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Ted Bessell

Ted Bessell

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Also Known As: Died: October 6, 1996
Born: March 20, 1935 Cause of Death: aortic aneurysm
Birth Place: Flushing, New York, USA Profession: actor, director, musician, painter

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Typecasting may have been his fate, but Ted Bessell enjoyed a second career as a successful television director whose life was prematurely cut short by health issues. Bessell was a classical music prodigy who played a recital at Carnegie Hall when he was only 12. He made his first televised appearance on a 1955 episode of the CBS police drama "The Man Behind the Badge." By the early 1960s, Bessell was landing small feature film roles in two 1961 movies, "The Outsider" and "Lover Come Back." Success came when he was hired to play college student Thomas A. "Tom-Tom" DeWitt on the 1962 NBC dramedy "It's a Man's World." Semi-recurring roles on "The Bill Dana Show" and "Gomer Pyle, United StatesM.C." preceded the part Bessell later claimed "took away the heart of me." That role would be as high-strung Donald Hollinger, Marlo Thomas's long-suffering beau in the 1966 proto-feminist sitcom, "That Girl." Bessell played the part for the show's entire five-year run. In the ensuing years, he was cast in a number of short-lived series, including 1972's wretched "Me and the Chimp" (which found Bessell sharing equal billing with a primate) and as the husband of female president Patty Duke in 1985's "Hail to the...

Typecasting may have been his fate, but Ted Bessell enjoyed a second career as a successful television director whose life was prematurely cut short by health issues. Bessell was a classical music prodigy who played a recital at Carnegie Hall when he was only 12. He made his first televised appearance on a 1955 episode of the CBS police drama "The Man Behind the Badge." By the early 1960s, Bessell was landing small feature film roles in two 1961 movies, "The Outsider" and "Lover Come Back." Success came when he was hired to play college student Thomas A. "Tom-Tom" DeWitt on the 1962 NBC dramedy "It's a Man's World." Semi-recurring roles on "The Bill Dana Show" and "Gomer Pyle, United StatesM.C." preceded the part Bessell later claimed "took away the heart of me." That role would be as high-strung Donald Hollinger, Marlo Thomas's long-suffering beau in the 1966 proto-feminist sitcom, "That Girl." Bessell played the part for the show's entire five-year run. In the ensuing years, he was cast in a number of short-lived series, including 1972's wretched "Me and the Chimp" (which found Bessell sharing equal billing with a primate) and as the husband of female president Patty Duke in 1985's "Hail to the Chief." By the late 1980s, he'd started directing episodes of "The Tracy Ullman Show," eventually sharing a 1989 Emmy. Ted Bessell died from an aortic aneurysm in Los Angeles at the age of 61.

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Acorn People, The (1981) Jesse Hooten
2.
 What Are Best Friends For? (1973) Paul Nesbitt
3.
 Scream, Pretty Peggy (1973) Jeffrey Elliot
4.
 Your Money or Your Wife (1972) Dan Cramer
5.
 Two on a Bench (1971) Preston Albright
6.
 Don't Drink the Water (1969) Axel Magee
7.
 McHale's Navy Joins the Air Force (1965) Lieut. Wilbur Harkness
8.
 Billie (1965) Bob Matthews
9.
 Captain Newman, M. D. (1963) Carrozzo
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Appeared in Broadway production of "Same Time, Next Year"
1969:
Co-starred with Jackie Gleason in "Don't Drink the Water"
:
Co-starred with Marlo Thomas in ABC sitcom "That Girl"
1973:
Featured in "The Ted Bessell Show"
1972:
Played on CBS in "Me and the Chimp"; aired for four months
:
Served as producer and directed the "The Tracey Ullman Show"
1962:
TV debut on "It's a Man's World", a NBC series
1980:
Appeared in "Good Time Harry" a NBC comedy series
:
Appeared in CBS sitcom "Gomer Pyle, USMC "
1995:
Starred on ABC in "Hail to the Chief" co-starring Patty Duke
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Georgetown University: Washington D.C. -
The Neigborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre: New York, New York -

Notes

Performed a piano recital at Carnegie Hall at the age of 12.

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Linnell Bessell. Second wife; survived him.

Family close complete family listing

mother:
Jo Bessell. Survived him.
brother:
Frank Bessell. Survived him.
daughter:
Sarah Bessell. Survived him; mother Linnell Bessell.
daughter:
Mary Bessell. Survived him; mother Linnell Bessell.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

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