TCM Archive Materials VIEW ALL ARCHIVES (0)
|Also Known As:||Robert Edward Turner Iii, R E Turner||Died:|
|Born:||November 19, 1938||Cause of Death:|
|Birth Place:||Cincinnati, Ohio, USA||Profession:||executive, entrepreneur, sports executive, advertising account executive, yachtsman|
Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY
cherished works of art, Turner portrayed the technological development as a means with which he could attract younger audiences unaccustomed to black and white movies. Controversial and as shoddy as they may have been, the video sales of his newly colorized films added substantially to his already massive wealth, and by the end of the decade Turner had officially achieved billionaire status. In 1990, the nature-loving tycoon founded the Turner Foundation and the Captain Planet Foundation, a pair of ecology-focused organizations. The latter of the two enterprises was aimed at educating children via the Turner-created eco-superheroes seen on the animated adventure series "Captain Planet and the Planeteers" (TBS, 1990-96).As momentous as the 1980s had been for Turner, the next decade would prove just as eventful. Divorced from his second wife years earlier, Turner married actress-activist-fitness guru Jane Fonda in 1991, following a year-long courtship. Although the relationship left some observers scratching their heads, the fact that both individuals came into the relationship secure in their own fame, wealth and accomplishments â¿¿ in addition to the sense that each had mellowed somewhat in their...
cherished works of art, Turner portrayed the technological development as a means with which he could attract younger audiences unaccustomed to black and white movies. Controversial and as shoddy as they may have been, the video sales of his newly colorized films added substantially to his already massive wealth, and by the end of the decade Turner had officially achieved billionaire status. In 1990, the nature-loving tycoon founded the Turner Foundation and the Captain Planet Foundation, a pair of ecology-focused organizations. The latter of the two enterprises was aimed at educating children via the Turner-created eco-superheroes seen on the animated adventure series "Captain Planet and the Planeteers" (TBS, 1990-96).
As momentous as the 1980s had been for Turner, the next decade would prove just as eventful. Divorced from his second wife years earlier, Turner married actress-activist-fitness guru Jane Fonda in 1991, following a year-long courtship. Although the relationship left some observers scratching their heads, the fact that both individuals came into the relationship secure in their own fame, wealth and accomplishments â¿¿ in addition to the sense that each had mellowed somewhat in their golden years â¿¿ made the union of the two devout liberals not so surprising after all. That same year, he was named "Man of the Year" by Time magazine, becoming the first media figure to be given the honor. More acquisitions came in 1992 with the purchase of the Hanna-Barbara cartoon library and consequent premiere of cableâ¿¿s Cartoon Network, followed by Turnerâ¿¿s picking up the film companies Castle Rock Entertainment and New Line Cinema. In 1994, Turner launched Turner Classic Movies (TCM), a channel designed to compete directly with American Movie Classics (AMC) in the arena of classic film programming. Commercial free, usually uncut and hosted by noted film historian Robert Osborne during primetime, the old movies aired on TCM appeared in their original format and did not include any of the faddish colorized versions, much to the delight of cinema purists.
Turner Broadcasting purchased the Southern-based wrestling promotion company Jim Crockett Promotions in 1988 and renamed it World Championship Wrestling (WCW). The struggling business eventually thrived and triumphed in the ratings by the mid-to-late 1990s, until various factors led to its decline and acquisition by WCWâ¿¿s chief competitor, Vince McMahonâ¿¿s World Wrestling Federation (WWF) in 2001. Companies were not the only things Turner was buying like so many trading cards. By the mid-1990s he had become the largest private landowner in the U.S., with ranch properties in Montana, Oklahoma, New Mexico, South Dakota and Kansas. Turner indulged his passion for Civil War history and a desire to extend his reach to feature film production with the New Line-distributed "Gettysburg" (1993), in which he made an uncredited cameo appearance as doomed soldier Colonel Waller T. Patton. When the Atlanta Braves won the World Series in 1995, Ted Turner truly seemed to be a man on top of the world.
It was, however, in the second half of the decade that the always volatile media landscape began to shift unpredictably. Turner Broadcasting System officially merged with Time Warner, Inc. in October of 1996, a seismic event which left Turner as the new conglomerateâ¿¿s largest individual shareholder and acting Vice Chairman, a position he maintained for seven years. Not long after the merger became official, Turner was relieved of his day-to-day duties as the head of cable operations and, in particular, the running of TBS. Always outspoken in his political views, Turner put his money where his mouth was in 1997 with a $1 billion donation to his newly instituted United Nations Foundation, in an effort to support the international organizationâ¿¿s agenda of world peace and global stability. After separating a year earlier, Turned and Fonda divorced in 2001, officially ending their 10-year marriage. As turbulent as this personal episode had been for him, there were more rough waters ahead for the mogul in the professional arena, as well. That same year saw the mega-merger of Time Warner with email provider America On Line (AOL), a move that Turner initially endorsed, but later soured on after the company suffered a reported $98 billion loss a mere two years later.
