Ted Kotcheff


Director

About

Also Known As
William T Kotcheff, William Theodore Kotcheff
Birth Place
Toronto, Ontario, CA
Born
April 07, 1931

Biography

A director of numerous comedy vehicles who, nevertheless, also helped spawn the Rambo character through "First Blood" (1982), Ted Kotcheff is best known for such efforts as "The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz" (1974) as well as the football comedy "North Dallas Forty" (1979), which he also co-wrote.After receiving an English degree from the University of Toronto, Kotcheff began directin...

Family & Companions

Laifun Kotcheff
Wife

Biography

A director of numerous comedy vehicles who, nevertheless, also helped spawn the Rambo character through "First Blood" (1982), Ted Kotcheff is best known for such efforts as "The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz" (1974) as well as the football comedy "North Dallas Forty" (1979), which he also co-wrote.

After receiving an English degree from the University of Toronto, Kotcheff began directing dramatic programs for the Canadian Broadcasting System. In 1957, he relocated to London, England, where he worked in both theater (notably the Lionel Bart musical "Maggie May") and television, earning several British awards for his TV work which included "Edna, the Inebriated Woman." In the late 1960s, he settled in the USA where he directed several well-received dramas for ABC, including a small screen remake of "The Desperate Hours" (1967), about a family held hostage by three escaped convicts, "The Human Voice" (1967), which offered Ingrid Bergman in a solo performance, and a 1968 rendition of "Of Mice and Men."

Kotcheff had made his motion picture directorial debut with the British "Tiara Tahiti" (1962), with John Mills and James Mason as former army rivals. He went on to helm "Life at the Top" (1965), an inferior sequel to Jack Clayton's overpraised 1959 "Room at the Top." "Two Gentleman Sharing" (1969) was a sociological examination of an inter-racial friendship between a white ad executive and a black lawyer in 60s London while "Outback" (1971) explored the mental disintegration of a citified Australian schoolteacher. But it was not until "The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz" (1974) that Kotcheff won critical and audience notice. Adapted from Mordecai Richler's novel, the latter featured a tour-de-force performance by Richard Dreyfuss, embodying pure ambition. Kotcheff subsequently won the plum Hollywood assignment directing the ripe socio-political satire, "Fun With Dick and Jane" (1977), with George Segal and Jane Fonda as a suburban L.A. couple who resort to crime to maintain their lifestyle when he loses his job. He moved on to the cult murder comedy "Who Is Killing to Great Chefs of Europe?" (1978), which featured a strong performance by Robert Morley. "North Dallas Forty" (1979) offered a seriocomic look at professional football and gave Nick Nolte one of his best screen roles. "First Blood" (1982) introduced the world to Sylvester Stallone in one of his signature roles, Rambo. Kotcheff again collaborated with Richler with "Joshua Then and Now" (1985), about a Jewish writer married to a prominent WASP. He was less successful with "Switching Channels" (1988), a pallid remake of "The Front Page" with Kathleen Turner and Burt Reynolds, but scored a surprise success with the modest comedy "Weekend at Bernie's" (1989), in which Andrew McCarthy and Jonathan Silverman are bumbling accountants trying to keep the ruse that their boss is alive. But "Folks!" (1992), with Tom Selleck trying to deal with the senility of his father (Don Ameche), was a misfire. As of 1997, the director had numerous features in development, including "The Populist," a biopic of a former aide to Hitler who turns against the Fuhrer and offers help to the USA.

Kotcheff has also found success on the small screen, helming episodes of Showtime's erotic series "Red Shoe Diaries" as well as the 1994 TV-movie "Love on the Run" (NBC), in which a mercenary and an heiress wed. Kotcheff called the shots on "Family of Cops" (CBS, 1995), in which Charles Bronson was a police chief coping with an arrest in his own brood, and "A Husband, a Wife, and a Love" (CBS, 1996) with Judith Light.

Filmography

 

Director (Feature Film)

Crime in Connecticut: The Return of Alex Kelly (1999)
Director
Borrowed Hearts: A Holiday Romance (1997)
Director
A Husband, a Wife, and a Lover (1996)
Director
Family of Cops (1995)
Director
The Shooter (1995)
Director
Love on the Run (1994)
Director
Folks! (1992)
Director
Weekend at Bernie's (1989)
Director
Winter People (1989)
Director
Switching Channels (1988)
Director
Joshua Then and Now (1985)
Director
Uncommon Valor (1983)
Director
Split Image (1982)
Director
First Blood (1982)
Director
North Dallas Forty (1979)
Director
Who Is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe? (1978)
Director
Fun With Dick And Jane (1977)
Director
The Apprenticeship Of Duddy Kravitz (1974)
Director
Billy Two Hats (1973)
Director
Outback (1971)
Director
Two Gentlemen Sharing (1969)
Director
Life at the Top (1965)
Director

Cast (Feature Film)

Barney's Version (2010)
Not Quite Hollywood: The Wild, Untold Story of Ozploitation (2008)
Himself
Shattered Glass (2003)
Marty Peretz
Weekend at Bernie's (1989)

Writer (Feature Film)

North Dallas Forty (1979)
Screenplay

Producer (Feature Film)

The Check Is in the Mail (1986)
Producer
Uncommon Valor (1983)
Executive Producer
Split Image (1982)
Producer

Film Production - Main (Feature Film)

Why Shoot the Teacher (1976)
Production Consultant

Misc. Crew (Feature Film)

Not Quite Hollywood: The Wild, Untold Story of Ozploitation (2008)
Other

Director (Special)

Rx for the Defense (1973)
Director
Of Mice and Men (1968)
Director
The Desperate Hours (1967)
Director

Life Events

1957

Began directing for British television

1962

Feature film directorial debut "Tiara Tahiti"

1967

Directed Ingrid Bergman in an ABC TV production of "The Human Voice"

1974

Breakthrough feature, "The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz"

1979

Co-wrote and directed the film comedy "North Dallas Forty"

1982

Directed "First Blood" which introduced Sylvester Stallone's Rambo character

1989

Directed and made an acting appearance in "Weekend at Bernie's"

1995

Directed Charles Bronson in the CBS TV-movie "Family of Cops"

1996

Formed Panoptica Productions with Laifun Chung; based in Canada

Family

Alexandra Kotcheff
Daughter
Born c. 1987.
Thomas Kotcheff
Son
Born c. 1989.

Companions

Laifun Kotcheff
Wife

Bibliography