Lamont Johnson, one of the most prolific -- and daring -- directors of TV dramas, many of them touching on controversial issues of the day, died Sunday in Monterey, CA of heart failure at age 88. Beginning his career as an actor -- he played Tarzan on the radio series -- Johnson turned to television in its early, "live" days and, beginning in the 1970s, was associated with some of the most significant television movies of the day. They included My Sweet Charlie (1970), which dealt with interracial romance; That Certain Summer (1972), the first TV drama to deal with homosexuality; The Execution of Private Slovic (1974), about the only American soldier executed for desertion during World War II; Fear on Trial (1975), which examined the 1950s' blacklist; and the 1985 miniseries Wallenberg A Hero's Story about the Swedish diplomat in Hungary who saved the lives of 100,000 Jews during the Holocaust. The latter won him a best director Emmy.

27/10/2010