Las Vegas Sun

June 26, 2017

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Native Las Vegan and Emmy Award winner Gordie Saiger dies at 66

Image

courtesy of Max Saiger

Las Vegas native Gordie Saiger, a longtime Hollywood camera operator, is shown in this photo provided by his son, Max Saiger.

Emmy Award-winning cameraman Gordon "Gordie" Saiger, son of Las Vegas gaming pioneer Morton Saiger, died Monday night at a Henderson hospital. He was 66.

Saiger, a native Las Vegan who resided in Henderson, died of liver failure after a lengthy battle with leukemia since 2008.

Saiger's family, including his only child, Max Saiger, was at his bedside when he died at St. Rose Dominican's Siena Campus.

Max remembered him "as the best father anyone could ever want."

"It was his strength and wisdom that made me into the man I am today," the 23-year-old Henderson resident said.

Saiger had deep Las Vegas roots and came from a family with a Hollywood background. He graduated from Las Vegas High School in 1967 and studied briefly at UNLV.

Saiger also served as a tank crewman in the Nevada National Guard for a few years, his son said.

He developed as a photographer and cameraman while working for Las Vegas news agencies in the 1970s. His career flourished — he covered boxing, motor sports, the Olympics, local concerts and other major events.

Over the years, Saiger continued to emerge as a special talent in his field. His work at television networks such as NBC, PBS and CBS earned him nominations for five Emmy Awards; he won two for his camerawork in HBO’s "Britney Spears Live from Las Vegas" production and the CBS miniseries "The Magic of David Copperfield XV: Fires of Passi."

Saiger followed his father, Morton, into the entertainment industry, as the elder appeared in Hollywood silent films, including an extra part in "The Crown that Lies" with fellow immigrant Polla Negri, and as a stunt double for Rudolph Valentino.

Morton Saiger, who died in 1997, was dubbed "Mr. Frontier" during his 50-year stint with the Frontier resort.

Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. on July 6 at the Palm Eastern Mortuary, 7600 S. Eastern Avenue, Las Vegas.

Saiger is survived by his mother, Reba Saiger, his son Max, his sister Debi Saiger, and his nephews Matthew and Andrew Skurow.

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