From the Archives: Sabu Dies of Heart Attack


Sabu Dastagir, 39, the former “elephant boy” of films, died of a heart attack Monday at his Chatsworth home, 10901 Winnetka Ave.

The Indian-born actor, whose career started when he was spotted by the late producer Sir Alexander Korda, recently completed a part in Warner Bros.’ “Rampage” and had worked in films for Walt Disney.

Funeral services will be conducted at 3 p.m. Thursday at the Chapel of the Hills, Forest Lawn Memorial-Park Hollywood Hills.


He leaves his wife, former actress Marilyn Cooper, a son, Paul, and a daughter, Jasmine.

Sabu’s discovery as a juvenile performer came when he appeared with the mahouts handling elephants for one of Korda’s pictures, “Elephant Boy.” Sabu, the son of the veterinary for the maharajah-owner of the elephants, became Korda’s protege and later was induced to come to the United States.

His pictures included “Drums,” “The Thief of Bagdad,” “Jungle Book,” “The End of the River,” “White Savage,” “Cobra Woman,” “Black Narcissus,” “Song of India” and others.

In World War II, he won the Distinguished Flying Cross while serving with a B-25 bombing group in the Pacific.

He was a member of the Hollywood Masonic Lodge.