Obituaries : Denis Sanders; Won an Oscar for Documentary on Civil War

Denis Sanders, an Academy Award-winning documentarian whose first Oscar grew out of his 1953 master’s degree thesis at UCLA, has died in San Diego.

Sanders was 58 when he died Dec. 10 of an apparent heart attack at his home.

For the record:

12:00 a.m. Dec. 19, 1987 For the Record
Los Angeles Times Saturday December 19, 1987 Home Edition Part 1 Page 30 Column 3 Metro Desk 1 inches; 29 words Type of Material: Correction
An obituary in Friday’s editions credited Denis Sanders with directing the 1956 television special “The Day Lincoln Was Shot.” Delbert Mann was the director; Sanders and his brother, Terry, wrote the show.

Most recently he had been film maker in residence at San Diego State University.

Sanders was a native New Yorker who with his brother, Terry, created a short documentary, “A Time Out of War,” to fulfill an academic requirement at UCLA. The two-reel film, based on a Civil War incident, won the school’s gold award medallion and in 1954 an Oscar.


Sanders won his second Academy Award in 1969 for his documentary, “Czechoslovakia 1968.”

Over the years he directed “Crime and Punishment, U.S.A,” “War Hunt,” “One Man’s Way,” “Shock Treatment,” “Elvis--That’s the Way It Is,” “Soul to Soul” and “Invasion of the Bee Girls.”

For television he directed “The Day Lincoln Was Shot” and episodes of “Route 66,” “Defenders,” “Naked City” and “Mannix.”