Articles about Ted
- Are you
married? Do you have children?
- I was married
during the filming of One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest
(1975). Jack Nicholson was my best man. My son Erin is a very
handsome young man (24), 6'4" who lives and works in Palm Springs.
I was divorced in 1985, and was given custody of Erin.
is your birthday? What are your hobbies?
- My birthday is
January 15 (Capricorn). My hobbies include mountain climbing (Mt.
Shasta and Mt. Rainier). I play the guitar, write songs, and read
about a novel a week. I'm also a part time pilot.
- How tall
- I'm 6'4".
understand that you were a stand-up comic for a while. How does
acting compare to being a comic?
- Doing stand up
comedy is definitely harder than acting. Unlike acting, there is
no second take. You are alone on the stage with a microphone and
the audience is there facing you. You do it right the first time,
with no one to yell "cut", or you bomb. You have immediate
feedback on how you are doing. Stand up comedy is the hardest
thing I've ever done.
did you get into being a stand-up comic? Why did you give it up?
- When I was in high
school and college, I was always entertaining others during
parties and such. I then would start writing short bits. And
then, eventually, I got a some jobs as a paid comic I gave it up
when I started to get more acting roles. A comic who performs at
a club may not get home until 3 AM and not get to bed until 4 or
5. Then you sleep till noon or later. With acting, you have to
be on the set at least by 8 AM or maybe 6 AM for some westerns.
The two schedules just weren't compatible.
read somewhere that you went off to live with the Navajo for a
while. I'm just curious as to why?
- I was interested in
learning about different religions, such as the Navajo. So, I
visited the area, which is absolutely beautiful. I talked to a
medicine man and was invited to stay for a while. I lived with the
Navajo Indians on and off for many years, studying their religion
- Do you
- I had a Triumph
back in the 60s and owned it for 15 years. I've also owned a
Harley or two.
Why do you play such evil villains
when Reno was such a nice character? Do you enjoy
being the bad guy?
- Next to the lead role
in a movie, being the villain is the best role to have. An actor
should enjoy acting. And the
was your favorite role and why? Likewise, what was your most
challenging role and why?
- My favorite roles
were Strap [from Wanda Nevada] and Malcolm [from
Another 48 Hours]. Both were very good parts -- more than just
basic characters. Each was a great exercise in acting and a joy to
perform. Malcolm was perhaps the most challenging role because I
was working with a number of big [name] people in the movie, such as
Eddie Murphy. I wanted to be sure that Malcolm could hold his own
with the other characters in the movie.
- Of the
other actors/actresses you have worked with, who was your favorite?
- It's hard to pick
just one, because I have worked with so many really good actors and
actresses. Burt Lancaster comes to mind, as does Jack Nicholson and
Peter Fonda. In fact, the entire High Chaparral cast was wonderful
to work with.
- How did
you start acting? Did you take classes?
- I started acting in
high school and went on to LACC (Los Angeles City College). Fellow
students were James Coburn and Robert Vaughan. My first film job was
in Restless Gun [the episode Peligroso, in 1958]
with John Payne. My first movie was The Hallelujah Trail
did you leave the High Chaparral series at the end of the second
- I left because the
studio needed to cut expenses so they dropped me to save money.
did you get the part of Reno on the High Chaparral series?
- I was a stand up
comic in the 60's. Lenny Bruce was my manager. David Dortort
[producer for The High Chaparral] saw my act at the
Troubadour [in Los Angeles] and hired me as "Reno".
- Did they
producers know you were musical from the start, or did they write
that in later?
- They knew I was
musical from the start, and the part [of Reno] was written for me
with that in mind. I did my own singing since I do play the