullets, Bombs and Babes," died Wednesday of throat cancer, his wife, Arlene, told the Associated Press.

Known for his ebullient personality and creative approach to televised sports, Sidaris directed the first broadcast of ABC's "Wide World of Sports" in 1961.

He won several Emmy Awards while working for ABC Sports, and he directed the network's Olympics coverage starting with the 1964 Winter Games in Grenoble, France, and continuing through the 1988 Summer Games in Calgary, Canada.

He helped develop techniques that are standard today, including instant replay, slow-motion replay and split-screen views.

He also directed college football games for ABC's Game of the Week and was responsible for introducing "honey shots," close-ups of cheerleaders and pretty girls in the stands at sporting events.

Sidaris branched out to dramatic television in the 1970s, directing episodes of "Kojak" and "The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries." He then expanded into film, specializing in action flicks featuring gun-toting Playboy Playmates. The titles include "Malibu Express," "Fit to Kill" and "Savage Beach."

With his wife as his production partner, he made 12 films.

A native of Chicago, Sidaris earned a bachelor's degree from Southern Methodist University in Dallas. His first TV job was as a stage manager for Dallas' WFAA in 1950.

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