Turner launched his first restaurant chain with Tedâ¿¿s Montana Grill in 2002. An upscale Montana-style eatery, it specialized in items made with bison, a once-nearly extinct species Turner raised in larger numbers than any other ranch owner in the world. In 2003, he sold off more than half his shareholdings and stepped down as company Vice Chairman at Time Warner. In 2006, Turner announced that he would not seek re-election for his position on the board of directors at the company in order to focus more on his philanthropic efforts. Having more time to devote to personal interests after leaving his positions at Time Warner, he released his autobiography Call Me Ted in 2008. In the view of several critics, the effort was hindered somewhat by the authorâ¿¿s admitted aversion to dwelling on the past â¿¿ an attitude inherently problematic when writing oneâ¿¿s life story. Turner slipped to 2nd as the countryâ¿¿s largest private landowner in 2011, overtaken by media-communications giant John C. Malone.
By Bryce Coleman Headline News. Given little respect by the more established news agencies, both TV and print, Turnerâ¿¿s journalistic ventures gained grudging respect over the next decade with up-to-the-minute coverage of such events as the Challenger Space Shuttle disaster and the first U.S. invasion of Iraq. At the urging of his second wife, Janie, Turner â¿¿ who continually attracted negative publicity for his combative behavior â¿¿ began seeing a noted Atlanta-area psychiatrist in 1985. Prescribed lithium to help cope with his manic depression and accompanying mood swings, his once mercurial temperament soon gave way to a more even-tempered, thoughtful media mogul. That was not to say that Turner was ready to become a semi-anonymous figure in the boardroom. In 1985, he founded the Better World Society, an organization dedicated to world peace and nuclear disarmament. One year later, he promoted the Goodwill Games, his answer to the recently boycotted 1980 Olympics. The effort, although laudable for its intended goal of easing Cold War tensions, reportedly cost Turner hundreds of millions of dollars during its existence.
After an unsuccessful bid to acquire CBS the year before, in 1986, Turner bought MGM/UA Studios in a complicated â¿¿ and, many opined, wrong-headed â¿¿ deal that saw him immediately selling the United Artists portion back to its original owner, and the historic MGM/UA studio lot sold to Lorimar/Telepictures. So far in debt was he after the deal, that Turner was forced to cede minority ownership of his company to a powerful consortium of cable operators, which included Time Warner, although he still retained his controlling interest and chairmanship. Virtually all that remained from the MGM/UA deal was its vast film catalogue. Now in possession of a library that included nearly all the pre-1960 movies from United Artists, Warner Brothers and RKO, Turner reaped the benefit of the burgeoning video tape market with the subsequent sales of films like "Gone with the Wind" (1939), "Citizen Kane" (1941) and "Casablanca" (1942).
Turner launched his latest channel, Turner Network Television (TNT), with an airing of "Gone with the Wind" in 1988. Initially a portal for the older films in Turnerâ¿¿s now gigantic library and television reruns, the station soon began to focus on sports and original programming. It also became the site of much controversy when Turner â¿¿ a self-proclaimed film lover and dedicated preservationist â¿¿ began airing newly colorized versions of movies originally filmed in black and white. Viewed by most cinephiles as the desecration of
Filmographyclose complete filmography
CAST: (feature film)
Milestones close milestones
Received an honorary degree from Emerson College in May 2000.
"Turner represents the rogue pioneer hormone lost somewhere deep within the gentrified, cable-connected, microwavable American soul. He is our surrogate venturer into the future, going boldly where no man has had the gall to go before--a buccaneer and provocateur who thrives on strewing the waters with red meat when jumping in with the sharks. What can you say about a man who speaks as passionately about colorizing "Gilligan's Island" as he does about wiping out world hunger? Who believes the key to East-West reconciliation lies in establishing Rotary Clubs in Budapest and Minsk? Who presumes to shape the future of American film but sees only two movies a year?. (from American Film article by Greg Dawson, January-February 1989)
"[He's] passionate, coarse and, for a man of the world, boyishly provincial, a man who has met privately with Gorbachev yet still reads every review in obscure weeklies, hungry for validation...Born in Cincinnati but bred in Georgia, Turner is a Yankee fist inside a velvet Southern glove. His mind may have gone north to college, but his accent stayed south. This is the voice of a Skoal commercial." (from American Film article by Greg Dawson, January-February 1989)
Ted Turner on the "art" and the "business" of cinema, or at least mainstream cinema: "Movies were made to be profitable. They were not made as art. They were made to make money, and any moviemaker who did make movies for art's sake is out of business." --From American Film, January-February 1989
Named yachtsman of the year four times.
He has won the America's Cup in his yacht "Courageous" in 1977.
Awarded the Fastnet Trophy for yachting in 1979.
He was named Outstanding Entrepreneur of the Year by "Sales Marketing and Management" magazine in 1979.
He has received the president's award for National Cable TV Association in 1979.
Named International Communicator of the Year by sales and marketing executives in 1981.
Received sponsor recognition award from the American council for Better Broadcasts (1981)
He was named Business Leader of the Year by Sigma Delta Pi and the Georgetown University School of Business Administration (1982)
Named Man of the Year by the Harvard Business School Communications Chapter (1982)
He was named MIPCOM Man of the Year in 1990.
Named Time Magazine's Man of the Year (1991)
He was inducted into the TV Hall of Fame, Academy of Televison Arts and Sciences (1992)
Companions close complete companion listing
Bibliography close complete biography
Please support TCMDB by adding to this information.Click here to contribute