Articles about Ted Markland

Interview with 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.
When 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 are you? 
I'm 6'4".
I 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.
How 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.
I've 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 etc.
Do you own/ride motorcycles? 
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
What 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 [1965].
Why did you leave the High Chaparral series at the end of the second season?   
I left because the studio needed to cut expenses so they dropped me to save money.
How 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 guitar.

 

 

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