Ted Knight was an American television and film actor. He was widely known for his numerous performances as a talented voice-over actor. He appeared in a host of comedies, including Caddyshack where he played the role of Judge Elihu Smails, The Mary Tyler Moore Show where he played the Ted Baxter, as well as Too Close for Comfort in which played the character, Henry Rush. Knight was a two-time Emmy award-winner for his role on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, in addition to being nominated on six occasions. He was the recipient of a star on Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1985, awarded for contributions made to the television industry.
Ted Knight’s Biography
Ted Knight (birthname Tadeusz Wladyslaw Konopka) was born on the 7th of December 1923, in Litchfield County, Connecticut, United States of America. His parents were of Polish descent and came from a humble background. He left high school to join the US Military effort during the second world war. It became apparent during the war that Knight did possess outstanding combatant skills. As proof of his combat skills on the European battlefields, upon his return from the war, he had earned himself five battle stars.
After returning from the war to the United States, Knight turned his attention to building a career as an actor, this led him to undergo acting classes which provided him with the necessary skills to land a job at a television station in Rhode Island. With a lot of practice under his belt, he became quite the ventriloquist, and since his first job which was a children’s show that featured a lot of puppets, he never ran out of work.
After five years of working in Rhode Island, Ted Knight proceeded to New York in search of better opportunities. Soon enough, he got a job offer at WROW TV where he began presenting a morning show. In addition to this, he was asked to work as an on-air personality at WROW’s radio station. He gladly performed both roles until the late 1950s when his mentor and boss told him to seriously consider going to work in Hollywood, where he would really maximize the benefits of his talents.
Ted Knight took his boss’ advice and relocated to Hollywood to broaden his horizon. He spent his first few years in Hollywood, performing minor roles on television shows and a few movies. He also did a lot of voice-over work for television and radio commercials during this time.
As the ’60s rolled in, Knight began to land longer-lasting and more prominent roles on television shows such as CBS’s The New Loretta Young Show where he portrayed the role of Haskell and ABC’s The Young Marrieds in which he played the role of Phil Sterling.
He also made regular appearances on such shows as How to Marry a Millionaire, The Donna Reed Show, The Invaders, The Invisible Enemy, The Man and the Challenge, Highway Patrol, Get Smart, Peter Gunn, Pete and Gladys, The Wild Wild West, Bourbon Street Beat, The Eleventh Hour, Gomer Pyle, Bonanza, The Lieutenant, Combat and a host of others.
Ted Knight’s film roles include playing the character of Professor Vasheen in Man on Strings, Samuel in 13 Fighting Men, Sergeant Denton in Twelve Hours to Kill, Dan Mers in Cage of Evil, Lieutenant Glick in Cry for Happy, Major Buch in Hitler, among several others.
Having a unique voice and tempo brought Knight several opportunities for voice-over work. He landed many narrator jobs for cartoons and animated films, as well as television series, including Super Friends, Superhero and Fantastic Voyage, to name a few. His voice also lent him the ability to sing a lot of comical songs.
At the time of his death, Ted Knight had a net worth of $10 million. As with most successful Hollywood stars, Knight’s earnings came from his multiple acting credits and he did quite well to maintain a stable financial status all through his lifetime.
About Ted Knight’s Wife and Kids
Ted Knight was married to Dorothy Smith with whom he had three children, Elyse, Eric and Ted Jr. Ted Knight remained married to Smith until his death in 1986. Dorothy Smith was born in January 1923 in Connecticut USA. She passed on many years after her husband, in October 2005. The widow who never remarried was aged 82.
Ted Knight was diagnosed with cancer in 1977. He underwent a battery of treatments to remedy the situation and got some respite. However, the disease resurfaced in 1985, affecting his bladder and other internal organs. He underwent surgery to remove a tumour which brought about complications, causing his health to deteriorate and ultimately culminated in his untimely death in August 1986. The TV star was aged 63.
Ted Knight was one tall man. He stood at a height of 5 feet 9 inches (175 cm). Knight was ever so graceful, never failing to wear his signature smile which made his blue eyes pop even more.